See, it's not so bad, in fact you can hardly see it.... it goes lower but you can't see it because this is a family blog. Yours will be even prettier if you are good and remember to wear sunscreen all the time. You'll be fine. I promise.
Here's how it goes... you show up early. Like the crack of dawn, but that's ok because you won't have slept the night before... you'll have taken a shower with the special soap you've been given so you are sterile and shiny. Take the opportunity to do a bang up job on the shaving because it's going to be awhile before you can defuzz.
So, you are there, checking in and you are in a little bit of a daze, because hello. Open heart surgery. And all of the administration people are just sort of blase and you might want to scream at them, "Hello! I am having open heart surgery here!" but don't, because they are jaded, but basically kind.
You sign a gazillion forms, which you didn't think would be necessary because yesterday, at your pre-op, you signed a gazillion forms and can't imagine there is any paper even left in the hospital. You slip on a thin hospital gown and sit on a bed making weird small talk with your husband.
There will be a few moments while they are bustling about when your husband will be asked to "step over here for just a moment" only "over here" will actually be outside and since he will have your glasses, you will suddenly find yourself alone, and not really able to see and it might be the loneliest moment of your life.
And you might cry. And just when you start to cry your husband will come banging back through the doors and say "Somebody needs to give my wife something" and thankfully, nurses are very nice and they will give you something and you will suck it up and smile and wave like a prom queen so that your husband laughs as you are wheeled down to the O.R..
At this point you will be in the coldest room known to man. Seriously, it's friggin' freezing in there and these very nice Jr. type surgeons and nurses will chat and tell you the Plan and then they will probably compliment you on your pedicure.
In one minute you will be asleep for the next 8 hours.
When you start to come to you will think 3 minutes have passed... you will think, "Damn, it's not even over!" at the same time you realize that you are in recovery.
And that you made it.
You'll be ok.
You really will be.
And next Tuesday, we'll all be thinking of you.
*edit - next Tuesday one of my readers is having a surgery very similar to the one I had back in '03... she is in her early forties, a wife a mother and a teacher... and she's scared.
Here is an excerpt on the email she sent me:
"... just knowing what you experienced could help. I need some idea of what to expect, because currently all I expect is the worst..."