The next day I was on a stretcher on my way to surgery. For a while I thought I was having surgery to remove the tumor, but my doctor came back with some shocking news. The tumor was too large to be removed right away. So the game plane changed a bit, and the next thing I knew I was having a tracheotomy.
It was all happening so fast, the next thing I knew I was lying on the operating table. I lay flat on my back with a towel rolled under my neck to give it leverage. They said they couldn’t give me an anesthetic for the first part of surgery because my airway was so small, and the swelling could clog my airway. I was a bit scared, I mean who wouldn’t be, and I was going to be awake while they cut a hole in my throat. But it had to be done, so I closed my eyes and tried to be as calm as possible.
I woke up the next day very confused. I was hooked up to a few different machines, I had an ECG monitoring my heart, I had an IV giving me pain medication, I had a tube through my nose giving me food, and I had a tube connected to my neck giving my oxygen. I realized I wasn’t going to be able to move much, but as long as a sat still, I knew I wouldn’t be in too much pain.
The anesthesiologist came into my room the next day to ask me about the surgery. He had been testing a new drug and he wanted to ask me how it affected me and if I remember anything from the surgery. I think it was safe to say I remember 99.9% of it. When I explained what I remembered about the surgery he looked horrified, the drug was supposed to mix up my memory so I wouldn’t be able to remember the surgery. My dad pulled out a piece of paper I had written on when I woke up, it read
“It was so scary yesterday
They started putting the tube down
While I was awake and I couldn’t
Breath I felt like I was under water
They had to like hold my legs and head
Down cause I was screaming I think.
I thought I was going to die”
The anesthesiologist joked, “Well I guess we have to use a higher dosage next time,” it gave us all a good laugh.