It is Sunday night December 12th, and I just finished dinner with my husband of 32 years and our two grown children. My bags are packed and I'm ready to go.......but I am not leaving on a jet plane....tomorrow is my third spinal surgery in 5 years.
I arrive at Hospital for Joint Diseases NYU Medical Center in New York City and check into the admission office where all the usual stuff about name, birthday, next of kin and the infamous while plastic bracelet securely around your wrist. This becomes your identity. It really helps because in a day or two you WILL not know who you are and you are most likely to forget your birthday and recall one that's not even close to your own.
I then proceed downstairs to the Second Floor where an array of medical staff eagerly awaits me so they can begin THEIR DAY. I am given a plastic bag and instruction to to into the changing room, put all of my personal belongings into this bag. Put on a hospital gown, a cap, a robe, and a pair of paper shorts. OH no, back up a bit, I forgot the white compression stockings! Those go on first. They are 5 sizes to small and take 5 minutes each leg to get on. They are taut, heavy elastic and hurt. Then I put on hospital booties.
I am ready.