You sign the forms because you have to. If you don’t, the surgery doesn’t happen and your weakness and pain never go away. You gulp and sign your name saying, “sure, I’m aware that the things you plan to do to me are inherently risky and could all go terribly wrong”.
Then they inform you, quite specifically, of all those things that could go wrong- infection, brain damage, death – and that you’re not to sue them if they do. Of course you’d be brain-damaged or dead, so it would be your heirs doing the suing (hey that rhymed, I’m keeping it in!). Nevertheless, it is you that must sign.
So you do what they say and wait. There have been no fluids or solids since before midnight, there is no jewelry on your person, and you’ve shown up on time – 6:30 am on a Tuesday morning. You’ve resigned yourself to the risk and you’re plunging ahead, even though your spouse can’t stand the stress of waiting with you and dropped you off in the parking lot and sped away. You wait alone.
Intellectually you know that this is no big deal, they perform thousands of these procedures and they’re good at it. But you take comfort in your indulgences from the day before, because, hey, who knows, you may not be walking out of here alive. Continue reading Fear & Bravado