In hospital I was petrified I wouldn’t wake up again

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This week I was hoping to write about the amazing heritage open days, revealing the secrets of Gosport and Portsmouth.

I planned to talk about our rich history and how we should make more of our enviable locations.

But instead I was summoned to Southampton for a last-minute operation (well, last-minute for the hospital but months of long waiting for me) and then spent several days in bed, recuperating.

This was the first time I’d been in hospital for a ‘proper’ operation, so I was quite taken aback about having to stick a swab stick up each nostril and squirrel it around as part of my pre-op assessment.

That and having to wash with bright red Hibiscrub for two days in advance. This is an uber anti-bacteria precaution, all designed to combat the spread of MRSA but also designed to destroy my hair completely.

Washing curls in Hibiscrub is not, I repeat not, to be recommended for looking good.

But it seems to have done the trick for helping me to remain infection-free.

I’m not going to tell you what my operation was for, but I will tell you how frightened I was of the general anaesthetic.

Until you’ve been in that position it’s quite hard to comprehend what it feels like to give your body over completely into someone else’s care.

I was scared of what I might do while I was under, but most of all I was petrified that I wouldn’t wake up again.

I was halfway through explaining this to the anaesthetist team prior to the operation when I woke up in recovery to find that the operation had all been carried out and yes, I was still alive with my brain functioning and a minimal amount of pain.

That was the oddest part. The time. My perception of it was gone. When you wake up in the night there is generally something that tells you time has passed.

It could be that the TV show you always drift off to has changed, or there’s more or less light in the room, or that you feel much more rested.

But it’s very freaky to come out of the opposite side of an anaesthetic with the rest of your sentence on your lips.

If that’s what cryogenic freezing is going to be like, I think I’ll give it a miss.