I had initially planned to stay with my aunt the night before surgery. She lives in Amsterdam, and it is close to the hospital where I´d be operated. However, my aunt – who suffers from the same disorder I do – was having a bad day and could not take me in. Instead, she arranged an hotel for me.
The hotel must have been in a hurry to fill the room, because the price was ridiculously low for such a luxurious establishment. I had a giant room with a giant bed, silk sheets, old-timey designer furnitures and a fantastic shower featuring cliché Dutch tiles, each of them showing a typical Dutch thing.
My aunt had invited me to have dinner at the hotel restaurant at her cost, so I went downstairs and had a quite awkward yet awesome meal, surrounded by pretty much nobody else and with a few people at the bar gazing in my general direction, possibly wondering what I was doing there by myself.
Up to that point I hadn´t given the surgery much thought – on purpose – but at around 12:00 AM I was starting to get nervous. I couldn´t sleep. I called my (other) aunt in the US, the only one I could be sure was still awake, due to the time difference. I can´t remember any of what she said now, but the talk helped make me feel at ease.
The next morning, I took the tram to the south of the city. From there I walked to the hospital and was greeted by my uncle, who had agreed to be around during and after surgery (a promise that he did not live up to, unfortunately). We had a talk with the anesthesiologist (we were both so handsome, she said) and then I went to my room.
Nothing feels more awkward than wearing those cardboard kind of dresses. God it was awful. I took the pill they gave me (tramadol) and awaited further developments. They asked me to get into bed, I waved goodbye to my uncle and from there they took me to the prep area to get me ready for surgery.
This post continues in Part III.