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I have had two surgeries in the past two years. I wasn't too afraid of the anesthesia, more of the needles, since it was the first time I was going to get an IV. But I promise you, it wasn't bad at all. The waiting is the worst part. I swear I almost threw up the morning of my first one.

Once you get into the hospital, you check in, talk to the nurse, they take your blood pressure and temperature and stuff, and you change into a gown. Then the parade of people begins, and you get the nurse coming in to start the IV, and the anesthesiologist and doctor come to talk to you. At this point, if you are nervous, or have nausea, or any other problems, they can give you something for it in the IV.

With my ankle surgery, I remember getting wheeled down to the OR (they let me take my stuffed animal with me... which helped, even though I felt a little stupid because I was way too old to be bringing a stuffed animal, I was glad I did). Then I slid over to the table and chatted with the nurse for a minute or two, and the next thing I know I'm in the recovery room. I don't even remember anybody saying that they were going to start the anesthesia or anything.

With my gallbladder, I had some nausea before the surgery, so the anesthesiologist gave me something for that and "something to relax me." I got a little loopy feeling there in the pre-op area, and then the next thing I remember is the recovery room. Don't even remember going to the OR.

Remember that during the surgery the anesthesiologist's only job is to take care of you. They monitor your heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, oxygen... everything. They will know if the anesthesia starts wearing off long before you ever become aware of anything, and they can adjust things very quickly. Tons of people have surgery every day, and practically nobody has any problems at all. You will be fine.

Staying in the hospital isn't so bad, either. You'll wake up in the recovery room and when they decide that you're ready, they'll take you up to your room. Then you just get to sleep, eat jello and ice cream, and bug the nurses for pain meds. It's actually a nice thing, because for the first 24 hours you'll have the IV pain meds. I spent two nights in the hospital with my ankle surgery. My only complaints are that the jello was horrible (some off-brand), and the nurse's aide kept walking in on my when I was in the bathroom because she was worried that it was taking me a long time (I'd like to see her be quick about in on crutches a day after surgery!). Most likely, you'll probably spend a lot of the time sleeping anyway, with all the meds.

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