I sat with Tal outside the operating room. She lay on the bed, uncomfortable to be wearing nothing under the hospital gown and blanket, and now with bare shoulders as she had to take her arms out to receive the anesthesia.
She looked so small, The bed looked so short.
The anesthesiologist tied a rubber band around her forearm and tapped the back of her wrist. She took a needle (the kind that lies in you for some period of time, so that tubes can be put into and out of you without having to do the needle each time, like an IV) and incised it into an artery on the back of the hand, up toward the arm.
That's when Tal began laughing. She was in pain; I imagine that it was the same type of pain that I felt when I gave blood a few weeks ago and, instead of a prick and then no sensation, the pain didn't stop. They had had to take the needle out and try again on the other arm. Tal was laughing at the pain. The she was tearing up and crying, still laughing, hysterical laughter. I looked and the needle covered with gauze was leaking blood, and there was blood on her hand. Tal was still laughing/crying.
I began to get that same feeling that I had when I was in the same pain: lightheaded, head in a tight headband. a fog swirling around my chest and throat. I knew where I was going. I was in shock.
I leaned back against the wall, and said "I'm going to faint". The lightheadedness increased. I thought "maybe if I just leaned my head against the wall", all the while saying to myself, "I need to lie down and elevate my legs."
Then, a blur. Not darkness, but deepness. Stillness. In some remote corner, I knew people were moving me, laying me down. There seemed to be a lot of people. Why were they here, instead of with Tal?
Head and back on the cold floor. Someone put a stool at my feet and lifted them. Stillness began to recede and I was surfacing. I'm coming out of fainting, I thought. "How is Tal? Is she asleep?" Her bed was not in the room any more, though seconds ago (it seemed) she was right next to me.
Over the next few minutes, six of the operating staff was around me while I lay on the floor. I was cogent within twenty seconds or so of laying on the floor, though my body was probably still very pale, gradually growing back to a normal color, and I was sweating bullets. From the floor, I answers all their questions, "How do you feel? Getting better? Is it coming back?" No, I'm fine, I'll just sleep here on the floor for a little while. How is Tal? Is she asleep yet? Is she frightened? Is she still crying?
Tal wasn't asleep, but they had wheeled her into the operating room. After another minute, I got up, because I didn't want them spending more time around me when they should be in the room with Tal. I went in to Tal and kissed here, asked how she was. She looked both sad, and sick, and ok. She wasn't crying or laughing. She said she was ok. Now I'm in the waiting room. A doctor just came out and said that the operation was underway.