Today I was in the hospital for a minor operation; I had a hernia in the groin. It was the first time for me to be in a hospital for myself and not for a visit. Like I approach most things in life, I was quite interested in the process. It was not that interesting or exhilarating looking back, but I remember two things the most: when I took a selfie for my family, I saw myself in the picture as an old guy in a hospital. Both things are, of course, through, but it is the instant association with hospitals and sickness when you see these “clothes” on you. Seeing myself like this made it immediately different from a routine visit to the doctor or dentist. It was not stressful; it just made it more official and serious than the feeling I had when I went into it, just an observation. Maybe we could have some fancier and more colorful clothes next time, and all the patients wear a baseball cap with a smile on it, so everybody still knows who’s who, just a little bit more joy and colors.
The second thing that was kind of strange was what happened when I opened my eyes after the operation; it was the realization that this was the first time in my life that I “missed” a few hours. While sleeping, you are, of course, also gone, but at least you know where you were and what was happening to you. Now, after my anesthesia, I was gone for almost 2,5 hours, but stuff happened to me…I was cut, stabbed at, poked in, and driven around… I thought it was noteworthy; it felt like I really missed some time after I was staring at the fancy, octagonal lights in the operation room, the doctor telling me that…and I woke up…little pain and back where I started in the morning. It was distinctly different than sleeping though I also had a dream. This experience I will like to know more about and see what others have to say about it.
It was a forty-minute drive to the hospital, we left at 6 in the morning, and 7 hours later, we were home again after doing some groceries. They lined up two others for a similar operation, so I guess it is pretty routine for them. As for Covid, my girlfriend couldn’t come in because they wanted to keep the numbers inside down. I had to wear a mask while moving around the hospital, but only the nurses and doctors were wearing masks in the room where I was being prepared for the operation. Covid cases in Norway are also going up and down, but because it is such a big country with relatively few people, they let every community decide for themselves what the appropriate precautions are. In Trondheim, they postponed many lesser critical operations like the one I had, but I had to go to the little city next to us, where they still have other guidelines.
And because we live in a country where ordinary people organize how things are done, I had to pay a little bit more than 500 Norwegian Kroner (ca50 US Dollars) for the whole show and get three weeks paid sick leave. The entire experience was good; things were relatively well organized, so for now, I can recommend getting sick in Norway.