I never thought anything other than COVID-19 would be a major health concern of mine during the pandemic. But then, an abnormal pap smear led to a cervical biopsy, which found high-grade precancerous lesions on my cervix (you can read more about this here). All of a sudden, there I was with something that, as a young healthy person, was much more threatening to my longevity than COVID-19. Before I knew it, I needed to schedule surgery. That meant I’d have to go to the one place nobody really wants to go ever, let alone when there are so many people in the hospital with a severe respiratory illness right now.
My surgery was minor. The truth is, it wasn’t the operation that was the most difficult part. Preparation and recovery are the hardest parts of any surgery – big or small – and that’s both mental and practical preparation. It’s even harder during the pandemic. Here’s what it’s like having to get surgery during a pandemic.
An operating date is not guaranteed
Usually, when your doctor says that you need any sort of procedure, you just go ahead and schedule it. It’s pretty simple. For my particular procedure, my doctor told me it was usually scheduled within just one week of discovering the biopsy results that I got. “But, I can’t promise anything right now,” is what my doctor ended up telling me. “What the hell does that mean?!” I wondered. “With Covid, it’s been pretty tricky for me to get an operating room. The hospitals are overflowing. And if they don’t consider your procedure ‘urgent,’ they may not give me an operating room for a while” she explained. I asked, “So now what?” and she replied, “Well, I’ll call the hospital and we’ll see.” So that was it. I left her office knowing that I needed an operation but not knowing if and when I’d be able to get it.