It’s my first general anaesthetic. I’m due to go under in 45 minutes. I’m at the threshold of the hero’s journey into the abyss. In this instance, the eight steps of the hero’s journey go like this:
Step 1. Disrobe and Body Paint.
The surgeon comes in and we shake hands. I pull down my pants, exaggerated ‘low-rider’ style, and hitch up my T-shirt to my chest. He has a green marker pen which he uses to draw arrows and lines to indicate my groin hernias, then three shorter lines where he intends to puncture my abdomen. The first of these goes just under my naval (for the camera), the second directly below that to inflate my abdomen with gas so he can see where he’s going (like using a torch under the blankets), and the third (to insert tools through) below the second.
“See you soon.”