Thursday, May 17, 2012

I'm Still Awake!




1999



It isn't just the title of an awesome song by the artist formerly known as Prince.  Or whatever he is these days.  No, I'm not fact checking.  I care not about him (so what if I had every Teen Beat picture of him plastered to my pink bedroom walls in junior high.  That was then.  This is now.)  1999 is the year of my first ever surgery.  The first time I had ever been placed under a general anesthetic.  I was petrified, only I didn't realize just how petrified I truly was.  

Why Elsie?  Why would a bad ass, who had dabbled (way to much for her own good to the point of addiction *ahem*) in illegal drugs, be scared in a controlled environment when the drugs were being administered by a professional?  A person who has gone to school for 55 years to stick that needle in your arm...or back...or pop that mask over your face.  You get my point.  (Obviously, I've never attended medical school, nor was I paying attention while being knocked out.)

Thanks to a 20/20 episode I watched a few nights before the surgery I was concerned I would be awake while under anesthesia.  The show recounted several instances of people remaining alert but being paralyzed, feeling everything.  Hello scary!  I like to think of myself as a rational person.  I knew that statistically these cases were few and far between and it made for good television.  However, the seed of fear must have been planted.  

I remember being wheeled into the operating room and speaking with my doctor then the anesthesiologist.  I recall telling him about the 20/20 show and he assured me everything was going to me fine.  I vaguely recall counting backwards and then nothing again until being back in my room several hours later feeling like I'd been hit by a mack truck.  Cool! Surgery over, homeward bound tomorrow!

A man walked in who looked vaguely familiar.  "I'm Dr. Anesthesiologist, do you remember me?"  Vague images flickered through my foggy memory bank.

"Yes, I think so.  Yes, I do!" I exclaimed, then coughed.  I found out later about the tube down my throat.

He asked if he could sit on my bed and talk for a minute.  I got a bit nervous and nodded in agreement.  He explained that he'd been practicing medicine for many years and this was the first time he had come to personally follow up on a patient. Normally he followed up with the patient's doctor to make sure the patient was doing well.  He asked if I remembered any part of my conversation with him earlier in the day so I shared what I could recall.   

He went on to explain that he had been quite concerned because although I had counted down at which point most patients simply "go under" I continued to question him about whether or not I'd be able to feel anything during the operation.  He said that I continued to talk about the 20/20 episode despite the meds he had given me...I kept on talking and talking and talking and to put it kindly, I was being rather, um paranoid, so, they decided to ramp up the dose on my "shut her up" meds.  

I think it was very cool that this doctor came by to follow up on me.  I wonder if he ever thinks about "that really paranoid chick" and laughs like I do.


65 comments:

  1. Funny, during my surgery it took around 3 hours for me to wake up when the expected time is max 1 hour. After I got up and doctor came and asked whether I was doing drugs because he said i got up in the middle of surgery and they had overdose me. this was in India.Did i tell you that till today i had never even tasted beer or alcohol on any form? He feared that my dad may do something so had to cover his screwup i guess, but he didn't know how close me and my dad were ;) but i don't remember anything all i remember was matrix movie. Yep ;)

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    1. Holy crap that's scary. I can't believe you got up in the middle of the surgery. I thought I was stubborn LOL

      The Matrix movie? Was it playing in the room or only in your head =P

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    2. Doctor said I got up, but I dont remember that happening, I was like in another world and it was matrix movie world, techno, space odyssey kind of place and it was crazy. It was in my head. And after I got up, I couldnt see for 10 minutes, I thought I lost my sight and then later blurred vision as if I was partially in two worlds I felt that no one heard me and they were looking at my dead body, it was funny what they repeated back to me whatever I said that time, "Am I dead, are you guys still there? and all such.."
      Then I understand why that doctor had to say that to cover his screwup. Doctors in India are crooks but maynt be Indian doctors in USA. :)

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    3. That is completely scary! And not being able to see, holy crap! I hope Indian doctors in the US aren't crooks, both my neuro's are Indian =)

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    4. Yep, this is one other reason Indian medicine degree holders cant practice here, they need to pass couple of more exams to practice here.
      My doctor friend she was trying to get her practice license in UK and I asked her why she isnt trying US, she said, "US is hard and it is difficult to be a doctor there, lot of lawsuits and single screw up could cost your life and pretty strict" and all. So, dont worry, you are in America, Indian doctors cant screw up here :)

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    5. *wiping sweat from forehead*

      Phew!!

      Although I will say, the lawsuit in this country is totally ridiculous and needs to stop. Everyone sues for everything. It's like a lifestyle.

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  2. I hate those kinds of news stories. Don't they always seem to come on RIGHT before you/a loved one get the exact procedure done?

    I remember wanting to try to stay awake during my first surgery. To see if I could even fight it. The doctor said count down from 10, and it was like, okay, ten, ni--ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

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    1. LOL - it's just like when you're getting ready to make a big purchase, like a car. I never heard of a Tribeca until I considered getting one and then I saw them everywhere. Or when I hear a word I've never heard before or an expression, like "that's not in her wheelhouse". Now I hear that expression all the time. Thankfully not about me =)

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  3. LOL to be awake while under total anaesthesia :))) You're watching too much HORROR STORIES, sister :)

    I actually react nicely to total anaesthesia. With this latest surgery I fell asleep within seconds after the injection got contact with me bum :) And I woke up immediately after the whole thing and was wide awake and sane.
    The same was with that one during which I died :) although after that one I didn't remember anything that happened after the surgery, only from the next morning and on....
    But with this last one I had a mad anaesthesiologist who came to me a few minutes before the surgery and the dialogue was:
    HIM: Mr. Dezz, I see you have a heart problem.
    ME: Yes, but it's nothing serious, I've never had any problems or difficulties. I'm perfectly healthy.
    HIM (only two minutes before my surgery): yes, but you will probably have an open heart surgery in twenty years or so.
    ME: You're an idiot, doctor.
    HIM: Beg your pardon?
    ME: You don't know my health record, you don't know me personally, and you choose to tell me only two minutes before a surgery that I will have a heart surgery in the future? You're an idiot. sir.
    That's when my surgeon came in and saved her colleague from my refined words :)

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    1. "refined words"...well you were saying sir. I think that doctor was very, very lucky your surgeon came in when she did. What type of idiot would say something like that, almost in passing, to a patient right before they were having surgery? What a goober!

      LOL - you think my shows like American Horror Story are what's corrupting my mind? Then years later they came out with that movie AWAKE and I was thinking "yep! I remember thinking that's what was going to happen to me!" =PPP

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    2. yep, and the scary thing is that my life was, at least to some point, in the hands of that goober. Imagine if he said something like that to some granny or somebody who, unlike me, really is a nervous wreck.

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    3. PS, I actually watched AWAKE with that gorgeous but talentless Hayden, and it really was abnormally freaky, especially with the schemes around his girlfriend and such things...

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    4. They would have been a complete and total mess going into surgery and coming back out. I hope that you bringing that to his attention made him aware of how idiotic his statement was or at least your doctor saw what was going on and she made him aware of it.

      I'm surprised you watched Awake. I liked him in Jumper. Although that movie had a bit more action in it too.

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  4. That was really nice of him! And I'm glad your surgery way back in 1999 was properly exicuted!

    Prince changed his name to that symbol (and was called the artist formally known as Prince) because of a legal disbute with his old record label who still owned the name "Prince". Now you know, but I'm sure you still don't care.

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    1. Didn't he have that symbol tattooed on his face too? I thought he also changed his name back? Crap. Now I'm interested in that short guy I found so damn sexy in jr. high school. Yeah, that's right...I thought he was sexy. Even with his four inch boots LOL

      Thanks a lot Bersercules! LMAO

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    2. Okay, I hope you're happy...I read way to much and feel emotionally drained and almost want to weep for my poor Prince...he's just been through so much. My poor tiny man. The long and short (ha ha) of it is, he is now back to calling himself Prince again and uses the symbol as his logo - I guess only Tyson did the tattoo? I don't know. I did manage to find a naked picture of him though. So that's out there if anyone is interested. What can I say? My first husband was short too =)

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  5. I know I shouldn't find this funny, because it's a real fear for a lot of people. But the fact that your fear outweighed the effects of the anesthetic, is pretty comical. Shows just how powerful the mind can be.

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    1. Well, you technically, maybe, kinda, sorta, shouldn't, but we don't know who you are for real...so, it's okay to laugh. I'm laughing and it was me. That means it's okay to laugh at it.

      Our brains are very, very tough!!

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  6. And that's why I NEVER watch those type of programs. Also, NONE about airplane crashes.

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    1. I'm right there with you about movies with plane crashes. I can't watch anything like that right before I fly - it's so silly, I know, but I can't. Yet, I have watched every stupid horror flick out there. Dezz is onto something here. I've done this to myself =)

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  7. My daughter is a post-surgical nurse in a large hospital and the horror stories she shares makes me absolutely terrified to face any further surgery or hospital stays. When Papa Bear had his heart attack I slept on a cot by his side all night every night and didn't leave him unless his daughter was there. Paranoid? Just a little, but I also know that medical staff do their very best to give good care, it's an extremely challenging profession and the burn-out rate is high.

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    1. I understand completely. My first husband was a nurse and my BFF is a nurse. It is a rough field to be involved in, in any aspect. When Peter had surgery, he was old enough to be left in the room alone but I slept in there with him - no way I'd leave his side.

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  8. I loved the doctor coming by after surgery to check up on you and tell you about your ongoing chatter at the onset of surgery. Too funny! :-)

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    1. I know right! I told you on your blog - I just don't shut up =)

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  9. Do you know some how I'm nearly 50 and managed to avoid any trips into an operating theatre - how did I do that

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    1. Operating Theaters suck. Their popcorn is stale and they don't play anything except Marcus Welby, MD, film festivals.

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    2. @Furtheron - You are very lucky to have been spared a visit into the OR! Almost 50...when is the big day??

      @Al - you reminded me of that Seinfeld episode when Jerry and Kramer dropped the Junior Mint during the operation LMAO!

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    3. Junior Mints. They're chocolate and mint. They're very refreshing.

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  10. Being paralyzed but fully awake during a terrifying experience.
    Describes my first marriage.
    By the way....dates?
    1984-Came and went. I was the only big brother I knew.
    Space 1999-Martin Landau in a sucky rip-off of...something.
    1999-Party like it's 1999. And Prince is still relevant.
    2000-Y2K. I waited on the front porch at midnight, waiting for the world to explode. My dog came out and whizzed on my foot, instead.
    2000-A Space Odyssey. A Big Piece of Bullshit.
    2010-Another Space Odyssey (This Time It HAS To Be True). No. This time it has to STILL be bullshit.
    2011 (sometime last year. I forget)- End of the World before those smart-ass Mayans are proved right.
    December 21, 2012-I'll watch. But, I'm not holding my breath.

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    1. Your reply was just as great as one of your posts, Al!

      1984-I loved that book
      1999-You know what I was doing...yikes
      Y2K-I did what you did, only with my .357 and a wad of cash. No dog peed on me though....
      2001-I didn't like Hal so I'm glad it never happened
      2010-I didn't like Hal so I was still elated it didn't happen
      2011 (May and then October?) End of the world from that one guy...yeah, whatever; go buy a billboard somewhere else.
      12/21/12-I'm with you - we'll see.

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  11. Oh and, by the way? Practicing medicine? No, no, give me one who's gotten GOOD at it.

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    1. I know, that's never made sense. Just like we park in our driveways and drive on our parkways. Why?

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  12. I actually think that is rather cool. I wonder if you were totally knocked out, and effectively talking in your sleep. Thankfully I've never had surgery, but if I do I hope to Jebus I don't wake up in the middle of it.

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    1. I thought it was amusing too. I know that he had to knock me out enough to get a tube down my throat for the surgery, so I couldn't talk to long.

      I'm glad you've never had to have surgery! Thankfully, mine have never been anything to serious =)

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  13. I'm one of the one's that have never been completely put under either.

    At least your babble was topic related, i'd probably end up being the one to spill all my deep dark secrets......if i actually had any.

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    1. That was one of the first things that I thought of when he was talking to me. What else did I say? Ack!! Then, a few years later, I had another surgery and am friends with the doctor, and I asked him if I babbled on but he said I didn't. Not sure if he was lying to save me from embarrassment though LOL

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  14. I'm a coward when it comes to anything medical...I'd have the dentist knock me out as well if I could.

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    1. My son had to be knocked out to get his wisdom teeth removed. LOL

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  15. I laughed! I've never been put under, and I hope I won't have to be. The thought of not being conscious when something is being done to me just.. upsets me. But the thought of maybe being paranoid enough to bother the doctors while I'm under is impressive. Stories to tell for the rest of life.

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    1. I know right, how annoying must I have been where he was like, "Hey doc, I'm gonna throw some more juice into this chick. She just won't shut up long enough for us to get this tube down her throat."

      I'm glad you've never had to be put under. It's an odd feeling for sure.

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  16. that's my favorite prince song

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    1. It's one of my favorites. I loved the whole Purple Rain album though.

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  17. Replies
    1. I just checked my email before heading off to bed...I saw your comment in my email this morning but came on here and it was gone and wasn't waiting on moderation. I didn't even think to check my spam folder....WTH?? Why would you be considered spam all of a sudden?? I figured you came back and deleted it for some reason.

      Did that happen to you on other people's blogs??

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    2. Yeah, when I comment from my windows phone, it goes to spam folder not for all , but to you and lostinidaho.
      If I delete it would have deleted by author kind of thing.
      Blogger such a douche. The moment microsoft starts his blog service I would jump off. If only that could happen.. :(

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    3. I know my brand loyalty to Microsoft says "NO IPHONE" :)

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    4. I was an avid Microsoft person until about a year ago...then the iPhone crept into my life, next was the macbook pro...who knows what's around the corner? lol

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    5. MaMTC belongs in the spam folder! lol She is daring me to come roast her! I wouldn't want to shatter her new-found bravery!

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  18. Ohh, anastesthia is very scary!!! I went under for a spinal surgery. I remember saying "1" and that's it!! You held a conversation under that? Oh my!!! hahahaha

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    1. I'm telling, ya - I'm hardcore LOL. I wonder if I was slurring?

      Yikes, spinal surgery - that's hardcore too, Jax. I feel for you. I hope you're doing better now.

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    2. I'm doing much better :) I'm full of screws and metal bars, but hey, that just makes me more like the Wolverine!! hahaha

      LOL Slurring? Well, I hope so!!! You must have freaked that anesthesiologist out! Still can't believe he came to check on you!

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    3. I'm glad you're doing better now, Jax. So, you're like a super hero yourself!!! Woo Hoo!

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  19. I've never had any kind of surgery...but with my aging body, I'm sure it's only a matter of time. When it does happen, I better be out cold!

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    1. No surgery for you? I kinda figured you for a football player back in the day...huh...not sure why. Let's both keep hope that you'll never need any type of surgery!

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    2. I did play football back in the day! I hurt people, they didn't/couldn't hurt me! lol

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    3. I should have known you're such a stud!

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  20. HaHa you don't find Doctor's like that anymore. Most are in a hurry just to get you in and out. I think you were so worried about that special you watched that your mind was still active. That is scary though.

    Love,
    Meemaw

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    1. No, those type of doctors are few and far between. I must say, I've had my fair share of doctors over the years because of my Migraines and for the most part, they've been very good. The few that weren't I fired. Yeah, that show wormed it's way into my brain!

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  21. Elsie as a nurse let me reassure you it does happen a lot that we have patients who really are completely under to the point they will not feel pain or even know what is going on in the room around them but unless intubated they talk, and talk and talk. Usually that just gets you some more Versed, it works quickly and wears off quickly so it can be repeated fairly often. LOL

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    1. Wow! I Googled Versed and that seems to be some pretty wild stuff. I can only imagine the stuff you guys must hear in the OR. Between just random BS babble and the truth serum aspect of it all. Holy cow! *sigh* Now I just don't feel as cool. LOL

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  22. So. I work in an operating room. It happens, but I haven't heard about it happening in my operating rooms in all the years I have worked there. Yep. Also, my mom had sinus surgery and woke up during it. She said she didn't feel anything, she just opened her eyes and the surgeon told her they weren't done yet and to go back to sleep. She did. She didn't remember any of this - they told her in recovery.

    Me personally - I get the versed and am typically out until they very rudely awaken me in recovery and offer up pain meds. When I had my gall bladder removed, the nurse taking care of me was a very nice lady that I had known for years - I actually babysat her kids when I was a teenager. She had her bonnet and mask on and I remember looking at her and thinking she looked like the witch from Bugs Bunny - the one with the hair pins that go flying when she goes flying. To this day I don't know if I told her, and she is too nice to tell me if I did. That is my goofy anesthesia story.

    That story of yours is pretty awesome!

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    1. I think this is hysterical the more I'm reading about how uncommon this really is in the OR. I'm guessing that the doctors take a more cautionary approach by not loading up the patient with a ton of meds, and then treat as necessary during the surgery. Makes much more sense now. Duh.

      I love your Bugs Bunny story and the fact that she won't tell you! So funny =)

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  23. I was supposed to have corrective surgery, but refused it at the last minute fearing the worst. I can't do it. I won't.

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    1. I understand, it's scary stuff and if you're not ready yet and don't HAVE to have it then put it off until you are fully ready.

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Thank you for taking the time to comment. I'm here to help any way I can.