Anesthesia Rocks! - 12.05.97

During the summer before my senior year of high-school, I learned that I would once again need to have surgery on my eyes. I was at a routine exam with my doctor when he stated that my eyes had once again deteriorated. It would be my fifth surgery to try and repair the problem, and I wasn't looking forward to it. The problem was that my left eye was a lot weaker and, therefore, was causing my right eye to work incorrectly. I still had very good vision and didn't need corrective lenses, but my eyes simply didn't work together correctly.

I was upset when he told me, but knew that I should try to schedule something as soon as I could. He was pretty booked into the fall, so I decided to line something up just after my basketball season got over with. After I left the office, I didn't even think about the surgery again until two weeks beforehand when I recieved a reminder in the mail.

I had just gotten home from school and checked the mail when I flipped over the post-card sized reminder and saw the date and time. I called the number on the back of it and got all the information that I needed about the day that I was to go under the knife. I wasn't to eat any breakfast on the day that I went in for surgery and I was supposed to take it easy on what I drank after midnight the night before.

The two weeks came and went and the next thing I knew, my mom was driving me up to the hospital. I had surgery at 8 in the morning and I was to be out of the hospital by 3 in the afternoon. It was a pretty routine thing and I would be in and out with no problems.

The first funny thing that happened with the surgery was that I was in the childrens wing of the hospital. I had had the same eye doctor since I was a kid, so it fit into his schedule to just have me come there. When I walked into the front room, there were little kids all over. They were playing with blocks and other assorted toys around my feet. I was immediately taken to a preparation room and given a robe to put on. Fortunately, they had something that was almost my size, but it still felt a bit small. After a few moments of sitting on an examination table with nothing but a robe, I was starting to get cold. Fortunately, a nurse arrived soon afterward with news that it was time for surgery.

We walked out of the examination room and made our way to a row of beds. The area served as both a preparation and recovery area for surgeries. I layed down in the one oversized bed there and looked over at the boy next to me as the nurse was preparing my IV. His parents had brought in a Nintendo and hooked it up to his television and he was happily playing along. I tried to focus on the blips and bleeps that the television was making as the nurse stuck the needle in my arm.

Being the inquisitive type, I started asking her questions about what she was giving me and how long I would be under. She told me a list of anesthetics and then said that I would only be out for about 4 hours. It was an outpatient surgery and it was actually fairly common. I decided to start settling down a bit, so I laid back in the bed and starting chatting with my mom a bit. After a little while, I could feel the medicine beginning to take effect. My words were coming out more deliberately and my body was sinking lower and lower into the bed.

Just then, a couple nurses came through the double doors to my left and started moving my bed. I weakly waved to my mom and they pulled me through the entryway and starting pushing me down the hall to the operating room. I was still fairly awake and I looked all around me at doctors and nurses going this way and that. Off to my left, I saw my eye doctor looking a couple charts up on the wall. He turned around and starting chatting to me when I was right next to him. He asked me how I was feeling and told me that he would see me in the operating room. He tapped my shoulder lightly with his hand and we were on our way again.

At the end of the hallway, we took a right and came into the well-lit operating room. The nurses moved my bed parallel to the operating table and then told me to see if I could maneuver myself onto it. With a little help, I managed to squirm my way onto the cold surface. Just as I was getting settled, my robe came undone and left me exposed to the world. By this time, the medicine had really taken its course and all I remember was saying, "my butt is showing" while trying to fix the problem.

After I had been covered up again, I started glancing around the room. There was a huge light above me, and a small tray full of incising tools just to the right of me. There were several people in the room when my doctor finally came in and said "hello." He quickly made his way to where I was laying and again asked me how I was feeling. I groggily told him that I was getting pretty sleepy when he asked me to count to 10 for him. I made it to 8.

When I finally awoke, my mom was there and was instantly asking me how I felt. Besides a little weakness, I was feeling pretty good. She told me that only 30 minutes earlier, I had sat up and puked all over myself. Apparently, the nurses had finished changing my clothes and sheets only 10 minutes or so before I woke up. I didn't have any recollection of the event at all. After another hour or so, I was ready to role. I was still a bit shaky, but my mom helped me to the car and drove me home. Fortunately, it was a cloudy day, as the light didn't feel so good on my eye, even with the aid of sunglasses. In the end, my eyes healed up and all I'm left with is the puke story. At least it wasn't self- induced.