September 5, 2014

Modern life offers odd choice

Okay, so I'm going to have this operation in a week or two. This week, I went to the doc for a pre-surgery appointment and he told me I have to make a choice -- though no matter what I choose, the outcome will be identical. That's how he introduced the topic to me.

I can choose to be "semi-conscious" for the surgery, or I can be unconscious from beginning to end. The choice he's offering may be familiar to some of you. An anesthesiologist can give me a drug that will allow me to be conscious during the procedure but will also cause retroactive amnesia that eliminates any memory of the event. The other choice is to let them put me out before the procedure begins. But as the doctor pointed out - either way, I won't remember anything.

That's so strange. Mind you, those of us who've had an endoscopy or colonoscopy are familiar with this drug. (I don't know the name of the drug; sorry.) In both procedures, you're present at the beginning, but afterward you don't recall what happened. (At least, that's the way it's supposed to work. My brother-in-law remembers every nasty bit of his endoscopy.)

It's a bizarre choice. Should I remain conscious as they're cutting up my abdomen? Doesn't sound too bad to me. Kinda fun, actually. But what would be the point? I wouldn't remember it afterward. It's like putting yourself through something for no reason at all. So I guess I'll opt for unconsciousness. What the hell, right?

When I had an endoscopy (where they stick a long, long tube in your mouth and down your throat, to look inside your stomach), I recall the doctor holding the plastic tubing in his hand and saying, "Now, I'm going to ask you to swallow this and keep on swallowing. It might be uncomfortable." I said, in my best Bea Arthur voice, "I'm gay. Just stick it in!" That's the last thing I remember. I can't recall swallowing it.

Anyone have a story about their experience with this retroactive amnesia drug? Weird stuff.

2 comments:

Artichoke Annie said...

Wow, I've never been given a choice. But I love "being there and then not there and then there again."

Try to snag a look at the clock on the wall before the "count" begins.

Ok, K. you made me Laugh Out Loud (LOL for all you other folks) at your comment "I'm gay. Just stick it in."

Is the drug Propofol?

writenow said...

Glad you enjoyed the post. I have no idea what the drug is. I doubt it's Propofol, though. But who knows?