I’ve had the
opportunity privilege of waking from an anesthetic nap many times. Based on my reactions the last two times and hearing stories of many others, I must be a hoot for the nurses and anesthetists. As you may remember in November, I was outraged at the way the graham crackers are packaged. This time, I was fixated on the curtain and pattern of colors. There was a definite 5 color pattern that repeated 3 times except for the curtain stripe against the wall. My appreciation obsession of mathematical concepts–numbers, patterns, equations–appears to kick into high gear when I come out of sedation.
I know I don’t like to be out of control; getting drunk didn’t really change my personality and I often fight sedation. More recently it’s taken less sedation to put me under. Maybe it’s my old age, 34, or it may also be a better comfort level in the hospital with the doctors and with my surroundings. Here’s a couple other anecdotes of my sedation odysseys:
- Years ago, when I had facial reconstruction surgery for a rugby injury, I remember waking up with my hands tied to the bed. It was probably standard procedure so I wouldn’t rub my eyes, but at the time I really thought it was because I was belligerent. Nothing was ever mentioned about it, and I’ll never know for sure.
- More recently, but also many years ago, I woke from sedation with the thought of cheese. It was such a strong memory, I asked the nurse about it. She laughed, and said during my colonoscopy they were discussing recipes and I, always one that contributes fully logical and necessary information, joined the conversation while under sedation by muttering “Cheese!”.
- My brother loves to tell the story when we were back at home from college and had some grandparents visiting so we were sleeping in the same room. I went to bed early, and he stayed up later watching TV. When he entered the room, I was muttering something and in response, he whispered “Hey Derek, are you awake?” I responded by bolting upright in the bed, yelling “Ahoy!” and falling immediately back to sleep. I cannot corroborate this story, since I was still asleep, but my subconscious is awesome; either knowing about Alexander Graham Bell and his standard telephone greeting or Talk Like a Pirate Day.
- I would like to also include the many times I have been brought back to recovery and just as Derek is coming out of his drug induced slumber, he whispers something conspiratorially to me. Often he starts to tell me something, but the words don’t come out right. I try not to laugh and then encourage him to try telling me again but he usually puts a finger over his mouth and says, “Shhhh. I’ll tell you later.” When later comes, he has no recollection of what it was that he so urgently needed to tell me. – Logan