Wednesday, June 28, 2006

In the Hands of Mr. Sandman

Yesterday I found myself in the difficult position of choosing between intense pain and intense nausea. What a choice!

My colonoscopy 3 years ago in a doctor’s office was under "twilight" sedation, which most people find masks all sensation during the procedure. In my case, however, I screamed out in pain repeatedly. This time I was in a hospital so I could be knocked out completely.

In my intake interview at Sibley Hospital yesterday, I just happened to casually mention that I didn’t want morphine or any other narcotic during my procedure, remembering all too well the severe nausea I had experienced after my two thyroid surgeries. I never thought these drugs would be necessary for a non-surgical procedure that doesn’t leave you in pain. The nurse raised her eyebrows and said, "You’ll need to discuss this with the anaesthesiologist."

Here’s how my conversation went with the anaesthesiologist, Mr. Sandman we’ll call him, as he did his obligatory pre-op discussion of drugs with me:

Sandman: I see you don’t want any narcotics. That’s what we use to control the pain during the procedure.

Me: I came to this hospital to avoid the pain I experienced the last time, never realizing that you would need to give me narcotics to do this.

Sandman: I could just wait until I see you are obviously in pain before giving the narcotics.

Me: NO, absolutely not. This time I want no memory of pain, so just give me whatever it takes to make that possible and I’ll retch afterwards if necessary.

After I woke up an hour later, I realized that I was much more lucid that with the "twilight" drugs, I had absolutely no memory of the previous hour (good, bad, or otherwise), and I had no sensation of nausea. When Mr. Sandman walked by, I asked him what actually had happened. He said he used NO narcotics, only Propofal and Zofran. I had him write these down for future reference on the page that showed pics of my colon in living color (what a sourvenir).

Thank you, Mr. Sandman! It was a sleep with no nightmares during or afterwards...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sandman? Just a little racist, aren't we?

6:57 PM  
Anonymous Pearl said...

I was not planning on commenting, but could not let the prior statement pass. You are either quite young, or have not been in this country for long. MR. SANDMAN was a big musical hit in "the days of yore", and brings back fond memories of teen-age crushes. You might wish to look it up. There is enough ill will in this world without some uninformed statement creating more.

8:57 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Thank you, Pearl! It was exactly the song "Mr. Sandman, bring me a dream..." that prompted my title. BTW, my anaesthesiologist was quite white, although it would not have mattered in the least to me as long as he knew what he was doing!

9:14 PM  
Blogger Velvet said...

Well, you know you've made the full complete circle as a blogger when some anon pops up with some ridiculous comment and not only won't attach their name to it, but they accuse you of something based on something they obviously didn't read. Sandman. The nursery rhyme / song. And I thought double digit IQ'ed anons were only over on my blog.

People gotta try to ruin everything good don't they?

10:02 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Velvet -- If I were you, I would know exactly how to identify my anon. But then, should I really care?

10:20 PM  

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