Well that’s not something you hear every day! Nope. Only when your poor child is post anesthesia from oral surgery and is laying there somewhere between laughing and crying and begging for chicken nuggets….which you know would be an absolute disaster. Sometimes you get lucky and they also start spouting about how much they love you and that you are the best mom ever. So, it must be true right? Yup, those are the times ripe for future blackmail material. The temptation to pull out my phone and take a quick video is strong. I just want a few minutes to save for later maybe when all hope seems lost in the middle of a teenage argument devoid of reason. What harm could it do? Well, no harm except for your teenager vowing to never speak to you again, but how many times have you heard that one only to have them yelling at you about something else moments later? Oh yes. Empty threats at best. We have all been there.
So, let’s talk a little bit about anesthesia for a minute. Anesthesia is somewhat of a magical and frightening creature at the same time. It allows us to drift off to another place to allow necessary and painful procedures to be performed safely. It allows us as physicians to get a glimpse into the uninhibited treasure trove of thoughts that are racing around in a patient’s mind, the things that we never get to hear at the office. Sometimes these anesthesia ramblings help physicians with a diagnosis or help us uncover a stressful social situation for the patient that we didn’t know about. As patients, it also somehow absolves us of any accountability for what we might say or do under it’s effects. On the other hand, it is kind of a frightening thought that you could have carried on a whole conversation, done terrible things and had no idea that it even happened. I have been under anesthesia many times for different reasons and each experience has been a little different. I have felt like I was thrown abruptly back into my own body from somewhere in the hinterlands while struggling to rejoin a conversation that I had apparently been having for the last 20 minutes. I have woken up bawling my eyes out for no apparent reason. I have woken up surrounded by staff members looking really somber, thinking that I must have just been diagnosed with something terrible, only to find out that they were just disappointed that I wasn’t funnier under anesthesia that time. (Apparently I am quite the cut up usually.)
I have to admit, I have heard some juicy tidbits over the years from patients that could fill a whole book of memoirs. And yet, all their secrets remain safe with me. It’s a code of ethics and honor man. Sometimes I get lucky with patients and they say wonderful things about me and about the staff and how much they love me. I have to admit, these are pretty great moments. I stand there thinking okay! This is what they really think! Yes! I must have done something right! Whoo! I already said that anesthesia was like truth serum right? Then, those same patients wake up fully and are as crabby and onerous as ever and you think to yourself, ” Oh well. We’ll always have Versed. “
Have a fantastic day everyone!