Surgical Perspective #1
Back from arthroscopic surgery on my right shoulder. It was a ‘minor’ outpatient procedure last Wednesday but involved general anesthesia – which, as a friend pointed out, is quite similar to dying.
On the table in the rather chilly operating room, I took two breaths from the clear plastic mask and remember thinking how silly that the drugs weren’t working. Then I opened my eyes in another dimly lit room with a slightly sore throat and the doctor looking at a clipboard at the foot of my bed. Apparently, it all happened without me.
When I asked about my throat, they casually mentioned the tube they inserted to keep me breathing. They hadn’t told me about that part in advance – that I would be so totally at their mercy that I couldn’t even breathe for myself.
I am grateful for the skill of the doctors and nurses that kept me alive and repaired my shoulder, but delighted to out from under their protections and ministrations.
I like breathing on my own.