Friday, June 23, 2006

The Other Side of the Anesthesia

My husband had surgery on Thursday. It was "just" ACL reconstruction on his knee, but he did have to be put under general anesthesia. I waited in the waiting room (it's really aptly named). It had been a couple of hours, but I knew he was fine. If he wasn't, I would have heard otherwise. In fact, before she took him to the OR, the nurse told me, "Don't worry, I'll take good care of him." But I still had to wait out there for three hours until the doctor came out of surgery to report that it had gone well. I wasn't really going to be at ease until I knew he had woken up, and I had seen him for myself.

This was the first time I had been on this side of the anesthesia, the waiting side. I've been on the other side a few times, and frankly, I think I prefer it. I remember the reactions. Because I tend to be easily sedated, it takes me a while to wake up. So, when I was twelve and had oral surgery to have my pre-wisdom teeth removed under general anesthesia, my mom responded that she thought I'd never wake up. I can only imagine now how she felt. The second time was for my own ACL surgery four years ago. Neither Terry nor I remember too much about that, except that the nurses were kind of mean and trying to push me out before I was fully with it. But two years ago Kyle was born under an emergency C-section. Because it was so fast, they put me under general anesthesia. I remember waking up and Terry was right there, leaning over me, holding my hand, looking very loving and concerned.

So, about five hours after he had gone into surgery, I was able to go and see him and help him get ready to leave. He didn't feel good. He didn't look good. But it was still nice to see him. I hope that when he saw me, he saw the love and relief and care on my face. He didn't register much when I walked in, but the nurse did tell me that when he was first waking up, and very out of it and in pain, she told him that Jennifer was in the waiting room. And he smiled.

6 comments:

Katrina said...
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Katrina said...

Aww...I'm sure that Terry saw the love on your face. I'm glad that everything went well.

I've never been under general anesthesia...and I have a bit of a fear of hospitals/doctors, so I don't know how I'd handle it. But I have been on the other side - when Chad had wisdom teeth pulled. It was a bit nerve-wracking, waiting for him to wake up, and then seeing how weak he was at first. But all was well. I just prefer to avoid being on either side of anesthesia!

Dianne said...

Except for having my wisdom teeth removed, I've never been under. And I've never been in the hospital for any reason. I think I'd prefer to be the one waiting than the one under! Glad you were there for your husband when he came to! I'm sure he was happier to have you there than he could let on.

Jeannine said...

I've only been under general anesthesia once--at the end of my first c-section. I even stayed awake when having my wisdom teeth removed. I kept my eyes tightly shut however. :-)

Beth in NC said...

I went under about 10 years ago and part of the pre-op was them taking my blood pressure. It was so low because I was so calm that they thought they might not be able to do the surgery. On the other hand, my husband wasn't looking too good so I asked the nurse to take his blood pressure. It was through the roof. I was in a semi-private room and the other bed was empty so the nurse put him in it. I think he prefers the other side too!

Mama Duck said...

Awww, I hope he recovers quickly!