Talking with a friend about their recent medical procedure made me remember my own experience with anesthesia. It’s an amazing category of drugs that are so strong they let humans drift or sleep through being cut open. They can quite literally knock you out and they take awhile to wear off. Coming out of anesthesia is a process for which you are very, very stoned.
Perhaps it was the similarity to recreational drugs in my wild youth, but something about anesthesia turned me into a fighter who was ready to get down. When they started to place the endoscope to look at my sickly stomach, I fought them. I started punching and kicking while asleep, and two nurses had to hold me down to begin the procedure. I’m really glad I don’t remember that.
After a successful scope, and repairing a few ulcers, they wheeled me into recovery. My then boyfriend was there, waiting to drive me home. I hadn’t really liked him for about a year by then, and I’d clung to celibacy as a life raft in a heterosexual relationship. Yet in my anesthesia addled state, I apparently “whispered” loudly “I’m so horny” and propositioned him for hospital sex. I’m glad I don’t remember that either!
I consoled myself by looking up stories of other anesthesia induced embarrassments. Here are a few favorites that made me feel less weird and alone, and more weird and in good company.
My oral surgeon told me a knock knock joke while I was being put under for my wisdom teeth removal. Afterwards, he told me that I laughed so hard at the joke that I threw up and pissed my pants. He said no one had ever laughed that much at one of his jokes before. I don’t remember any of it, but my pants were definitely moist while I was in the recovery room. It was pretty embarrassing for 23 year old self.
One teen yelled at his mother as they left an emergency room visit.
“You didn’t even ask the doctors to shrink my head back to normal size. How am I going to fit this giant head in the car. There is no way I am going to school like this. What if my head just floats off my body. Do you even love me? Why didn’t you ask them how to shrink my head?”
Another patient was plagued by practical concerns.
My wife, referring to the two dozen or so people preparing for the operation said, “Man, there’s an army of people to take care of you.”
I replied, “How the hell are we supposed to feed them?”
A family banded together to prank a girl still high on anesthesia after wisdom tooth removal. With a fake emergency broadcast alert and a frantic phone call from their mom, two brothers convinced their sister that a zombie apocalypse had started. She has since voiced her approval of the prank, possibly in part based on how well she handled the faked crisis. She made quick decisions on what weapons, food, and pet to bring and is frustrated to have that responsibility in her drugged state. It’s pretty hilarious. There’s one instance of casual ableism, and she’s got some bloody cotton in her mouth so follow this link to watch.
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