Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Fear (Updated)

Updated below.
Today David received general anaesthesia in order to undergo some tests. He was pretty good in the hospital up until the moment that they tried to put the mask over his face. He struggled for about a minute until finally the medicine kicked in and he was out. The anaesthesiologist told me that I could let go of his hand because he was asleep. I didn't realize he was already out because under the mask his face was convolutedly frozen with an expression of unimaginable fear and a sense of betrayal. I assumed he was still awake.
It took a little while to get that terrible image out of my mind.
* * *
At first David said he didn't want to leave the recovery room because the bed was so comfortable. This doesn't mean anything to readers, but hopefully when I reread this in twenty years it will jog my memory.
Rereading the post I would recharacterize the expression on his face as one of fear and some anger. The sense of betrayal I wrote about was probably (hopefully) my imagination.
One frightening part was when he started to wake up in the recovery room. His mouth started moving and he wanted to tell me something, but because he had been intubated during the test his voice was not audible. He repeated it over and over and stared getting frustrated that I wasn't responding to whatever he was saying. Finally I heard the word "oxygen" and then "want." I started getting nervous because he has asthma, which is a complicating factor during anaesthesia, and I though he was saying he wanted oxygen. After a long and scary minute I realized he was saying that he "didn't want oxygen." The oxygen tube was still on the bed and was blowing on him and he wanted me take it away.


tesyaa said...

Hope he's fully recovered from his fright.

Abbas Rantings said...


thanks. he's ok now.
i was surprised that he was so cooperative up until the last minute with the mask. now that he knows what's coming, i'm sure next time it won't go so well

S. said...

When my son was less than 2 he had to undergo a small operation. We were told that only one of us can be with him when they bring him in, so I offered to let my wife decide who goes in and who waits. I thought I was being very kind, because the truth is I wanted to be with him. Later she told me it was NOT the right decision on her part; she was especially upset by how quickly they took him away into the operating room; she just wasn't prepared for it, and she said he kept on getting smaller and smaller as they wheeled him, and it was probably only 10 feet away. I guess I got lucky in being spared of the sight. But I will never forget how small and vulnerable (and cute) he looked in his little paper gown and slippers.

Abba said...


my son had his adenoids removed when he was about 3. i don't remember how we decided i was going to go with him, but i went. now that i think about, i remember how fragile he out-of-place he looked as he was swallowed up in a sea of white-robed strangers in a sterile operating room. he probably thought they were aliens.

i hope everything has worked out for your son.

S. said...

Everything is/ was fine. Thanks. My best wishes for David.

Shabbat Shalom.