Thursday, April 24, 2014


Had the medical procedure this morning. No aftereffects, and I'm not dying this week, at least not of what they were looking for.

But the experience of anesthesia was amazing. There I lay amid probably eight or ten medical people talking to one another in medicalese, not very comprehensible, but at least I could recognize some of the words they were using. I had met most of them -- Debra, Susan, Drs. Mehta and Chen (they told me first names, but I've forgotten them), Tyson, the tall thin woman who looked like a rancher's wife -- and I felt included and informed and cared for.

Then someone, probably Susan, the anesthetist-nurse, said, "We're going to start giving you the anesthesia now, it may sting a bit." I waited for the sting. No sting. Then, for about three seconds, I found it very difficult to make sense of the words I was hearing. I closed my eyes.

And the next instant -- I mean, the very next instant! -- I was back in the recovery cubicle deciding whether or not to open my eyes. No fogginess, no confusion, no disorientation. Just wham! It was an hour later, people had been poking around in the innermost of my insides, even chopping off small bits that they didn't like, and I hadn't been there. For an hour, I just wasn't there. Like a light switch. Click, I'm gone, click an hour later, I'm back.

It feels like there's a very interesting conversation to be had now about life after death, in which I could make arguments on either side. But I didn't sleep very well last night and I think I'll take a nap instead of philosophizing about the persistence of the soul. (I think the philosophy classes here at Terwilliger Plaza are luring my mind into unaccustomed weird paths.)


  1. Glad the procedure went well. And I love hearing about competent and caring medical professionals!

    Will stay tuned for your further thoughts on life after death.

  2. Congratulations on getting through that ordeal! They do seem to have made great strides in anesthesia. Ether cones may be a thing of the past, and good riddance to them!

  3. You were in "idle mode".... Be grateful the switch flipped.

  4. And keep up the writing.... It's highly entertaining and you have a fabulous way with words.