Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Anesthesiologist

As many of you know, I just underwent a double endoscopy. That included a lower endoscopy (colonoscopy), where a lighted flexible tube is snaked through the colon, and in my case, into a short part of the small intestine called the ileum. It also included an upper endoscopy, where a lighted flexible tube, hopefully not the same one, is snaked through, in my case, the esophagus, stomach, and a short part of the small intestine called the duodenum.

A few people have been asking how it went. I thought I'd post some of the more delightful moments.

Much could be said about colonoscopy prep. Maybe I'll say a little later. For now, you'll need to know that it's not something you'll want to have done in vain.

The Anesthesiologist

I had to be sedated for the "minimally invasive" procedure. As I was lying in the holding area (still on my back, not the position one must assume for the procedure) ready to get wheeled into the surgery room, I overheard a conversation between the anesthesiologist MD (she had an accent, maybe Polish, possibly German) and the patient scheduled to go in before me.

MD to pt: "What is this wheezing!? You have wheezing!?"
Pt: "Yes. (Inaudible) ..."
MD: "No procedure for you!!"
MD to nurse: "Give her fluids and send her home!"

She visits my bed next ...

MD to me: "What is this bronchitis!? You have bronchitis!?" (I had checked that box in the "Have you ever had ..." checklist on the medical history form.)
Me: "Nah ... you know, I just get that after a cold."
MD: "You have it now?"
Me: "Nope. Fine now. Feel great."
MD to nurse: "Ok, give her the IV."

Ruby, if you read this, is it convention not to put someone with a cold under?

By the way, take a look at the picture. See that man in the lower left? The one with the binoculars? I had this really vulnerable sensation that the moment I fell asleep the binoculars came out.
Photo: I can't recall where I lifted this from. The caption of it read, "Image of the early use of anesthesia in a 19th century operating theater."

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