Tube Inspection Report: Starving and Sleepy

July 22, 2009

In Which I go to Iceland

When I think of yesterday morning in the manila-yellowed basement of the Portland Clinic, I keep thinking comedy of errors, comedy of errors over and over again, but don’t worry, in the end, it was a benevolent Keystone Kops kind of thing, not a they-took-out-the-wrong-kidney kind of deal.

I mentioned in my previous post–in a glossed over way–that there had been some scheduling difficulties with my various ‘scopies. This turns out to have unfolded into the day of the event itself, because I arrived, got gowned, got recumbent (my god it’s yellowish down there, and they have the narrowest hospital beds I’ve seen), and then there was an epiphany when Dr. Gravitas arrived, all grave.

They hadn’t scheduled anesthesia.

“We have two options here,” said Dr. Gravitas. “Either we can do this conscious–”

“Not a chance,” I said. I am, at the best of times, skittish.

So there was hubbub whilst a person qualified for knocking people out was located. At one point a nurse bent my arm straight and hovered a needle over me but I said: “How about we wait until we figure out what’s going on here?” and she retreated. In her defense, she later gave me an absolute A-plus IV. I don’t get it (sorry, can’t help the aside here). Nurses who pre-numb (like this one, bless her) assert it’s a no-brainer. Nurses who don’t pre-numb say there is absolutely no point in doing so. These nurses, the latter, have obviously never had a goddamned IV. I would describe yesterday’s IV as utterly painless. Seriously, listen up, IV nurses of the world. PRE. NUMB. Thank you.

Through bribery or some sort of karmic intervention, an anesthesiologist was located post haste and then they put one of those cafeteria worker caps on me which always lets me know things are about to get real sleepy.

I was quickly wheeled into the procedure room after some hasty discussion about whether I should go head-first or feet-first, and then Dr. Anesthesia held up a syringe and said, “I’m about to give you the good stuff,” which, quoth Wikipedia:

“Intravenous midazolam is indicated for procedural sedation (often in combination with an opioid, such as fentanyl), for pre-op sedation, for the induction of general anesthesia, and for sedation of ventilated patients in critical care units.”

IV drugs are the cutting edge of bizarre because when you get some, you know it immediately and that is weird for people used to waiting for pills to dissolve in their sundry digestive tracts. As soon as he jabbed my IV, Dr. Anesthesia asks:

“Tell me where you want to go in the world.”

In retrospect I realize he probably expected me to be unconscious or at least incoherent already, and I could only see to the left, as it was, the only things I saw were metal bars at right angles: my bed rails, equipment. But I struggled like a drunk person who realizes they’re hopelessly slurring:


As I faded out I heard general bemused uproar. I couldn’t retort anymore because my mouth and face didn’t work, but I overheard in the blackness:

“Hah, never heard that one before.”

I think they thought I was loopy, but I was dead serious. I really want to go to Iceland.

In Which I Have a Cinnabon

Waking up was slower than I’d like and I felt impatient. Once I got my mouth working (every time I get knocked out I recall sounds and words before images) I got news that things had looked decent, that Dr. Gravitas had found a bit of inflammation near my ileum (not a mean feat for someone who doesn’t have an ileum) but he was convinced I wasn’t going to die right at the moment.

Then I got that frustrated I-want-to-get-up-but-there’s-this-really-serious-dizziness problem, but I kind of ignored it and staggered to the dressing room (shouts of “Make sure you sit down in there while you’re dressing!”) and robed my shame and then staggered into a wheelchair and then was in a car and not much later was in my bedroom.

Yesterday’s sleep was only punctuated by a mad need for a Cinnabon. I realize the errors in this desire, but, you see, I hadn’t had a meal since 3PM on Sunday, and here it was Tuesday afternoon and I was kind of hallucinating anyway. Thus was initiated a madcap blurry drive to the mall (NOT ME DRIVING), in which I got a Cinnabon and even after two days’ fasting could not down the whole thing. How do people do it? They are amazing, awesome. David got some tacos from Taco Time, which is disgusting.

Then more sleep.

I think I might have had some Mexican food for dinner but mostly there was sleeping.

  1. mikey mike says:

    I know, what’s with the IV trouble these nurses have? The time I got one, first, on at least three occasions pre-surgery, the nurse cams in and said, “did they put an IV in you yet?” more urgently every time. Then, when they did, it took her like four tries to get it in my hand, eventually giving up and going for the other hand. Sheesh.

  2. I’ve always wanted to go to Iceland as well. Really I’d like to live there for awhile, the culture seems interesting and fun.

  3. Jim says:

    Sadly, Iceland is now the country equivalent to Flint, Michigan. The people who ran the show there had a day-traders mentality with government funds. I hear they are living off the residuals of old Bjork albums. Seriously though, now would be the time to go. 1 usd = 161 isk.

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