Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Anesthesia: Moments Of Sheer Terror

Anesthesia is long stretches of boredom interrupted by moments of sheer terror.

It's true.

There are moments where the life of your patient is not certain. They stop breathing. They have cardiac arrhythmias (new, irregular heartbeat that sometimes is not so good). The breathing tube won't go in.

How does Reiki help in these situations?

I don't know.

When I have them, I come home badly shaken. My nerves are worn out. I recognize the need to 'rest and recharge' after a day like that.

How many of those moments of sheer terror end up horrifyingly awful?

Fortunately very few.

Here is one typical example--minimally invasive surgery requires maximally invasive anesthesia.
Surgeon wants 'very light' anesthesia for the case to go as hoped. Patient needs to be able to answer questions intra op.

Patient is nervous.
Patient isn't responding to usual doses, for whatever reason.
You give more.

Patient stops responding.
Patient stops breathing.
Patient turns blue.

This is easy to fix when they are on their back! LOL. Most of the time they aren't!

What do you do?
The training kicks in.
You call for help. Extra hands are good. Especially trained anesthesia hands.
I have grabbed a handful of hair and lifted the head up from the prone position to get the airway open.
Sometimes you bring in a bed and flip them on their back.
Oh yes--the first thing is one hundred percent oxygen and turn the anesthesia off. Wake them up!

Sometimes I am the one who calls for help.

Sometimes I am the one who comes in to help when asked over the overhead speaker--'any anesthesiologist to room 5'…

Sometimes it's something I've seen before.
When the tube won't go in, I know the tricks.
I make it look easy.

The surgeon watches me.
So does the other anesthesiologist.
And the nurses and techs.

My reputation goes up each time that happens.

And I smile and leave, once everything is okay, and confide:
I have gotten myself into trouble more times than you--my career is longer--and I've gotten myself OUT of trouble more times than you, too.

Either way, I had to go take some time to chill and recharge.

Whether it's your moment of terror, or mine, the end result is 'a close call' and 'I'm drained!'.

P.S. sometimes my knees shake. They just shake on their own while the terrifying thing is happening. I don't let on. Even though part of me wants to run home and hide under a blanket, the training kicks in. And it works!

Aloha and Mahalos,

Reiki Doc