As a dream upon waking... except not.
October 2, 2012 5:40 PM Subscribe
I've had twilight anesthesia for minor surgical procedures three times. The first two times everything went fine -- I have no memories of the procedure, woke up happily and felt back to normal within an hour. The third time I "woke up" in the middle of the surgery, still have fairly vivid memories of feeling pain and being operated on, and it took me eight extremely unfun hours to completely recover. What happened that third time?
posted by telegraph to Health & Fitness (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
In addition to becoming aware/forming memories during the procedure, I felt absolutely awful for eight hours -- I can only compare the feeling to being as tired as I've ever been but unable to sleep. Being asked a simple yes or no question (e.g. "do you want a glass of water?") felt like such an unbearable imposition that my answer was invariably "Leave me alone!!!"
All three times anesthesia was administered via IV -- I believe a combination of propofol and demerol, possibly midazolam as well. During the first two surgeries an anesthesiologist administered the IV, but the third time a nurse was in charge (I totally understand that nurses are qualified to administer twilight anesthesia and I'm not suggesting that's why I had a bad reaction, just providing a datapoint).
So what happened? Is it a common occurrence? Has it happened to you? Are some drugs used for twilight more likely to cause this kind of problem than others?
I know, I know, ask the doctor who performed the procedure. The doctor is very busy and hard to reach, and besides, I'm just curious. I have a medical condition that means that I'll be having procedures under twilight anesthesia pretty regularly for the rest of my life, so if this is indicative of a common sensitivity or anything like that, I'd like to be prepared to bring it up.