I woke up during the lung biopsy.

They gave me some sedation and I fell into a blisful state, while they shoved a camera with a small light and a needle (?) down my throat.

I woke up. Coughing my Soul out of body.

I heard the doctor say in a very relaxed, matter of fact tone: “I believe the patient is awake.”

I am resistant to anesthesia. Local anesthesia. I did a little research and medically speaking that is not possible.

Whether it is a technical error, or the drug had some kind of defect but it’s not the patient.

Well let me see.

When I go to the dentist, it takes 30 to 45 min to be completely numb. When I had the surgery, 4 years ago, it took two times before I fell asleep on general anesthesia. Usually, you take one deep breath and you fall into oblivion in a few seconds. Last January, they did local anesthesia to drain the water from my lung (they go through the back). Every time, they tried to do the procedure, I recoiled in pain. The chief of radiology had to come. It took 45 minutes before they could do anything + the procedure. Usually, it takes about 15-20 minutes for the whole thing.

I woke up during the biopsy on a full shot of fentanyl and some other funny drug.

I don’t know why I want to talk about all that.

Oh yes….when you know your body, don’t let anyone “make a face” or ” roll their eyes”.

If you know you are afraid of needles, don’t let someone make you believe that you are acting like a spoil brat.

I am not saying that I cannot be anesthesize. I’m just saying that they have to wait a bit before I am fully ready for a procedure.

And all that falls into a few reflections I have been having around consent and medical treatments and procedure.

I know how I react to a stranger touching me. I know the doctor needs to examine my breast, and listen to my lungs, etc.

Of course, I will say yes to it. But I need them to speak to me. Especially when they are behind me.

Now that I have seen the doctor a few times, I am more relaxed and I have conveyed my needs around it. She is very considerate and that put me at ease.

But a lot of the medical procedure done on your body, is done as if you were not present. They touch you, poke you, palpate, scratch, etc. without even engaging with you or only to give you orders.

Everything in () was never said to me:

Open your mouth. (I will spray an anesthetic for your troath.)

Open your mouth again (I will spray it again).

Open your mouth. (I will shoot some water to gargle)

Here I had a question: Do I swallow the water?

Yes, yes. Open your mouth again. (Gargle some more)

Open your mouth (I will put this device to keep your mouth open)

At that point, a lot was happening around me and I didn’t know (they didn’t tell) when they shot the anesthetic.

Well, I have to say, they introduced themselves when I got into the room. A beginning of a connection.

Maybe I am picky and annoying, but it is my fucking body and I am not a lifeless doll waiting to have things shoved into my mouth.

I consent to the procedure, but I want to know what’s going to happen.

And I believed I woke up during the procedure because a part of me was anxious about what they were doing to my body.

Of course, I would have preferred to stay in a state of blissful ignorance.

Pretty much like a lot of things in my life, I resist the invasion.

In my upcoming book, I talk about how being a rape victim colors your perception of being all alone, asleep, in a room full of strangers.

I trust the doctors with my body. But deep down, I am never at rest.

I don’t want to be numb or asleep. I don’t want to lose control.

But that will be for another conversation.

Another hour.

With great respect and love!

A.

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