If you’ve ever had a general anaesthetic you’ll know all about lying on a hospital bed left to stare at green tiled walls and strip lighting, occasionally you catch a glimpse of medical people who bob in and out of your line of vision, the anaesthetist chats away as he prepares the drugs that whisk you away for how ever long is necessary and you wake up from a glorious sleep when all the messy stuff is over. This amazing feat of medical science is dependant on many things, mainly skilled staff and amazing technology but there is also one very important ingredient; happy thoughts.
Like a magician the anaesthetist will engage you in conversation, effortlessly finding a positive topic that will elicit a torrent of lovely memories while they are pumping you full of sleep inducing drugs that make the majority of surgery possible. I’m told that if you think happy thoughts whilst being anaesthetised you are likely to enjoy a restful sleep, however if you were to think about an episode of The Walking Dead (mmm Andrew Lincoln) there is a chance you will wake up during surgery! Eeeek.
It took no time at all to find out that awareness during surgery or ‘waking-up’ is simply due to not enough anaesthetic being administered with most patients falling back to sleep very shortly afterwards. I thought it might be better to be prepared so I have a long list of lovely things I want to think about while the neurosurgeon goes to town on my knackered vertebrae. I already know that when it comes to the crunch (not wire) I will be thinking about the evening when I was so ill I couldn’t move from the sofa, my back was in pieces, my stomach had decided it was allergic to everything and Geordie bored to tears with my moaning about it. That’s when my 7-year-old daughter decided to camp out next to me on sofa cushions, her duvet and the sheer determinations that she wouldn’t let go of my hand all night. If you only you could get love like that on prescription!