Sweet Dreams

If going under anesthesia is like slipping into that other life, then, I think, I've lost my fear of crossing over. For as I saw the white liquid rushing through the IV drip, the next thing I knew was walking along white, sandy beach lined with coconut trees and with an ocean so blue I had to turn away.

And then, a voice, "Everything went fine." It was my anesthesiologist, Dr. Cantor, awakening me from my dream.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Since I turned fifty, I've had to fulfill a promise that I made to my sister, who died from colon cancer, that I'd begin to get regular screenings. I try to keep my word on many things, and because colon cancer is such a sneaky disease that can go undetected for years, and when it is discovered, it's almost too late, I thought I'd better get myself screened. And especially since black men and women have a higher incidence of colorectal cancer, it seemed the only prudent thing to do—even as I rage against the dyingofthe light

As with most things medical, the worst part is the prep. For a week before the screening, I was advised to stop taking multivitamins, aspirin, and any other blood thinning medications. Then, a day before the procedure, I had to be on clear liquids (flavored water, chicken broth) all day while taking two bisacodyl delayed-release tablets to clear the pipes--so to speak. Later in the evening, I had to drink a HalfLYTELY solution every ten minutes. Although by ten o'clock, I could have eaten cardboard, I didn't eat or drink anything after midnight and slept on and off for the next few hours.

The next morning I went to Aventura Hospital where I was greeted by the surgical team and in no time my doctor, Gordon Souaid, was there. The team prepped me for the screening with the embarrassing gown and booties, and then wheeled me into the room. Next, they hooked me up to the machines that checked my blood pressure and other vital information. And the game began.

Dr. Cantor came over to the side of the gurney and said, "This will numb the vein and the next one will put you to sleep."

I was on my Caribbean beach.

"You’re okay,” said Dr. Cantor as he roused me from deep sleep. I was kinda upset. I was loving that dream.

I was wheeled from post-op into a recovery room, and then, I had the strangest craving for fruit. And not just any fruit: mangoes, pineapples, and watermelons. I wanted that fresh, syrupy taste in my mouth. Something natural

So, on my way home, I stopped at Publix and bought myself a fruit salad of pineapples, mangoes, and watermelons. I couldn't wait to get home and sink my teeth into those fruit.

Although it was raining when I got home, I rushed through the door and opened the plastic container with the fruit salad. Dr. Cantor had roused me from that dream of paradise, but after a day of fasting, biting into that watermelon was pure bliss.

***


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Comments

longbench said…
GP = I haven't been by in a while, so this is a nice welcome back post! I am glad that you are taking care of yourself. Please encourage more men that you interact with to do likewise.

Long Bench
Give thanks, Long Bench.

Yeah, although my blog began as a purely literary blog, I've realized that it can also spread the information about critical aspects of our lives such as colon cancer and the need for early screening.

Bless up,
Geoffrey
Jdid said…
i'm not the biggest eater but those tests where you cant eat before hand really test me. its like knowing you cant eat makes you hungrier.

glad that all is well
JDID, yes they do. And the thought that eating and then lying could cost you your life isn't pleasant either.
Rethabile said…
I've never been helped to dream in that way, although I've had to don that unfinished gown a few times.

Glad "you're OK".
So am I, Rethabile. So am I
sokari said…
I have had a few encounters with anesthesia but none have taken me to a Caribbean beach :)
The feeling still hasn't left me. It was truly grand.
Z said…
Congratulations!

I *love* this newfangled anaesthesia on the drip. I got it when I broke my arm and had surgery on it.

It was so relaxing that it released this muscle tension I'd had in my back for about five years at that point, which never came back (and it's now been six years)!
clarabella said…
Geoff:

In these parts, you're awake the whole time – which is kinda cool, because you get to see your insides in super living colour! I watched them pluck two polyps off... Like so much else, it's in good part a matter of diet. But I'm glad you're okay. An de wata melon is cool (hehe) but memba de green crunchy tings, an de fibrous foods.
FSJL said…
When I had my colonoscopy I didn't find myself on a beach. I just blanked out and awoke a little later minus a couple of polyps (which turned out benign).
Z,the newfangled drip worked fine--as you can tell- and I really like the crew at the hospital how they worked together for what could have been very uncomfortable. I guess that's why i zonked out so deeply.

Pam, yeah, fibrous foods are definitely a part of my diet!

What can I say, Fragano. I got lucky.

Peace
FSJL said…
When I was ten, I had a tooth removed under anaesthesia (nitrous oxide). While I was out I had a very vivid dream. I recall recounting it to my mother and being told that I wasn't under long enough to have had time to dream.
REM sleep probably comes quickly under anaesthesia.
FSJL said…
And dreams happen very quickly; our subjective experience of them makes them seem much longer.

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