Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

February 18, 2012

Going to Sleep

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

Going to sleep is generally easy for me.  Most of the time I can get still . . . and I am ready to doze.  I have been known to “doze” at a movie, waiting in the car, sitting in a chair at a department store, and even sitting on the platform in the church!

But those times of going to sleep easily seem to be only for a nap.  Getting a night’s sleep is often different!  I have thought about the ease of going to sleep at certain times . . . and my mind raced back to times that I was “put to sleep.”  You know . . . at the dentist office or the hospital?

This thought came to  me some time ago and I made a note of some memories soon after the event.  It was another of those trips to Moffitt for a procedure.  As we walked in, I was greeted with hugs from several of the nurses who have come to know me so well.  My comment in response to the welcome, “I believe we are coming here far too often!”

As they began to prepare me for the procedure, the anesthesiologist came in.  He began tell me again the details of how he would anesthetize me.  I am so grateful for such comfort that comes by knowing I will not be aware of anything.  And being “put to sleep” is so fast these days.  After all the “hook ups” were completed and would only take opening the valve, the nurse asked, “Are you ready?”  Knowing I only had a moment to respond before the anesthesia would take effect, I responded, “Good night!”  And I was gone to “never-never land.”

Today such general anesthesia is so instantaneous.  Anesthesia has come such a long way, even in my lifetime.  The purpose, of course,  of anesthesia is the blocking of or temporarily taking away pain.  Most of you know the various types: local, regional, and general.

I well remember the use of ether.  I had it administered to me on several occasions.  It was never instantaneous.  The first time was with the removal of my tonsils.  I recall the doctor having me count backwards as he placed this mask on my mouth and nose and began to spray the gas on to the mask.  I remember a terrible dream — or something.  I was spinning around in a tunnel and there was a big spider trying to grab me as I was spinning close to its web.  Suddenly it was over!  Maybe the spider grabbed me —  perhaps that was the moment my tonsils were removed.  Who knows?  I do recall a sick feeling for hours after that experience!  I remember the time well — and the slow waking up in contrast to today’s  anesthesia.

The only good thing to say about ether is the origin of the name.  Ether in Greek means heavenly!  I suppose it is heavenly compared to the pain one might feel without it being administered — but for me, there was nothing heavenly about the fear I had in that dream while under the sedation that came from it.  Yet, the ether did prevent me from knowing the pain . . . and even the fear . . . of having my tonsils removed.

The experience  years ago with the dentist was much the same way — as to the administering of it.  But I don’t know if it was ether or  nitrous oxide.  Nitrous oxide is commonly referred to as laughing gas.  Nothing to laugh about as far as I was concerned –nothing was funning about the experience.  Laughing gas supposedly gives you a euphoric feeling.  I cannot recall any feeling like that!  And now that I know of other uses of nitrous oxide — it probably put me in obit!  Did you know that they use nitrous oxide — laughing gas — in rockets . . . and in motor racing?

I am happy we have progressed from such administering of anesthesia.  I rejoice with the ease of the injection today of an anesthesia.  It is not only instantaneous, but there is no dreaming . . . and no remembrance of the procedure.

Don’t you wish going to sleep at night was always that instantaneous?  Restful?  And not dreaming or remembering the night?  But we set ourselves up for a delay in falling asleep.  We are suddenly quiet . .  and our mind becomes active.  We lay down and begin to think of what we didn’t get done on that day . . . or we start planning the next day . . . and on and on.

Recommendations have always come “to count sheep.”   Honestly, does anyone ever do that?  Now there are some things that can begin to relax us or divert our thoughts from regrets or plans.  Counting our blessings is good!  As a believer in a Heavenly Father, suddenly we are thanking God for those blessings!  Sometimes we can seek to quote a Scripture.  But if we don’t know any, we may frustrate ourselves — but we can certainly paraphrase some Scriptures we remember. Or, we can seek to sing (only in your thoughts) some hymns we have learned.  What I am recommending is to turn your thoughts toward God and it will amaze you how peaceful you become  . . . and soon you are asleep!  It is better than anesthesia!

“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trust in you.”  (Isaiah 26:3)



1 Comment »

  1. I was very encouraged to find this site. I wanted to thank you for this special read. I definitely savored every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.

    Comment by nurse anesthetist — February 19, 2012 @ 1:52 pm | Reply

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