Tuesday, June 22, 2010


A week before my surgery, I had a consult with my anaesthesiologist. When I pointed out that he seemed more concerned about this project than my surgeon, he gave me the reason for his gravity.

"Anaesthesia," he said, "is the fine art of almost, but not quite, killing you. I'd rather like to make sure we bring you back."

Chastened, I did what he told me. On the day, a little valium loosened me up. Some *very* happy liquid started pumping into a vein in the back of my hand. A nice young lady put a rubber mask over my face. The air blowing into the mask began to taste medicinal and I went away.

That was a week ago. I'm mending nicely, no complaints. Thing is, the guy who came out of the anaesthetic isn't quite the same as the guy who went under.

Maybe it's the lovely, lovely meds I'm on. Or the promise of actually being pain free once this wound heals. Or some kind of mystical, near-death thing (I certainly felt MIGHTY strange after I came back around). Don't know, don't care. All I can say is, I feel like a sludgy old hard drive that's been reformatted. Faster startup, faster functioning, a new lease on life.

Anyway, this new guy still likes writing and drawing and all the big major things, but there are differences, lots of little differences. Differences I can't explain: The thought of sardines is no longer appetizing. The book I was reading before the operation was no longer interesting. I've had a strange compulsion to put lots of Led Zeppelin on my iPod.

Little differences. And yeah, I'm enjoying this slightly altered new version. The biggest thing I've noticed is that I'm clear and active, effective in a way I haven't been for at least a year. maybe two.

This rocks!

Anyway, to that end, I'll be cleaning house on this blog-- sweeping out the old and unused, adding in the awesome but long-neglected. And I might just look around and see if I can find a new look for this blog, too....

It's good to be back, y'all. :-)


Unknown said...

Wow - I've been under a general and not come out renewed! Glad to hear you are well and raring to go. Good luck and i look forward to the revamp.

Charles Gramlich said...

So glad you came through OK. That sounds like a somewhat unusual reaction to anesthesia but a positive one. Sounds like a story there for sure. Welcome back.

SQT said...

I've had general anesthesia, the kind where you're numb on some parts of your body, but awake, and it's freaky. At one point I could feel my body seizing up and there was this ineffable feeling that something was wrong. When I mentioned it to the anesthesiologist, he frantically started turning knobs and doing whatever it is that they do to get me back to whatever normal is in that situation. It was pretty clear that there is a very delicate balance going on in that situation.

Glad you're okay.

Erik Donald France said...

Welcome back, man! To a Led Zeppelin soundtrack, ramble on'

ps. Larry McMurtry wrote about a kind of similar post-op rebooting, I believe it's in Paradise.

Angie said...

It's great to have you back, hon. [hugz] Nice new pic!


Melanie Webster said...

What happened? I am truly lost, I had no idea you were having surgery, but I am pleased you feel good now!! X

Steve Malley said...

Liz, it was like taking a *really* good nap-- the kind where you wake up and it's dark out and you don't know what day it is. Like that, but times seven! :)

Charles, maybe it was just having a day 'off'. I use air quotes because I did manage to write a few pages by hand while I waited...

SQT, now *THAT* would have scared the whoopsit out of me!

Eric, I wonder if Larry McMurtry also has my reaction to naps?

Ange, thank you, it's good to be back. I'm loving this whole blogging-again deal!

Melanie, I learned a valuable lesson about *not* lifting anything heavier than a Honda Accord up over my head. :-D

RK Sterling said...

Hmm... sounds like Doctor Who has regenerated.

Glad you're ok and back with us! :)

Barbara Martin said...

Hmmm, perhaps you've had a soul walkout. That's where your old soul left, tired of being in your body, and a new soul comes to take it's place.

Glad to hear you're fine and chipper.

Though I think you needed a break from blogging.

Love your new blog look. Maybe it's time I dusted my own blog.

Bernita said...

That's wonderful--all I feel after anaesthesia is sick to my stomach!

Steve Malley said...

Kate, at least they didn't hire a different actor to play me! lol

Barbara, that's a heck of an idea-- I like it. :)

Bernita, I wanted sandwiches. Lots and lots and LOTS of sandwiches!

Melanie Webster said...

That doesn't sound good! Hope you are recovering well then :-) x

AvDB said...

I'm glad you're on the mend! The last time I had anesthesia the doctor was a tw*t and poo-pooed my concerns about not waking up. I told him he was being an asshole. I woke up hurling and with the worst headache of my entire life. Note to everyone else: don't piss off your anesthesiologist.

cs harris said...

Well, look what happens when I don't check for a while. You go off and have a near death experience and start blogging like crazy.

Good to hear you're feeling better. That is a strange reaction to anesthetic: my one and only experience took me about a year to recover and left me swearing never to go there again.