I’ve only twice thus far in my happy, healthy life been under anesthesia, at least when I was old enough to remember it. The first was during college, when I had my third molars removed, an act that I consider was more about wisdom on my part than on the molars’, despite their being commonly named “wisdom teeth”. It was good preventive medicine in my case, being the only invasive procedure I’ve ever had to have a dentist do and as a bonus, keeping me from getting them infected or impacted or, quelle horreur!, having them come in by shoving my naturally straight other teeth askew. I must have had a terrific anesthesiologist, because I don’t remember any particular suffering during or after the event, other than an unpleasant reaction to the first and only pain pill I took upon waking, and I was well enough after a day of devoted ice-packing by my mom to venture out to the mall the next day with the family, and dine comfortably on crisp green salad and toast.
The second time was when I underwent that happy coming-of-age ritual, the half-century tune-up of my chassis when I was given what felt like a really delightful extra night’s sleep so as to while away the time during which I had my colonoscopy. I, unlike other people, have no interest whatsoever in watching myself on TV in the process of receiving medical attention of any sort. Despite that potential glamor and entertainment of that approach, I felt myself cheerily fortunate in having a splendid nap instead, not to mention getting the desired clean bill of health in the bargain.
Though I’ve had limited personal experience with going under anesthetic, I certainly know plenty of people who’ve had all sorts of adventures with it, both good and bad. And I am all the more pleased, on knowing some of the tales of hallucinatory glory, that I have nothing to show for my own such trips but a gleaming set of straight choppers in my healthy jaws and an equally pristine stretch of plumbing in my abdominal regions. And I plan to have no further need of being anesthetized any time again soon, pretty please. Though I truly appreciate good medicine, I appreciate even more not needing any.