Sensations : anesthésie et évanouissement Sensations: anesthesia and fainting

It occurs to me that some people might not have had, in their life, the occasion to experience both anesthesia and fainting. Although one might hope to avoid both of these states, one might still be curious about the sensations involved. That’s where I come in today.

(If you are curious about occasions where I required anesthesia, they are two surgeries: first, a curettage for a pregnancy that didn’t come full term, and more recently an appendectomy.)

Anesthesia is a blink.
It’s starting to count backwards and, halfway in, blinking to another room and other sounds. There is no feeling of time lost. No subconscious thoughts lingering of what happened.
Even when sleeping, there is a consciousness that feels the passage of time. Not so with anesthesia. There is just going in, and waking up.

(For curious minds, again: this was once, right after the appendectomy, when the nurse insisted I make the trip to the bathroom. I made it there, but kissed the floor on my way back.)

Fainting is zapping.
One moment you’re walking around, and very suddenly you are in a vivid dream about something else entirely. Like your mind forgets it’s supposed to be doing something else. Then, after a couple of moments, there is a fade in.

A fade in.
Exactly, perfectly like the movie transition, where a black screen dissolve to an image.
In my case, it was the image of three nurses’ faces bent over mine (exactly like in comedy movies… I was quite amused by the whole event) and the feeling of cold tiles growing under my neck and back. Gravity comes back gradually. The mind has to transition from vertical to horizontal, because it didn’t register the change.

Both sensations are eerie.
I can’t recommend them (health threats and all), but they surely were interesting to experience.

Feel free to note down variations from your own experiences in the comments; I am not pretending this is the same for all!
Il m’est venu à l’idée que certaines personnes n’ont pas eu, durant leur vie, l’occasion de faire l’expérience de l’anesthésie et de s’évanouir. Quoiqu’on pourrait espérer d’éviter ces états fâcheux, on pourrait tout de même être curieux des sensations ressenties. C’est là que je m’interpose aujourd’hui.

(Si vous êtes curieux des occasions où j’ai requis l’anesthésie, il y a eu deux chirurgies : la première, un curetage pour une grossesse qui ne s’est pas rendue à terme, et plus récemment, une appendicectomie.)

L’anesthésie est un clignement d’oeil.
C’est commencer à compter en ordre décroissant et, rendu à 5, se retrouver dans une autre pièce et d’autres sons. Il n’y a pas de sentiment de temps perdu. Pas de pensées subconscientes qui conservent un sentiment de ce qui s’est passé.
Même quand on dort, il y a une conscience qui ressent le passage du temps. Il n’en est pas ainsi avec l’anesthésie. Il y a seulement y entrer, et se réveiller.

Perdre connaissance
(Pour les curieux, encore : c’était une fois, juste après l’appendicectomie, quand l’infirmière a insisté que je me rende à la salle de bain. Je me suis rendue, mais j’ai embrassé le plancher à mon retour.)

S’évanouir, c’est ‘zapper’.
Un moment on se balade, et très soudainement on se retrouve dans un rêve lucide à propos d’autre chose complètement. Comme si notre esprit oubliait qu’il est sensé être en train de faire autre chose. Puis, après quelques moments, il y a un fondu.

Un fondu.
Exactement, parfaitement comme la transition cinématographique, où un écran noir se dissout sur une image. Dans mon cas, c’était l’image des visages de trois infirmières penchées sur la mienne (exactement comme dans les films de comédie… j’étais très amusée par tout l’incident) et le sentiment grandissant de la céramique froide derrière mon cou et mon dos. La gravité revient graduellement. L’esprit doit faire la transition de vertical à horizontal, car il n’avait pas enregistré le changement.

Les deux sensations sont étranges.
Je ne peux les recommander (menaces à la santé et tout), mais c’était certainement intéressant d’en faire l’expérience.

Sentez-vous libre de noter des variations provenant de vos propres expériences dans les commentaires; je ne prétends pas que c’est la même chose pour tout le monde!

33 commentaires sur “Sensations : anesthésie et évanouissement Sensations: anesthesia and fainting”

  1. The description of the anesthesia sounds pretty much like what I experienced. One minute counting with 3 people around me, the next in a white room all alone.

    Fainting for me was a little different. It was a spinning room (or several spinning rooms, since it’s happened a few times in my life). And then it like I was waking up from sleeping, while the room slowed to a stop.

  2. I had both within 24 hours one time. The day (and shortly after) I had my wisdom teeth out.

    When they put me under to pull my teeth, I remember it was like the sensation of being extremely tired (while I was counting backward) and gradually falling asleep, exhausted in bed. Only the whole process was accelerated like a DVD on 8x fast forward. Then, when I came to, it was in super slow motion, coming to my senses like dragging my conscious through pudding.

    The next day, first thing in the morning, I was in the kitchen in my bathrobe, having been out of bed for about 10 minutes, just about to get breakfast. I leaned against the counter, told Amy that I felt a little light headed, and the very next thing I remember was waking up, fully alert, with my cheek on the floor after I had passed out, having no recollection of the intervening 10 seconds. For me, fainting was instant out, and instant alert again. Scarier than getting put under because there was NO warning.

    Good times!! 🙂

  3. Simon, you’re right about dragging the conscious, when waking from anesthesia. It *was* instant out, instant awake like I said — I could understand what was going on around me, the snippets of conversations I heard and I could figure out where I was and remember why (the operating room was such an immediate memory!) — but I wouldn’t have described myself as ‘alert’. I was just so damned tired and sluggish.

    Tasha, I can imagine it could be like that, when fainting. It was really sudden, when it happened to me, but that might have to do with how fast blood pressure drops? My blood pressure is usually in a low range, and I’ll get the odd pressure drop once in a while — with accompanying flashes of constellations… (usually when I have stomach flu and nausea takes over…!) — but it usually settles before I blink out.

    My favorite time (NOT) was in the hallway at the office: three minutes of laying down on the cold tiles (I love cold tiles when this happens), waiting for the sweat to break out and the spinning to stop… and sorta lucky only one understanding coworker (+ Frank) was witness to this glorious moment.

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