Please help my 19 year old boyfriend w/ UC
I don’t know if I’m spelling it right. But I do know that this drug begs for words to explain its power.
Yesterday, I went under. I wasn’t in a place that was recognizable, I don’t think that I was even in a place. I was rolled into the procedure room by a woman who had ghosts drawn on her nails. Today is Halloween. She was nice. I knew what to expect, because I’ve been through these steps probably a hundred times. But I was in a different building today, a new one that I hadn’t yet experienced. She wheeled me towards the room where I would go under. There were automatic doors that both opened as once, like I was a queen coming being pushed into this bright, sterile hallway. I saw a nurse on my left who smiled at me like apple pie during a warm July day. I said “Hi” as I passed her. I looked right and saw the break room for people who administer the strongest drug I’ve ever experienced. They were chatting and relaxing. But I was tense. How do they not understand the power they weeld?
I wasn’t going under to take a nap. The anesthesiologist told me it would be like a nap. I would get a nice rest and then wake up, feeling like the procedure never happened and only a few minutes had passed.
It wasn’t like that.
I rolled down that hallway past more nurses to my left and into a room filled with the most equipment you’ve ever seen. Basically, a garage full of instruments and machines that could take you under to a space you’ve never consciously remembered before.
I was pushed to the left side and told to stand up and walk over to the other bed. I said “Oh, I’m transferring”. I thought it would happen on the bed that I was wheeled in on. The nurse with the ghosts on her nails escorted me to this new bed. I saw another nurse to my right, the most soft-spoken person I’ve ever heard. I was told to say my name and birthdate as they both looked at my wristband. Gotta make sure they have the right patient before they take them under.
I crawled onto this new bed and laid on my left side. My gown open in the back. I knew how they wanted me positioned. I was scared, so I started talking. I was telling the nurses that they are really nice. That they have a nice facility and fancy machines in the room. The soft-spoken one started asking me questions; why was she talking to me from the opposite corner of the room? She sounded like a mouse. That was confusing. I forgot about all the tools I needed to get attached to before they took me down. I was hooked up to an EEG, cold sensors placed on my chest and one below my sternum. My heart is important to pay attention to when I go to this new place. I was given oxygen through each nostril and wrapped the tubes below my ears. Oxygen feels like a metallic and cold air being forced deep inside of you. I thought, well it’s good to watch my lungs too. I needed that rush of oxygen coming into my body because soon, I wouldn’t remember how to breathe.
The nurse with the ghosts on her nail polish told me that I was now going to get some anesthesia. Okay, here comes my nice nap.
At the end of her sentence, I didn’t feel any different. I felt the cold air in my nostrils, the open gown exposing my backside and my ass, which was the money spot for these docs. I still heard that soft-spoken nurse talking and asking me questions, I was irritated because I could barely hear her, but I still answered her. After about ten seconds, I said, “I have a high tolerance”.
“I’m still awake, I’m still awake….” The nurse said, “It’s okay, I will get you there, but in a slow and gentle way.” So, I waited as I was tied into all these machines monitoring the force of life, I was still aware of. I could feel my heart beating through the fear. What if I couldn’t get enough meds, and I would feel everything. Someone touched my right butt cheek and I said, “I’m still awake”. I didn’t want to feel them going inside to see my organ.
I felt my chest and I worried that I wouldn’t be able to take the nap that I was promised. So, my anxiety began to rise. I hoped the nurses would help me. And then. I thought it was the anxiety. I thought, oh god, I know this feeling of being so anxious that I can’t control what’s happening in my body. Colitis has a fun way of controlling your physical sensations wherever it pleases. I thought maybe, I wasn’t getting enough oxygen and hoped they would turn it up! My heart pounded through those EEG sensors.
Then that anxious feeling, having a power bigger than your own free will, took me in its grasp.
“Woah.” I knew I was going somewhere else at that point.
It was not a nap. I felt my legs go heavy. Like I became only a chest and head, with my legs below me in another level of consciousness. That feeling moved up my body from both ends. I felt drunk, limp.
My head became heavy, without me feeling it, just knowing I couldn’t pick it up now. My chest calmed to a point of no sensation. My legs were still gone, somewhere else I didn’t understand, and my arms followed soon after. I was not falling asleep.
I was losing consciousness.
It was empty. No more feelings. I wasn’t in the room. I wasn’t in my dreams. I was gone. I went under to another place that no person could feel in any way. My body was lifeless. I had a concept of knowing I was gone. Not a feeling, more like an understanding.
My eyes rolled back into my head and I thought this was it. Not coming back this time.
Because, when I woke up, I wasn’t in that procedure room anymore. I was laying down next to a model-looking woman who asked how I was feeling. Feeling? I didn’t feel at all. I didn’t even sense what happened. Where was I?
I said I felt drunk. My body and my head were heavy. I felt good. Like I had no anxiety or fear.
Such a rare feeling.
But I was still nervous, so I kept talking. How many of these procedures do you do a day? I don’t know what she said, I didn’t really care. I was in a nest of a propofol hug and I wanted it to last longer.
I slowly jolted back into my regular level of hyperawareness to my surroundings and my physical body. After the drunkenness wore off, I wanted it back.
I was shocked by my experience with Propofol. So much so, that it made me think. I wonder if these anesthesiologists know what it’s like to go where I went, a place with no sense of touch. I wonder if they understand the power of this drug, pushed into the tiny plastic catheter on my hand.
When I die, I want to go out with that drug. Sensations erased, thoughts no more. I was a pile of physical matter, mere body parts.
I wasn’t taking a nap in my mind. I woke up and realized that I wasn’t done with this life. No more pain sounds nice though. To be done with any more worries of how to live day to day. Of how to be in remission, but still have a chronic illness. Of how to explain to others that the physical pain I’ve experienced in this physical body, would never be a match if I had an affair with propofol during the worst of my days. When I didn’t think I would wake up in the midst of my worst flare to date. In the darkest days, I would say to my disease, that the nerve rippling pain it caused were reminders that I was still alive. Why? I guess needed all those reminders to know that I would get through that.
The resiliency I learned in two years of a flare was beyond my awareness, similarly to the fact that life can be taken away with one syringe full of liquid. A chemical that could erase my pain and my worries. I hope going under is what it feels like when it is my time to die. I would take that goodbye over the constant pain that I’ve endured in this life, teasing the mortality in front of my eyes. Maybe my next life will be in the land of Propofol.
Hospital Lobby Encounters
A woman looks so distressed. Her chicken legs are visible from across the street as she walks toward the sliding glass door entrance to the hospital. Her hair is wet and her skirt looks like it isn’t keeping her legs nearly warm enough. The disorientation is clear on her face and she turns around trying to find her way upon entering.
There is a couple sitting next to me on a similarly hard wooden bench. The woman is wearing a wool winter hat and sunglasses. Her spirit is hollow. She’s entirely reliant on her husband/caretaker/brother?/soul-giver. He is on the phone, trying to stay calm. But this is his life now. Her suffering is his. They seem to have a child. A cute little tubby boy around 10 years old. He is sitting near the tree in the lobby. Such a central focal point of this area. He is crouched forward with a slouch that only appears through sadness and lack of confidence. Believe me, I can recognize that slouch anywhere. He is just a boy. But his mother’s suffering is now his. He won’t understand much of what’s happening, but this is normalized for him. Sitting by the hospital lobby tree and slouching because this isn’t a place for a healthy child. His mom just got up, she can’t bear to look across from her at her little boy anymore. She left to go on a walk. Solace in her own presence is what she needs. Maybe a break from seeing her suffering taken on by her family.
There is a young woman sitting next to me now. She has her back straight as a board. She’s 100% waiting for an interview. I wonder what the position is. Damn, I just looked up from my screen. She is gorgeous. Anyway, she is looking out the sliding glass door entrance. Trying to relax before being put on the spot. She has a clipboard on her lap, filled with her resume. A piece of paper illustrating the accomplishments she’s made. She wants this job so badly. I can feel it. It’s the straight back most of all.
Oh, the sun is coming out now. I can see it through the skylight and the entrance. Near the valet parking entrance.
The little tubby boy just looked up at his father/caretaker/uncle? and desperately wants cues. He is playing with his toy plastic car on the tiles near the tree. His mom is still on her solitary walk and his father/caretaker/uncle? is still on the phone.
This young black woman is now intimidating me. Her posture is truly exquisite and she is surveying the room to ground her down to what is happening. She is a bit uncomfortable and anxious for this interview. I would hire her.
There are more people milling around. They seemed to all show up at 10am. Feels like a rush hour in the hospital. There’s a nurse pushing an empty wheelchair back inside from the valet lot. Her blue/gray scrubs give away her identity.
There is an Asian couple walking in through the entrance and standing as they ponder what to take as their next step forward. The husband leans on his cane.
There is another Asian couple walking past. Each with a coffee in their hands. Walking quite prominently through the lobby. They are gone now. Probably on a mission.
There is an informational desk area. With a sexy as hell, black security officer standing and leaning on the counter. Ugh. Why. He knows it. Even though I only see his back. I need to stop. Now he is helping a beautiful woman and his stance is killing me. His legs are spread far wider than they need to be. Power stance. He walked out from the desk and asserted his dominance over the area. That’s cool. I exhale….
There is a round Asian/Hawaiian woman at the informational desk sitting down. I’ve seen her so many times before. She is sweet like a butterscotch candy. Until a man loudly demands to tell her where he needs to be.
She asks, “is your appointment at UCSF or Kaiser?”
“YES!”- the malnourished and worn down man says
“Is your appointment here at UCSF or is it at Kaiser?”
“I’VE BEEN HERE BEFORE”
“Please just go use the restroom and I will find out where you are supposed to be”
–He walks away and I haven’t seen him since.
This beautifully strong black woman next to me checks her phone again. Thinking ‘I wonder when they will call me back for this interview’. Offtah, the man on the bench next to her just got called back for an interview. That is intimidating. Don’t worry girl, you’ve got this. You are fucking owning this room.
Ugh this security guard is back. Hands in his front pockets now. OH YES THE POWER STANCE. Ooftah, exhale Kristen….. it will be okay. Omg but those combat boots!! He just left through those damn sliding glass doors. Oh geez. My computer’s gonna die. I should probs get a ride home now.
Main question: (as is usually is), will I be able to take the bus without shitting myself or should I take an uber? Hmmmm Ill ponder as I run to the toilet NOWWWWW