Monday, November 14, 2005

Short-term memory weirdness

I went in for my TMI surgical procedure today. I was told I might fall asleep, but that I might be able to stay awake and watch the whole thing (oh, joy!).

I got the IV. 7:45 AM.

I followed the doctor's instruction of "Roll over on your left side, please." 7:46 AM.

I woke up on my couch. 2:10 PM.

In the interim, I actually said something quite sweet to my wife, received help getting dressed (again, from the wife), was told the results of the procedure, received instruction about my upcoming prescription, got a ride in a wheelchair to the car, rode home, talked to my wife about usage of the carpool lane, trudged into the house, fell asleep on the couch, answered the phone to give my wife my insurance card information, and then woke up and called my parents and sister.


This freaks the hell out of me, to be honest. What if I had done something illegal or immoral?

This has led to some strange interactions with the World's Best Wife today. To wit:

"You got me a prescription? What for?" This statement ignores conversation with my doctor (thank goodness my wife was there for that!) and the phone call with my wife. I was coherent enough to get my insurance card out of my wallet and read her the relevant information from it, but I'll be damned if I could remember doing that.

Weirder still was this evening, when I called my dad.

"Hi, Dad."
"TRP! Do what do I owe this honor?"
"Well, just wanted to let you know everything went okay today."
"You told me that when you called me earlier today."

(long, awkward pause)

"I called you earlier today?"

This disconcerting drug-caused memory loss has happened to me twice before.

I had nasal surgery in 1994. My dad, an anesthesiologist, was in the room, and said I wouldn't be able to remember anything. I said I bet I would. So, after the IV went in, he gave me "the password." I couldn't remember it later. (It was "Afghanistan.")

In high school, I had my wisdom teeth out. The sedation entailed taking a pill the night before and another the morning of the surgery. The morning's memories are soft fades in and out...I'm in the shower...I'm stumbling to the car...I'm waking up during the surgery...and then, I'm awake on my couch. I'd asked my folks to set aside my game of Statis Pro Baseball for me. My buddies Peter and Ian and I were doing a 72-game season (which took us 4 years to finish), and I thought I could play a few games while I convalesced. I propped myself up to play a game...and found I had played a full game, and had the full box score and updated stats right in front of me. I COULDN'T REMEMBER PLAYING THE GAME. The handwriting was fuzzy, and there were drops of blood on the box score...but I had played it. I had gone through the whole game, pitching changes, strategic decisions for both teams, and all that, and I couldn't remember.

That was damn bizarre. I hated it then, and I hate it now.

So two lessons:

1. I will never drink until I black out. Never have, but now no way I ever will.
2. I will avoid boxing, football, and other activities that might lead me to a concussion.

At least I didn't blog today. It'd be really weird to find a post here that I don't remember writing.

Update: Swankette just told me I told her the story about the wisdom teeth and Statis Pro Baseball earlier today. I'll take her at her word, because I don't remember that happening, either.


Swankette said...

I will personally vouch that you did nothing illegal or immoral.

A) You were under nurse's care, my care, or SOUND asleep on the couch for the entire time.

B) It took you a good 5 minutes to walk from the car into the house, so you did not have the energy to do anything too bad.

pankleb said...

Get well ...

During high school, they scoped my stomach with one of those camera things (I think I still have the videotape somewhere). I sat up in the middle of the procedure and started screaming, "Get these tubes out of me!" I don't remember a thing about it. Gotta love surgery.

Joe said...

When I had my wisdom teeth out, they gave me some kind of great pill. The DC classic rock station was doing a countdown of the greatest rock of all time, which was on in the backgroun as I drifted in and out of confidence.

Two days later, I was convinced that I'd heard The Greatest Song Ever, because it was by The Beatles with Led Zepplin with The Rolling Stones with The Allman Brothers with...

As far as drinking until you black out... yeah, don't do that. My once is enough for both of us.

Shannin said...

Once, after surgery, my dad promised me a castle with a moat. I'm still waiting.

I don't think I did or said anything too funny, although the nurses in recovery said I talked a lot. I don't think I promised anyone a castle with a moat.

SalMoriarty said...

TRP- Is it possible that you only called your dad once and he is saying you called him again just to mind-screw with you? (long, demonic,laugh)