Monday, June 04, 2007

With Some Fava Beans & A Nice Chianti...

I had a freakish dream sometime last week in which I needed an "emergency" liver transplant. I got like two days' notice, and the dream was transpiring on the Sunday evening prior to an early Monday morning appointment in the operating room.

I think the scariest thing was talking to the dream doctor (not my real-life doctor) about the fact that, "of course there are no guarantees, and it's possible we might lose you while you're under anæsthesia." I realized by having that dream how much the concepts of general anæsthesia (yes, I like spelling it with the ligature) and major surgery freak me out.

I have no idea why I would have had this dream. Do we ever know why? I do, from time to time, think about the condition of my liver, since one of the meds I'm on does affect one of the liver enzymes, and I'm often curious how alcohol consumption of any kind might play into that (not that my alcohol consumption is particularly high or anything). I guess it is a nagging worry that one of these meds or the other might be having some kind of detrimental long-term effect on one of my internal organs or another. But, hey! It beats being dead yesterday, right?! Woo hoo!

Then again, maybe my liver obsession was subconsciously related to the fact that I cooked up some fava beans from the farmers' market a couple weekends ago (in a tomato-onion sauce, over tortelloni, if you must know).


Steven said...

I had general anæsthesia once many years ago when I had eye muscle surgery. The doctor gave me a choice between general and local, and I didn't much like the idea of watching a knife come at my eye, so I chose general.

I'm not sure I would be so quick to choose it again. It was pretty scary. It wasn't at all like sleeping; it was like being obliterated for several hours, like being erased, dead. Hard to describe, but intense, and it was several days before I felt like I was back in the world.

BigAssBelle said...

i have been terrified of anesthesia (i don't know how to make the little conjoined ae thingie) since i was 6-7 years old and read a horror story in reader's digest. 1963 or 1964 and still it's with me, as well as all of the other horror stories i've accumulated over the years.

i think more is becoming known about anesthesia's long term effects and how it's not quite the simple sleep everyone has assumed for so long.

i have never had a general and chose to have hand surgery with a local so as to avoid it. docs have assured me that with the pulse oximeters developed since that reader's digest story :-) there's little chance of crashing on the table. still.

helplessness, being out of control, at the mercy of others. not good things. i associate those with anesthesia. not good.

i think there are dream evaluation websites . . . maybe you could run that one through. i need to look for one too. had a dream a couple of weeks ago in which a big tumor-ish kind of thing was removed from my body. i've been convinced ever since that i have cancer somewhere and it's my brain trying to alert me. neurotic much?

Anonymous said...

Quoting from Thomas Harris' book:

"A census taker tried to quantify me once. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a big Amarone. Go back to school, little Starling."

Wish the film had stuck to the book. A culture vulture like Lecter wouldn't be seen dead guzzling a common country wine plonk like Chianti. Amarone della Valpolicella is so much more like him.