Monday, January 30, 2012

What happened in those 40 minutes?

Consciousness has long been one of the great mysteries of life. It is something experienced by every one of us, yet we cannot even agree on how to define it. Are they lost moments in sleep or the effects of a drug? We really don’t know. Sure enough they cannot be recovered in rest of the life. Knowingly or unknowingly we do make use of our time wisely. This reminds me of a saying “May you live all the days of your life”.  Life has to move on but even the lost moments sometimes teach a lesson to oneself and an experience to share.
Couple of weeks ago I had to undergo a minor procedure in my neck. The procedure required anesthesia. I was in the day-surgery room for nearly three hours. After my vitals, and preop instructions I was taken into a procedure room in my surgery outfit. The moment I was in the room, it appeared that they were all waiting for me to arrive. Three or four assistants with the Dr.F started their preassigned tasks. I was asked to lie in prone position resting my face on a foam cutout pillow, placing hands in the front pockets. Being in that position, I was unable to see what was going on around me. I could only hear their light conversations. Not paying attention to their casual conversations I was lying down on my stomach, nervously, waiting for the procedure to be done. My train of thoughts took me to my teen days. By and large, our youth is spent unaware of the consequences we go through in the journey of our life. Experience asks us to choose the right direction, by then we get older and our body does not want to cooperate. Dr.F started the procedure preparations on my neck region by administering anesthesia. I was told that the anesthetic would make me feel drowsy, I would go to sleep, and when I woke up it would all be over.
Within seconds I distanced myself from this world, I have no idea of what so ever went on in the room. I awoke with no memories of what had passed between the feeling of mild drowsiness and waking up in a different room. I was woken up by a nurse assistant in the recovery room. I heard him asking me how I was feeling. Only then I realized, the procedure was completed. I answered him by just blinking my eyes and nodding my head. I was drifting in and out of awareness for some undefined period. I sipped a few drops of water placed near bedside and was lying down drowsy. After a while, when I slowly regained complete consciousness, I wondered where I was for the past 40 minutes. What happened to me?   
The elapsed time right after entering the surgery room, I can’t remember and probably never will. Series of thoughts crossed my mind; suddenly my renewed sense reminded me of what anesthetists do it as a routine, without really understanding what exactly consciousness is. It seems consciousness is tough to define, but easy to manage for them. They take people to the brink of nothingness without killing and bring them back home again. Human consciousness is just about the last surviving mystery of the being. Anesthesia is probably the best tool for understanding consciousness in managing health and disease. What a miracle!

"A life lived of choice is a life of conscious action. A life lived of chance is a life of unconscious creation."
-Neale Donald Walsch


  1. So what happened in those 40 minutes?

  2. hmm...
    I had that experience

  3. Your words have so much meaning. While reading this article, I feel like I was in your postition.

    1. I *FELT* like I was in your postition


Thank you for reading my post.