Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Midwife, The Anesthesiologist, and Me (3)

The Anesthesiologist

An anesthesiologist is someone I never thought I would meet professionally.  Just like I never thought I'd meet an astronaut, or fireman, or Regis Philbin.  Sure, maybe someday I'd be his neighbor, or his son would be in my daughter's class in school, but you know that is different.  Not that I have anything wrong with anesthesiologists, although part of my mind does question the sanity of someone who wants to spend their day with needles, but that probably is an indication of my sanity more than anything else... more on that in the next post.

But when the reality of having an iv began to settle in and I began (literally) shaking with fear, I wanted desperately for an anesthesiologist to wander into my room and casually inquire if his services would be, by any chance, needed.  Like a knight in shining armor, if you will, brandishing needles in place of a sword but certainly rescuing damsels in distress.

The nurse approached me with the pediatric needle that she had found for me, and probed my arms for a likely vein.  She felt confident she had found one, and it began.  I cried, but this time (unlike when I was in labor with Hanna) I didn't scream when my vein collapsed.  Although if they had kept trying the way they did with Hanna I might have...

The nurse looked for another possible candidate, but none of my other veins looked promising.  At this point she didn't even have to take my word for it regarding my fear of needles, she could see the physical evidence.  My pulse had skyrocketed, I was shaking, and the tears were streaming down my face.

What she did next will make me love her forever.  She went to the phone and called the anesthesiologist to come put my iv in for me.  That is probably like asking Da Vinci to draw a stick figure with a crayon, but I don't care.  This man, bless his dear sweet heart, was on his way out the door to go home after who knows how many hours when he got the page.  Back in to the hospital he came.  He walked in the door of my room and probably stood there for a minute, glowing brilliantly in the fluorescent lights, whereupon I might have swooned.

And I kid you not, the lingering pain from the first attempt hurt more than his whole process.  Da Vinci with a crayon!  My knight with a needle!  I love you forever, Sir Whose Name I Never Learned.

In closing, I would like to thank all those who dedicate their lives to rescuing people from their trivial fears.  Be it an anesthesiologist putting in an iv, or what have you, the fearful people thank you.  Also I would like to thank my friend Sarah who told me a long time ago that I could demand from the onset to have the anesthesiologist put it in, especially since I do have wiggly veins (that is what the nurse called them).  Maybe next time I will have the guts to actually do that.


  1. Needles are scary. I just try hard not to think about it. My epidural was the only thing I was worried about when I went into have my c-section with Lily.

    And oddly enough, my anesthesiologists (with Akoy) his son was in my class. It was awkward knowing I would see him at parent teacher conference after I had named all my body parts weird names when I was in pain.

    Glad you are doing so well. It was fun to see you guys at church the other day! Brave woman!

  2. I'm with you Amy! I told them that they needed to lay me back to do it as I get near fainting. The nurse tried and was having a hard time. She then brought in my good friend, and yours, he numbed my arm and got it in! He was a God send with the epidural as well!

  3. What a nice guy. I like him too.

  4. It is amazing to me, how some can play an instrument so beautifully, others can do incredible things with their hands and some can place a needle without you knowing it.

    When I'm getting a shot or giving blood I usually say a prayer, "please let me be cared by someone who is just so incredibly good"

  5. I sing I am a Child of God to myself every time I get stuck. And if I know the person sicking me is LDS, I sing out loud. And if I think that they are not, I also sing out loud. In cases like yours, or my small babies who have eye surgery, it's nice to ask a nurse to send you a topical numbing cream. I googled it and apparently it's available over the counter (if your mother doesn't send you any).

  6. Well, at least the nurse only tried once. I mean, even people who say they have terrible past experiences I would still try on once. I am glad your knight did it with such ease. They are the best.

  7. He sounds amazing! I liked your analogy.