The Scary Nature of Twilight Anesthesia and Dental Surgery

When I was 21 I had to have my wisdom teeth pulled.  The entire process was a nightmare when it really should not have been. 

Since I was going under anesthesia and would not be able to drive after, my mother took the day off and took me to the oral surgeon.  It was a house renovated into a dental surgery.  It was a cute house.  It was a cute office.  The receptionist/assistant was not so cute.  It was her personality and not her appearance.   She was a nice enough looking, 30-something, mother-like person. 

I went up to the counter to check in.  She didn’t talk to me, she spoke to my mother.  “She can’t be coming in to get her wisdom teeth removed, she is too young.”

“I am 21.”  Note that I replied.  Not my mother.  It was a long time ago, I may have been 20.  Either way, that exact number doesn’t matter too much in the face of what she said next.

“Oh, I’m sorry.  You look about 13 to me.”  She spoke to me this time.  It might have ended there is she didn’t continue to talk to me and treat me like I was a 13 year old.

I sit down in the dental chair and they explain the Twilight Anesthesia to me.  They need to use it because it won’t put me completely under.  I’ll be able to listen and follow instructions.  But it blocks the memory and the brain doesn’t record properly so I won’t remember what happens.  The last memory I had was the Dental Surgeon coming in, pulling up a stool and introducing himself.

The next thing I remember is waking up on a small cot in a tiny, dark room with a sink.  I think it was a bathroom converted into a recovery room.  But it was CREEPY!  Tiny. Dark. I was on a cot.  I had no memory.  Tell me this isn’t a creepy thing to happen. 

Apparently, I freaked out a bit.  Next thing I know my mom is in there with me but I have no memory of what happened between asking where I was, why I was on a cot and what happened to me and my mom being suddenly in the room.  I had sporadic memory gaps for about another half hour. 

I have a memory of either the doctor or the assistant telling my mom I was a model patient until after the operation.  They apparently didn’t appreciate my being upset about how I found myself during my first actual memory afterwards.

Tell me, if you were a young woman who just had surgery w/ a male doctor and you woke up in the dark what looked like a closet with a bed and no memory of what happened and how you got there, wouldn’t you be upset and freak out as well?

I then am given a prescription for pain killers.  They have to be taken on a full stomach.  But I had to go there on an empty stomach for the anesthesia.  And they give a one dose of the pain killer on the empty stomach.  I also can’t eat anything solid for a day or two.  So I’m left with shakes and broths and liquids.  The end result is I start off with the pain killers making me throw up all the time.  Because of the empty stomach. 

I lost something like 10 pounds in one week.  Unfortunately, when you lose weight that way, it piles back on the first time you eat a proper meal.

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6 Responses to “The Scary Nature of Twilight Anesthesia and Dental Surgery”

  1. I’m pretty sure I’d be horrified if that happened to me. It sounds almost Victorian.

  2. Ow, sorry to hear about this. I have a friend who went through the same thing recently. Didn’t sound too pleasant when she had it either.

    • They use the same stuff for colon screenings. But it isn’t so freaky when you become aware of things again if you are in a real hospital recovery room rather than a dark closet like space.

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