VictoriaF wrote: ↑
Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:03 pm
dm200 wrote: ↑
Tue Jul 24, 2018 2:57 pm
Not driving under the influence of Versed and endangering others is different from deciding to take my chances with a taxi driver. I have traveled solo in developing countries, walked past midnight in major cities, and took unmarked detours on el Camino de Santiago. I want to believe that I have agency over taking risks as I find appropriate.
As I understand, the prohibition of just a taxi driver after colonoscopy or some other medical procedures is not "danger" from such a driver - but that the driver has no connection (other than just transportation) with the patient.
This is what they tell me but the reason is bogus. They don't try to protect me from disobeying other medical directions that could have worse consequences than fainting after anesthesia. I should be able to sign a disclaimer releasing the hospital from any responsibility and do whatever I find appropriate.
Until recently, I would have agreed with you. However, about a month ago I had outpatient surgery with general anesthesia at a local hospital. I would have preferred local anesthesia, but the surgeon provided convincing reasons for general anesthesia. Major snag: they would not perform the surgery unless I could bring someone with me (a friend or relative) who would accompany me to the surgery and accompany me home after the surgery.
This really bugged me. My sisters offered to help out, but I didn’t want them to have to have to take a few days off work (most of which would involve spending half a day driving to and from River City). Ditto for my friends, who work and have families and have better things to do than schlep me around. I knew I’d be in no shape to drive home, but saw no reason why I couldn’t just take a cab to and from surgery. It was outpatient surgery, and the surgery itself would take less than half an hour. What was the big deal?
What I ended up doing was hiring a nursing assistant from a local nursing agency. It turned out to be fortunate that I did this. I had no problem with the general anesthesia during the surgery. However, when I was in recovery, I had a bad reaction to one of the painkillers they gave me. Essentially, the drug lowered my heart rate quite a bit, which decreased the oxygen going to my brain. Not good. Moreover, because of this, I wasn’t able to be my usual “take-charge” self. I knew I felt awful, but I wasn’t able to do much more than repeat “I really don’t feel good”. I was pretty out of it, and the recovery room nurses seemed pretty oblivious to what was going on. Luckily, my CNA not only immediately realized that I was in bad shape but also knew exactly what was happening and why. She was able to calmly and courteously but firmly persuade the nurse that something bad was happening and that she needed to get the anesthesiologist. When he came into the recovery room he quickly prescribed Narcan to block the action of the painkiller I had been given. If I had been on my own during this period, I might well have been SOL because the nurses seemed to be focused on sending me home regardless of how I felt.
My CNA later told me that they routinely give patients the painkiller I got in recovery so that they are more comfortable on the ride home. Most people don’t have a problem, but she said she could tell I didn’t use painkillers often, which might have been why I had such a strong reaction to the drug. She drove me home, then stayed with me for several hours while I napped. I felt a lot better after I woke up, so I told her I thought she could head for home but she made sure I had a little dinner before she left. I can’t say enough good things about her.
Frankly, I don’t think a friend or family member would have been able to be as much help. I know I wouldn’t have been as helpful in that sort of situation. Most likely, I would just have ended up getting upset and antagonizing everyone.
If I have to have any surgery in the future, I plan to have a CNA accompany me, even if I have a family member as well. Hopefully, nothing would go wrong - but I’ve found that you just can’t count on that.