7 thoughts on “Awake: my story

  1. Dear Kate,
    Your piece on memory and awareness is gathering many replies.
    In 1986, Dr. Michael Rosen, President of the British Anaesthetist Society, convened a workshop at the behest on the NHS who had been receiving increasing numbers of reports of awareness during anaesthesia.
    Every 3 years since then there have been international conferences on the topic along with published volumes of the invited addresses. I was grateful to be invited to each of these having published “Nonverbal response to intraoperative conversation” in the British Journal of Anaesthesia in 1985.

    After a NYT piece on that article I received many reports from the citizenry on the topic of awareness though my article dealt with learning during adequate general anesthesia from spoken messages.

    By 1995 I had tape recorded many interviews of awareness accounts, from a 9 year old on upwards.

    Reading the Memory and Awareness books especially from the 1986, 1989 and 1992 conferences would be valuable.

    As to the actual title of your article which is not actually addressed (how could it be?), yes new learning during “anesthesia” with profound effects later on the personality is not only possible but well documented.

    Henry Bennett, Ph.D.

  2. I’m glad you wrote about this. Right after my first colonoscopy I had flashbacks of pushing people’s hands away and begging them to stop. It seemed like torture. The fladhbacks ladted about a month and then faded. Since then, I tell every anaesthesiologist for any procedure about my experience, and it hasn’t been repeated.

  3. I am very interested in this article. I woke during an operation on my broken wrist; during a DIP joint fusion and during a nerve ablation on my back. The last procedure was done at University of Michigan! I continue to have “night terrors, and will start moaning and even screaming. I find it very distressing and would be interested in hearing how this can be prevented. Thank you for any updates. Let me know if I can help.
    Sharon Morganti Livonia, Mi

    • I had an awakening during twilight sleep for a Cardiac Catheterization on February 4 of 2019. I would like very much to provide a detailed account of my experience, please let me know how to best do so thank you

  4. I had surgery to remove my first rib (due to a blood clot caused by thoracic outlet syndrome) in 2013 at a top hospital by a top surgeon in NYC. The surgery ended and they started to take me off of anesthesia, but apparently they had nicked a blood vessel, and I started bleeding profusely. During the minute or so between waking and being put under again, the doctors were rushing, I heard them calling for the original surgeon in panicked tones, and when I managed to somehow ask what was happening, someone told me that I was bleeding a lot, they weren’t sure why, and they needed the surgeon to come back. In that hazy minute, my whole life flashed before my eyes and I genuinely felt like I might be facing my death. Then it was darkness again. Aside from losing a ton of blood, I came out of it ok in the end, but the effects of this trauma have surfaced in many ways throughout my life, wth the most poignant being an inability to handle subsequent medical issues very well, and an irrational fear of dying young, which never had existed before this incident.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s