Thursday, 15 January 2015

Losing Control

So I had oral surgery last Monday. Had my two left upper and lower wisdom teeth taken out by the dentist. I only had local anesthesia and didn't go under. It's not because I'm a tough lady or whatever, it's because I would like to know what's happening with my body while the doctors are doing a procedure. 
It was a scary experience for me when I took out three teeth on my right side - two wisdom teeth and one molar and the doctor advised that it was better for me to go under so that when I woke up it will all be over. This was back in December 2013, that was about 5 months when I just arrived in NY and wasn't really sure of how the doctors, clinics, insurance works. So on the day of the surgery, I arrived at the clinic, had some injections in the teeth that were supposed to be taken out and then they gassed me to sleep. To be honest I was scared at the prospect of being voluntarily and momentarily 'put to sleep' while the doctors were working on me. In my heart I read all the doa and selawat I could. I don't know when I fell asleep but in the middle of surgery I woke up again and they had to put me back to sleep.
Waking up during surgery or the anesthetic wearing off during a procedure was perhaps not a new thing for me. I had  a few incidences when it happened, one of the major one was when I had a smallish tumor on my right breast back in 2005. After several consultation at the hospital, the doctor advised to remove it. This procedure required local anesthesia and I was covered from my neck down, shielding my view from what was happening or what the doctor was doing. But I could feel them prepping me and then injecting me because the doctor then said, can you feel this while he was poking at a few areas. I said I could but it didn't hurt. Although the view was obstructed but I could see the reflection from the above shiny beams of the surgical lamps that they were doing something on me. That somehow comforted me, in a weird nonsensical way. I kept looking at the beam because I would like to know what was happening to me. Not that I am morbid or anything, its just the way it was with me, at that time I thought it was natural curiosity. So back to this story. While the doctor was operating on me (felt more like he was pushing and tugging at my 'globe' with some instrument) and after some time I felt some pain and said oww. The doctor was quite surprised and they had to inject me some more before continuing. Alhamdullilah that surgery went fine and doctor declared that it was a benign tumour. 
The decision to not go under last Monday was a conscious one. Sure I was scared at the prospect of getting injected and feeling and seeing what the doctor was doing to me but I thought it was better than falling asleep under anesthesia. Because truth to be told, I didn't know if I would wake up from that surgery. Sure, you would say that it was a minor surgery, but what if your ajal comes at that time? I won't have time to say my last prayers.
So alhamdullilah, the oral surgery last Monday went well. Sure I felt the doctor tugging at my lower wisdom tooth, I felt the doctor's strength at twisting my tooth but somehow it was firm and gentle at the same time. With some maneuvering he managed to get both teeth out within 20 minutes including the anesthesia. I asked him to show me the teeth that he pulled out, it was bloody and nasty but somehow I felt relieved. He said I was a brave one for managing it quite well, and I told him it was much scarier when I had to go under, so it was better that I was awake to see everything. He said maybe I was afraid of losing control. Ha! I never thought it as that but what the doctor said made sense to me. Then he jokingly said maybe I was bad and did something and was afraid of not waking up - yes this was my initial thought.
I thought again if it was time for your ajal it could happen anywhere, anytime. But still for stuff like this I think I would prefer to be awake than asleep and be at the mercy of the doctor. Losing control is scary to me, not that I'm a control freak or whatever, but for something routine like getting my teeth pulled out or doing a root canal, I would prefer to be awake and aware of my surroundings.