Everyday Miracles

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Despite the many shortcomings of modern medicine (and there are obviously plenty, alas), I still find myself drawn in by so many things that are routine in many healthcare facilities.  I can’t help but be slightly awed every time I see antibiotics work in clearing up an infection.  I’m struck by the fact that brain surgery and cardiac valve replacements are everyday procedures in plenty of hospitals.  Even something as run-of-the mill as x-rays or ultrasounds where the bones or organs can be visualized to direct treatment is amazing in its own way.

My Facebook feed this weekend was full of nursing memes and videos that ranged from the somber to the humorous.  National Nurses’ Day (in the United States) was on May 6, and as many friends and colleagues celebrated, I thought about an article I had come across last month on NPR.  The article features another sort of everyday miracle: waking up after a general anesthetic.

I was totally fascinated by Dr. Shafer’s perspective on the profound moment as a person wakes up after a procedure and her awareness of the awe-inspiring trust the patients place in her and other health care professionals to help them get safely through surgery – or, by extension, any health care experience.  Having worked as a nurse in both recovery (post anesthesia care) and neuro/trauma ICU over the last several years, I couldn’t help but think that Dr. Shafer has captured the essence of the humanity and beauty of the “ordinary” events in modern nursing and medicine.

Want to read more Microblog Monday posts?  Please check out Stirrup Queens’ blog.  Thanks to Mel for originating and hosting.  

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4 thoughts on “Everyday Miracles

  1. This made me think of all the times I woke up from anesthesia after an egg retrieval or some reproductive surgery professing my love to the doctor, the nurse, or my husband. It got to the point that I used to warn the recovery room nurse how I get, and they would laugh and say it’s better than the ones who wake up mad. I guess my point is that I always do feel very vulnerable in that state and the drugs or the helplessness fill me with a kind of gratitude for the people taking care of me. I should probably take stock of that more when I am not drugged, though I did feel so grateful for the doctors and nurses who cared for me and my girls the whole time I was in the hospital for their birth.

  2. Happy Nurse’s Day/Week! It is amazing when you think about the idea of anesthesia and coming back from being traumatized while unconscious. I am typically real goofy coming out and drop a lot of f-bombs, although not in an angry way. Bryce videotaped it once and I was horrified, but so glad to have trusted the people who kept me alive while things were going on in my body. So strange. I so appreciate nurses, and all of the medical technology that exists today.

  3. This is interesting because general anesthesia makes me more freaked out than surgery itself. The idea of being asleep like that freaks me out more than pain.

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