While watching fictional television programming the other night, the Wild Boar and I encountered a scene where an actor, stranded on a remote island, required emergency surgery.
The patient, who happens to play a doctor, chose to remain awake during his appendectomy in order to guide another less experienced doctor during the procedure.
Yeah right, I thought to myself.
I turned to the Wild Boar and said, “Give me a break, no one could stand that kind of pain with only local anesthetic.”
Of course he looked at me and said, “Yeah, it’s horrible, but I’ve seen emergency surgery on someone who was awake and without general anesthesia.” Of course.
During the Wild Boar’s training he did an obstetric elective in a foreign country. The small village hospital had a patient whose placenta separated during labor. With this type of placental separation the baby no longer receives oxygen and would die almost immediately from suffocation if not delivered.
Although there was no anesthesiologist in the hospital, one was on the way.
The doctors at the hospital tried in vain to improve the condition of the unborn baby with oxygen and IV fluids but the baby didn’t respond. A C-section was done using only lidocaine (local anesthetic) for pain management with her consent.
The patient was injected with lidocaine, cut. Injected. Cut some more. Injected. Cut. Through every layer of tissue to get to the baby.
Honestly, I was now rolling around on the couch holding my lower abdomen, imagining this poor woman in excruciating labor pain, holding completely still, essentially without anesthesia.
This woman did everything she was instructed to do while in unimaginable pain, begging and pleading only to save her baby.
I cannot even fathom how she must have felt? How painful? How terrifying this must have been?
What amazes me is what a mother would endure to save her child, one she has never met, but loves unconditionally enough to say, “Yes, cut me open, just save my baby”.
I’m sure this is not the only woman who has experienced something so utterly horrific, but I am amazed at the human capacity to tolerate this type of pain in order to save another life.
It left me speechless.
I was glad to hear she was fully medicated when sewn up. The anesthesiologist was there and all was well.
Of course the Wild Boar went on to tell me about even more horrific procedures used in more historic times and potentially even recent times in countries where there are not facilities to perform C-sections safely.
Let me just share with you one of the most (what I think gruesome) procedures my lovely husband informed me of….maybe to make me feel better. However, I’m not sure. He loves to get a reaction out of me which is not hard to do.
This is the Gigli Saw. Looks like a torture device doesn’t it?
It is a flexible wire saw, essentially a bone cutting device. One of it’s many uses is to get babies out of patients who would normally be given a C-section in a more modern, medical community.
A handle is removed and one end of the saw is pushed through the skin, and threaded under and around the pubic bone until it comes back out where the handle can be placed back on.
The saw is then used to cut the pubic bone allowing the baby to come out.
Is anyone’s hiney cringing like mine right now?
So after this type of procedure the woman had to recover from her pelvic bone being sawed apart.
Just writing that gave me another hiney twinge. Go figure.
So I just thought I’d share this with all of you while you ate your breakfast, lunch or even dinner. Enjoy.
I know you are all are feeling so much more informed right now.