Massive euphoria for days after general anesthesia

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Aspie1
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03 Sep 2022, 10:46 pm

Well, I did some research on the chemicals I got in my anesthesia. Propofol was discovered in 1977, and didn't get popular in hospitals until 1992. It stimulates GABA receptors, causing a euphoria similar to SSRI's while first starting them, serotonin receptor agonists, or even alcohol. Fentanyl, on other hand, was discovered in 1959, and started being used in hospitals in 1960's. It stops the nerves from transmitting pain signals to the brain, creates an altered state to an extent, but does little to alleviate psychological discomfort on the patient's part.

So... at this point, I'm pretty sure my childhood anesthesia DID NOT contain propofol. That was in 1993, which means it was a new drug, and I'm sure hospitals were gun-shy about giving it to kids, much like kids' Covid vaccines came long after adult vaccines. It probably did contain fentanyl, it being a much older drug, but the dose was so low, it just wasn't enough to numb out the pain after surgery. Also, my parents' anger at me, insensitivity to my pain, and accusations of "whining" added insult to the injury. I get why they acted that way: adults feel pain far less acutely than kids do; in other words, post-surgery pain to a child feels like Level II trauma to an adult. So my family simply couldn't relate to my physical state, and thought I was exaggerating or lying.(And people say aspies are the ones lacking empathy! :roll:)

Today, by contrast, I got the full blast of the good stuff! The doctors might have even given me a little more than normal, due to the anxiety diagnosis in my patient chart. Unlike my childhood doctors, these doctors had ways to make my surgery a truly comfortable, if not outright pleasant, experience. Also, I'm a full-grown man now. I had access to tons of ways to comfort myself after this surgery: alcohol (after 24 hours), pornography, social outings, bragging to friends about the drugs I got, etc. I had none of those things at age 10; just my own aspie mind and the nonexistent mercy of my family.

And yet, the question remains:

Aspie1 wrote:
Is it the kid/adult difference or the 1993/2022 difference?



Last edited by Aspie1 on 03 Sep 2022, 11:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

lostonearth35
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03 Sep 2022, 10:55 pm

I have never felt any kind of euphoria after getting general anesthesia. All I'd get were awful, painful post-op symptoms and I'd be tense and terrified before every surgery as a result. Thanks to my emetophobia I'd be more terrified about PONV than I was from abut pain or needles or even what could possibly happen if I didn't get the surgery. It's almost like my body does not want me to feel anything pleasurable from substances other than food.



Aspie1
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03 Sep 2022, 11:27 pm

lostonearth35 wrote:
I have never felt any kind of euphoria after getting general anesthesia. All I'd get were awful, painful post-op symptoms and I'd be tense and terrified before every surgery as a result. Thanks to my emetophobia I'd be more terrified about PONV than I was from abut pain or needles or even what could possibly happen if I didn't get the surgery. It's almost like my body does not want me to feel anything pleasurable from substances other than food.
I felt really nasty PONV (without the V part) after my general anesthesia as a child, but not this time. That, and body pain in general, but again, not this time. Unlike you, I was always very drawn to chemical means of happiness and felt great pleasure from them; food just wasn't "strong enough". I had my first alcoholic drink at age 12, after a traumatic therapy experience.

I'm wondering at this point if the reasons for my euphoria were circumstantial and not just chemical. Namely, I came to the hospital on my own accord, felt brave enough to ask questions about what was being done to me, felt relaxed enough to make medical jokes with the staff, could easily and assertively self-advocate when necessary, studied the medical laws that protect my rights as a patient, and had delicious food and downloaded porn waiting for me at home. Simply put, it was a total opposite of having surgery as a lowly, borderline-subhuman child.



klanka
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04 Sep 2022, 3:40 am

I think back to when I was ten a lot, but for different reasons.
Are you gonna buy a drip and some of those drugs for further research or wot



Aspie1
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15 Sep 2022, 7:02 pm

klanka wrote:
I think back to when I was ten a lot, but for different reasons.
Are you gonna buy a drip and some of those drugs for further research or wot

No! That's be stupid and dangerous.

But I did have to go back to that hospital for a follow-up battery of tests: a PET-CT scan, blood work, and such, to make sure I'm healing up nicely after the operation. They pulled strings and scheduled them all on the same day, to help me minimize time off work. Similar drill: check in, get escorted to the treatment area, change into my patient gown, then start the ordeal. The only catch was having to fast for 6 hours prior, which meant skipping breakfast and coffee I normally have, which meant hunger pains and caffeine withdrawal.

A radiology tech injected me with a mixture of iodine and fluorine-18 (along with inactive ingredients). Then I had to sit in a recliner and wait. I felt no pain whatsoever. Well, I did feel like I'm going to pee myself, due to the body warmth the tracer solution gave me. Getting scanned by the PET-CT machine was no sweat: I just laid back and spaced out, watching the numbers on the machine screen. Later, came blood work and lab tests. I looked away when the needle hit my arm, and pestered the phlebotomist with the questions "Is it done? Is it done?", but that was as bad it got. I also pestered the radiology tech with science questions about the machine and the solution being injected, and he answered them with utmost patience and detail. Like, "Which radiation frequency does the machine use?" or "What's the solution's half-life?". (My patient chart says I work in IT, and I guess he knew IT workers tend to be science geeks, so he humored me.)

Throughout the whole time in the hospital, I was FLOORED with how relaxed I felt. From checking in, to getting the IV solution, to having to lie still in the PET-CT machine, to having my blood drawn, to answering tough questions, I didn't feel a trace of anxiety! I even joked with the radiology tech and a nurse about turning into Superman. Everyone was so nice! The nurses, the techs, the phlebotomist, my primary doctor who briefly showed up to check up on me, everyone. Any time I felt fearful and mentioned it, a little bit of pep talk from whoever was working on me made it go away. And the friendly nurse who helped me get in and out of the PET-CT machine was very cute too. :D

Simply put, I looked and felt like a mess during parts of that day. And yet, I was treated with the respect and dignity a company CEO gets at a stockholders' meeting.

It's a far cry from my hospital experiences as a child. I had lots of health problems back then, which meant being dragged into constant procedures that were never properly explained to me. I felt miserable and uncomfortable every time, the workers were callous and unsympathetic about my pain, and my parents later berated me for acting fearful. Sometimes they even punished me by revoking my cartoon-watching privileges for that night. While today, as a 39-year-old old fart, even if I freaked out and had a panic attack, hypothetically, everyone on the scene would go out of their way to comfort me.

After I was gone getting procedure'd, I hit up the McDonald's at the hospital food court, and practically inhaled their Big Breakfast Combo. It was SO GOOD, almost better than sex, despite being cheap fast food crap. I didn't feel the same euphoria I felt after that general anesthesia surgery. But I liked being able to walk out of the hospital on my own accord and catch a train home, and not overpay for a medical transport van.