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Did you remember waking up?Breathing after surgery questions

on 10/4/10 1:44 pm
 Someone in the chatroom mentioned that a lot of docs give an amnesia medication so you won't remember waking up from surgery?

A little background. I've had 3 experiences with anesthesia. One with my wisdom teeth- no probs. I woke up like waking up from sleeping. Two while greater than 5 months pregnant. Appendix and Gallbladder. BOTH those times were awful. I woke up gasping for breath like a stranded guppy. The nurses kept screaming at me to stop panicking. In my mind I was totally relaxed. I just couldn't breathe! This experience isn't one I'm enthusiastic about going through again, for obvious reasons. 

I've talked with a few people about this and one of the theories is that the paralytic doesn't wear off as fast as it should (no paralytic with your wisdom teeth) and the other, which I'm hoping is the case, is that the added pressure of my very gravid uterus pushing against my diaphragm, was what caused me some difficulty post surgery. 

Did anybody here have that kind of experience after surgery? BTW my lung capacity is fine. I DO have what I would call exercise induced asthma. I get all phlegmy and gaspy... but really I'm at a loss. Obviously I'll talk to the anesthesiologist, but I'd love to know what your experiences were in recovery. 
 "Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly recognizes genius." Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

"What your heart thinks is great, is great. The soul's emphasis is always right." Ralph Waldo Emerson    
Janine P.
on 10/4/10 1:50 pm - Long Island, NY
DS on 05/03/11 with
Mine was werid... When I had the VSG done, I woke up with the breathing tube down my throat, and I kept trying to swallow to get it out of my throat.  They took it out and stuffed a mask on my face that made it too difficult to breath so I kept shaking my face to get it off.  They got the message and took the mask off me and let me breathe.  It stunk.  When I have the second half of my DS done, I will be having a lovely chit chat with the anesthesia team.


Janine   Me on Youtube 


Blank Out
on 10/4/10 1:58 pm
DS on 05/24/10 with
 I woke up in the OR.  I just remember being aware of pain, but nothing else.  I vividly remember my recovery experience.  I remember getting the pain meds and that wonderful feeling of the pain abating.  I felt nauseous.  But, no problems breathing right after waking up.  I am an asthmatic, and I requested two albuterol breathing treatments  the second night.  All the crud in my lungs made it hard to breathe.  Coughing it up is painful, I had to hold onto my belly.  
HW/ 302  SW/287  CW/140  GW/135

Jersey Girl
on 10/4/10 1:59 pm
Revision on 03/07/11 with
I've had my widsom teeth out, VBG, gallbladder removed, endoscopy and laparoscopy.  On each occassion I come out of anesthesia as if I'm awakening from a sleep, and I hear the nurses calling my name, telling me I'm all done and everything went great.  I remember being wheeled to recovery, my mouth is always as dry as the desert and then I'm usually hit with some of the worse pain I've felt in life.  Luckily this is alleviated fairly quickly once they start pumping me with IV drugs, lol.
A l y s i a  (pronounced like A l i c i a)
Total weight loss since HW of 475:
Pounds lost since band revision to DS            
on 10/4/10 1:59 pm - CA
I wasn't as afraid of dying from surgery as I was of being awake during it.  My first post surgery memory was hearing a nurse ask if I was nauseous.  I said I was a little bit.  I felt like I was sleeping in a dark room and couldn't open my eyes.  I couldn't feel anything.  It was almost like being drunk.  She told me I was doing so good.  I asked her if I was skinny yet.  We both laughed.  It was so comforting to hear that I was ok that I just fell back asleep. 

I don't remember coming around but then next thing I knew (3 hours later) that I was being wheeled up to my room.  I was fully awake and felt no pain. 

I hope you can have peace before, during and after your surgery.  Meditation tapes might help for relaxing because you are probably going to have some anxiety around it.  I wish you the best Anethesiologist money can buy!



(deactivated member)
on 10/4/10 2:10 pm
I had a not so great experience with my DS.  Apparently, I came out of surgery just fine.  I don't remember waking up or the recovery room at all.  I was doing fine when they took me to my room. I vaguely remember them transfering me to my bed.  DH says I was *****ing about the pulse ox thing on my finger, and since I was doing so well, they agreed to take it off of my finger so I'd stfu.  I apparently fell asleep and my head fell over, cutting off my oxygen supply.  At that time, I had a nasal canula.  DH was sitting across the room from me, and says I made a snorting sound.  It was loud enough that it made him look up at me from his video game.  My face was purple, and my arms and hands were ash grey.  He tried to straighten my head up and shake me around, but I didn't respond.  He pressed the call button, and a nurse stuck her head in the door. It was shiftchange, so there was double the normal staff there.  The nurse took one look at me, yelled to the others that she needed help, and all hell broke loose!  DH tells me there were six nurses, a respiratory therapist and an ER doctor in my room.  After they sat me up, flipped me on my side, and pumped a bunch of air into me, I finally came to.  I, of course, remember nothing...thank God!  One of the nurses wanted to give me Narcan, but the others demanded they wait for the ER doc to get in there.  I'm so thankful that she listened to them!  I would have been in tremendous pain, had they given me that Narcan!  After they got me stablized, I did fine, but they weren't allowed to take the pulse ox off of me.

Sorry if my story scared you, but remember that everyone reacts different to anesthesia, each time they have it...I have, anyway.  This was the first not so good experience I've had. 
on 10/4/10 2:19 pm
I really don't remember anything about waking up in recovery.  My first memory is getting wheeled to my room and being told that I had to walk a lap around the floor before I was allowed to actually get into bed.  I remember thinking that the nurses were crazy and that it felt like my belly was going to fall out.... it was just the oddest sensation.  But the was no pain really.  

I've had an abdominal surgery before this one and I remember waking up in recovery from that one but again, no gasping for breath or anything.  

I have an aunt who has really bad reactions to anethesia and she makes it a point to speak to her anethesiologist ahead of time and they are able to add something which makes the experience much better.  

Just warn any doctors that you DON'T want Reglan in any case.  

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on 10/4/10 2:20 pm
 I woke up in my hospital bed.  My first words.....I guess I didn't die.

I didn't feel bad and I was up and walking within an hour of getting to my room.
Nancy L.
on 10/4/10 2:38 pm - University Place, WA
I remember nothing about the recovery room or the conversations I had with my kids after I got back to my room, they say I was pretty funny.   I actually don't remember much of the whole 1st day after surgery, I was very well medicated.

on 10/4/10 2:45 pm - NE
DS on 07/03/09 with
The only thing I remember from the recovery room was telling them their drugs sucked (to which they gave me so that did not suck lol) and they kept doing Chest Xrays but I don't know WHY and nobody told my family they even did them so they were no help. My next memory is getting to my room and I told my family to hand me the computer. I got on here, posted and then went straight to sleep lol They forgot to turn my pain pump DOWN so it was on high all 5 days I was there. I do not remember anything of my hospital stay
Emily F.
on 10/4/10 3:28 pm
DS on 04/05/10 with
Well. I usually have trouble waking up, in the states, I've had two lap surgeries outpatient where they kept saying if I didn't wake up they were putting me in so I basically 'fakes' being awake long enough to get me in the car and then I would pass out again.

So in Mexico I started to wake up and I was in terrible pain, they nurses kept saying there was morphine in the bag and finally just told me to go back to sleep. I said "Oh" and did. lol. But yes, I was TERRIBLY disappointed in the drugs in Mexico. I was expecting WAY better drugs.
on 10/4/10 3:30 pm - Levittown, PA
DS on 07/02/08 with
I woke in recovery with the breathing tube in.   After a bit they got me ready and had me cough and they took it out.   Don't remember much else.

HW 341/SW 309/CW 169/GW 190   172 lb. loss with my DS -  Subscribe to me on YouTube!
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on 10/4/10 3:32 pm
Revision on 08/10/09 with
In 1999 I had an RNY. I remember becoming somewhat conscious, but felt like I was suffocating and hearing someone say "she's not assisting". I was fighting and struggling and felt like I was suffocating. Next thing I felt some movement as I was being hooked back up to the ventilator. When I felt it breathing for me I relaxed and thought "ok, I'm breathing" and I drifted off again. Wehn I woke up the next time there was a nurse standing over me and said "I need you to breath for me." When she took the vent off of the breathing tube I remember physically having to breath out of my mouth. Once I was breathing on my own the breathing tube was removed and I was given my pain pump and taken to my room.

When I had my revision I remember I was "dreaming" or perhaps I was hearing people around me. As I became more conscious all I remember feeling was pain and I said "PAIN PAIN PAIN, HURT HURT HURT!" over and over again. I was given pain medication and my pain pump and moved from recovery and taken to CCU.

I don't recall anything from being in the O.R. at all.

                   HW (pre RNY) 430 HW (pre DS) 302 / SW 288 /
                          Lowest weight 157 / CW 161
GW 150
                "I'm just one stomach flu away from my goal weight"
Ellen G.
on 10/4/10 3:48 pm - Bensalem, PA
DS on 09/13/10 with
I remember waking up in recovery.  I heard somebody calling my name and a bunch of people around me counting my incisions.  I had no breathing tube and no problem breathing whatsoever.  In fact, I remember thinking to myself that I was surprised I was breathing so quietly.  I was in recovery for 3-4 hours and in and out of sleep the whole time.
Michelle H.
on 10/4/10 4:24 pm - Canada
When I had my RNY done I remember waking up in recovery and I was HOT.  They had me covered in blankets and the blankets felt really really heavy on my body.  I remember I could not move and so I kind of felt clausterphobic.  I am not sure what that was all about however that is about all I can remember. 

Since then I have had two more surgeries and both times waking up was pretty normal.  Just like waking up from sleeping.  I normally sleep the rest of the surgery day away and feel little to no pain while I am sleeping.  I hope that things go smoothly like the last two surgeries did when I have my revision
My is Debbie M.......I am to lo24 (Louisa)
RNY 338- 185.  Regain to SW260 CW 236 GW 150ish?

on 10/4/10 5:24 pm - Jonesboro, AR
DS on 04/06/10 with
From my DS in April & my Thyroid surgery last week, I have NO memories of waking in recovery. In April, the damn pulse ox monitor kept beeping to prompt me to breathe deeply (I'm apparently a shallow mouth breather when sedated ROFL!). If that wasn't annoying enough, my mom would follow it up with, "Breathe hon, are you breathing? Can you hear me?" So I would have to wake up enough to speak or at least grunt in her general direction.

I had the same issue the other day - not breathing deeply enough to get my pulse ox where it needs to be coming out of anesthesia.

Other surgeries, I remember being VERY annoyed with whoever was telling me to wake up in recovery. I'm a very crabby person in the morning. I wonder if the two issues are related.

P. Poster
on 10/4/10 6:06 pm, edited 10/4/10 6:08 pm
 I don't remember "waking up" after my DS.  Meaning, I don't recall them pulling the breathing tube, or being in the OR at all (I don't even remember going IN to the OR much, haha!  Good drugs!), or them telling me to wake up or anything like that.  I just remember coming to in the recovery room.  I must have just gotten there because they were still tinkering with me, and there were 3 nurses there with me.  I came to and was instantly vomiting and in a lot of pain (I had a reaction to the Morphine they were giving me that caused spasms).  They doped me up with Phenergan and more Morphine (because I couldn't tell them NOT to & that I was having a reaction to it, ya know, being that I was still under partial sedation...) and took me off the oxygen mask.  I never went back to sleep after that.  I remember everything from the recovery room and being moved to my room and having visitors and such.  But, I react strangely to anesthesia, I tend to come out of it before I'm supposed to...

My other surgeries under general anesthesia- one I woke up before they pulled the breathing tube and remember everything about that, and them actually trying to wake me for real.  It wasn't traumatic though, and didn't hurt.  

One I don't remember at all.  

One I came out of like I had been fake sleeping- I just sort of popped up and was like "Hi, how are you?" and felt like I hadn't been under at all.  The nurses were amazed at how I could just "come back" like that.  

Another one I don't remember waking up, again, just came to in the recovery room, but, I remember FREAKING out because I couldn't breathe.  They had the oxygen mask on me (the bagged mask) but the oxygen wasn't turned on, and I was suffocating.  I kept trying to pull it off my face, and the nurse was getting pissed at me and ended up (very forcefully) holding it down on my face and yelling at me to "calm down, you are scaring the other patients".  I shot up in bed pushing her off me and ripped the mask off and said back "if you would do your damn job right and turn the ******g oxygen on, I wouldn't be suffocating and freaking out".  My stay in that recovery was VERY unpleasant needless to say...  Thank GOD that was an outpatient procedure. 

ETA- I do, for each surgery, remember them telling me to take a deep breath and the pulse ox beeping incessantly.  Shallow breather.  I also have "reemergence issues" and can have some interesting emotional things happen, like come to bawling, or really grouchy, or flat out fighting (I decked a nurse in her jaw once...).  So, I just tell them about these things and my tendency to come up from anesthesia quickly and before intended before they put me out.
Shannon Randolph
on 10/4/10 7:32 pm - Cartersville, GA
I would DEFINATELY ask for an anesthesia consult at your hospital pre-op.  You do NOT need to go into surgery with those fears.  You can share these experiences at your consult, and they should be able to figure out exactly what happened and take great care of you without incident.

My best!

on 10/4/10 8:02 pm - Kew Gardens, NY
DS on 07/16/09 with
Definitely speak with the anesthesiologist and explain your concerns and past experiences.

I woke hearing a million people saying 'Kristin, Kristin, Kristinkristinkristin - wake up, come on, wake up now, wake up'.  all I could think was SHADDUP!!  Then I kept telling everyone how I felt great and this was easy.  Evidently, Dr. Pomp chuckled at this, looked at my husband and said 'she won't be saying that tomorrow'.  So, I do know the anesthesia team did an incredible job of pain management while I was out and into my waking up stages.  I also demanded only dilaudid, no morphine.  They complied.  I usually cry coming out of anesthesia and I didn't at all this time.  They did a great job, for sure.

7/19/09 - DS with Dr. Alfons Pomp
7/11/12 -  tummy tuck, UBL, larg lipo sculpting of torso, lipo of "buffalo hump" with Dr. Sauceda
Loretta W.
on 10/4/10 8:54 pm - Inland Empire, CA
I didn't remember ANYTHING post op.  I had surgery early morning and was in recovery all day.  I wasn't wheeled into my room until that night. 
The very first thing I remember was being put into my bed in my room.
I don't even remember being transfered onto a gurney to go to my room or anything.
It was wierd.
With other surgeries I had some memories. Such as waking up right after (in pain, moaning, trying to talk incoherently)
Or I remembered trying to wake up, trying to *come out of it*
I would at least have Some memory and sensations. One surgery I had I remembered hearing the nurses laughing and I remember thinking why are they laughing, I am in so much pain. I remembered shaking violently.

I literally have NO memory of Any kind (so that is good I guess)
They must have given me some major drugs.

I was told with my DS though that the doctor (Dr. Ungson was a wee bit worried because I was shaking so badly) post op.
Shaking is a common reaction post op. like shivering but mine is like shaking. I guess it was a lot and for a long time. they medicated me for it. again I have no memory of that.