When you have guests at your home and they are sleeping, doesn’t everyone in the house try to be quiet for the sleeping person? It is almost an unspoken courtesy that is given to others when they are resting. One of the early things I noticed when Kayla was first diagnosed was that this courtesy is never extended to sedated patients. I think this is very odd. Let me explain.
Versed a Forgetter Drug
The first procedure to remove bone marrow from (my daughter) Kayla, was done using a drug called Versed. The doctor called it conscious sedation. Let me tell you, this was one of the single most traumatic situations I have ever experienced! When Kayla was given this drug she acted as if she was falling asleep. Yet when the doctor put the needle in her hip Kayla was trying to scream and get off the table. I was forced to hold her down by her shoulders while they stuck a very large needle into the back of her hipbone. Evidently this “conscious sedation” did nothing to block the pain of this procedure. What an oxymoron to call it sedation when pain is still felt by the patient. Sedation equaled in my mind sleep and no pain. This was the opposite of sedation!
Why even use the word sedation, if the patient feels the pain? The patient feels the pain and trauma of the procedure, yet the drug completely blocks any memory of the incident. The act of blocking memory while allowing pain sensation to be felt by the patient seems quite barbaric and I do not get the point of it, not when there are plenty of drugs that really do block any pain and have the patient fully asleep.
I have had several surgeries and all of them were done under general anesthetic. Before my last surgery I told the surgeon I did not want any added “forgetter” drugs. He responded by looking at me like I was nuts and said that I was incorrect because of post-traumatic stress. When I countered this with the fact that I will be asleep, he still insisted that these other drugs were needed. I do not agree with this thinking at all and would like to see the proof of this assertion.
Due to what I have witnessed, I would NEVER voluntarily accept any procedure done on my body with “conscious sedation.”
Poor Kayla went through five bone marrow procedures with conscious sedation. In every one of these procedures, she was completely lucid and felt everything. Every time I objected and asked for another option I was told that the operating room was far too risky. The death card was used on me by more than one doctor. What do I mean by death card? It is when the medical personnel imply that the danger of death is a real possibility, all to get your compliance. Its a form of blackmail through fear.
Common Sedation Drug
Here is the truth; the most common drug to sedate patients for minor procedures is propofol (DIPRIVAN). It works fast and does not last very long. The first time Kayla was sedated with Propofol, I was very surprised when she woke up because she was not groggy or nauseated at all. She came back to normal almost immediately and was able to eat a meal right away. There was no evident trauma after the procedure.
Later I went to another hospital for a second opinion regarding something with Kayla’s care. During the conversation with the new doctor I decided to ask about the procedures and how they were done in this hospital. He looked at me very funny and wondered why I was asking such a question. I explained the conscious sedation. He answered with this statement: “In today’s society, with the drugs we have available, there is no reason why any patient should experience any kind of unnecessary pain.” I think that about sums it up perfectly. We switched hospitals immediately.
Back to the beginning of this page where I mention being considerate of someone sleeping. To top off the insult of conscious sedation, while I was holding Kayla down, (during her screaming pain) some of the nurses started to have a conversation in the room while this was happening. It really irritated me. It appeared to be incredibly callus and seemed to treat Kayla as if she did not exist, or better yet, as if she was just a piece of meat on the table. The rage that welled up inside of me was overwhelming to experience in such a horrible situation. No one seemed to notice that a stressed mother was having to hold down her crying, screaming and struggling child. This was our worst introduction to the world of cancer on our second day in the hospital after diagnosis.
There has to be a basic respect for the patient. I know that the medical staff do care and when Kayla is awake she is always treated like a queen. But, why does the queen treatment end when she is sedated? There should be more caution and respect for a patient that is asleep and undergoing physical trauma.
The point here is to research these new drugs very carefully. There are many sites where patients rave about conscious sedation, but we will never know if they had to be held down during their procedure while the staff gossiped about some trivial matter within their hearing. Doesn’t this scenario seem repulsive?
I am not medically trained in any way. Given here are my opinions based upon personal observation.
Torture & Forgetter Drugs
Another point of view was found on the Internet and I think it is very valid so I included it here.
“Here’s my most disturbing idea yet. There are drugs, which erase memory (or rather block the formation of memories while they are used.) It seems disturbingly probable to me that these were developed for torture. This way the person or victim cannot remember the crimes committed against them.” What an evil tool! http://ideas.4brad.com/archives/000100.html
If you don’t know of this class of drugs, you may have heard of “Roofies” the “date rape” drug, which have been used to both make a victim pliable and also to make him/her forget the rape. There are stronger drugs, such as Versed, which are used in surgery.
The surgical use is quite disturbing. They want to perform a procedure on you while you will be somewhat conscious, but it is painful and upsetting and will leave mental scars — so they put you through the pain but block you from remembering it.” Here is another website which gives more information about versed. http://versedbusters.blogspot.com/
In closing, let me reiterate that there is no need for unnecessary pain in any patient, nor a lack of respect with trivial conversation while the patient is drugged and feeling pain. Maybe this page will give medical personnel some food for thought and in the least will educate patients on their choices of sedation.