Can You Say “Conscious Sedation?”

Having my first baby was easy. He was born via c-section and with full spinal anesthesia, I didn’t feel a thing. Our daughter came next as a normal delivery. Paul and I were natural childbearing dropouts after the first class when he heard the instructor say, “Breathe in the light, breathe out the dark.” When I started into full labor with our second baby and really needed the breathing techniques, he suggested “This time, why don’t you try gritting your teeth?” So much for husband help in the area of pain management.

I’ve had six children and yet I am a wimp when it comes to pain. I am not one of those mothers who enjoys the challenge of natural childbirth. I am one of those mothers who is grateful she is not a mother birthing in any part of the history of the world without local anesthesia options. Give me the spinal (for my c-sections) and the epidural for everything else. I am thrilled.

Last Thursday was another bone marrow biopsy before the transplant. I arrived with considerable fear after my first biopsy; a screaming/crying/crush Paul’s hand experience. I had come in that morning happy because I was blissfully naive. I even said yes to additional extracts in the name of research. Little did I know that an unsedated biopsy was a really bad idea.

I was tipped off to the conscious sedation option by my friend Sarah. Prior to the event, I made sure that several people in the clinic (repeatedly) knew I wanted that option.  Paul in his usual form suggested I bring a piece of leather to bite on. They asked if a nursing student could watch the procedure. I think my screaming reputation had preceded me, so the mentoring nurse suggested that I get “good and drugged up.” I don’t know how much of that was for my benefit or was to prevent the student from being too traumatized on her first viewing. It was probably some of both.

In the end, conscious sedation was clearly the right choice. I was fully awake and didn’t even feel loopy. When they finished, my thought was, “I could do that again!” (Well, not at that exact moment of course.)

I will forever request the sedation, a hand to hold AND Andrea the nurse – a perfect bone marrow biopsy combination. I’ll save the leather strap for Paul in his hour of need. He hails from pioneer stock and might actually use it.

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2 thoughts on “Can You Say “Conscious Sedation?”

  1. Our husbands went to the same school of pain management. I, on the other hand, am a wimp and proud of it. This whole experience is enough without adding more pain to the equation. Hooray for pharmaceuticals! Love you & miss you tons. Hope you had a great trip. Happy to come out @ the drop of a hat once you start this whole second phase. XOXO K

  2. Jenny, I love your sense of humor through everything! I do happen to recall your reluctance to get your ears pierced and donate blood in high school because of the pain involved (“but you get free cookies!”). I am the same with the births, and even thought about making a sign that read “Give me the epidural!” in case my intent wasn’t clear. Thinking about you and sending strength. – Doreen

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