Consciousness During General Anesthesia

The Awareness of Nothing

The Awareness of Nothing


November 30, 2016 4:14 PM

“Oh! You’re awake!” the startled nurse said as she quickly snatched a breathing tube out of my mouth.

“I just had a very cool experience,” I replied.

She was surprised that I was so alert. I didn’t feel “out of it” like the other times I’d had general anesthesia. The amazing part though, is that I was alert the whole time of the procedure.

About 2-3 times a month, I experience awareness during dreamless sleep—a (very hard to describe) awareness of nothing. I know this is to be expected of post-enlightenment (I’m too lazy right now to look it up), but it is still a nice acknowledgement.

I experienced this same awareness this morning during my lithotripsy procedure (sonic wave pulses shot into the kidney stone to break it up). I didn’t experience the procedure or the operating room or any of that (no NDE either unfortunately), but I was aware of being unconscious… aware of nothing.

The nurse, for her part, was genuinely surprised that I was so alert upon regaining consciousness. And I was alert. I even asked her if this was my first waking up (I know from previous experience that you kind of go in and out of consciousness until you finally wake up) and she said it was. And she kept looking at me and looking at the monitors in disbelief.

And—though I don’t know if the procedure was successful or not—I feel really good.

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5 thoughts on “Consciousness During General Anesthesia

  1. Ha! I just noticed the pitch for the book that shows up under the posts now. I did a re-design of the site yesterday (day before?) and the pitch is a part of the re-design: “IT’S TIME TO WAKE UP”

    Funny how She works.

  2. Glad you are taking care of your body vehicle. I am reading your book so I can review it and I wanted to say thanks, so far it has been great.
    Get well quickly!

  3. Aloha Wayne,

    It’s end of semester time, so I am too harried to read your book, or do much of anything beyond survive the tests, papers, endless grading, etc. And yet, I am grateful for your sharing and the example you model. Thank you for sticking around.
    With love,

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