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General Anesthesia

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Have you ever had need? I did recently for the first time in my very long years. Although expected, what an odd experience it was to be without memory of some mental and perceptual experience while under. It was oblivion, which was quite unlike the sleep and dreaming state I study and enjoy. It was, perhaps, a taste of the blissful hereafter I've imagined--nothingness. It's odd I wasn't interested before now in the affects of anesthesia on the brain given my interests. If you were ever unlucky to have had need for general anesthesia, what were your perceptual experiences if any?

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Although expected, what an odd experience it was to be without memory of some mental and perceptual experience while under.

 

As you say, it's what I imagine death to be like, which can't be scary since I'd hardly be anguishing about it. It's comforting to me to imagine it that way. A universal cessation, waiting for the next time I need to "open my eyes" (if that ever happens - I won't be wondering when).

 

The one that still unsettles me a bit to think about is the pre-op anesthesia they use when they need you semi-mobile and tractable. Just like the general, I remember nothing of it. I'm told I was quite witty and endearing (my strategy for surviving any medical visit - "be worth saving"), my timing was excellent, and doctors, nurses, and my wife were all smiling as they had me lie down on the table. And I remember nothing of it!

 

Did I just "phone it in", sort of respond on auto-pilot, or was I fairly cognizant but lacking any kind of memory storage? It's like a blackout after drinking too much, there's just nothing there to retrieve. It really gives you the feeling someone else was using your body while you were away.

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As you say, it's what I imagine death to be like, which can't be scary since I'd hardly be anguishing about it. It's comforting to me to imagine it that way. A universal cessation, waiting for the next time I need to "open my eyes" (if that ever happens - I won't be wondering when).

I was intrigued by the possibility of what my perceptual experiences might be under anesthesia. I fully recall everything immediately before sedation and after arousal. My attendants didn't report any odd exchanges only that I went blank and then I awoke. Other than birth and the first few months of my life, I'm hard pressed to recall ever having an experience without some memory or impression of it. As I enter the proverbial twilight of my life, my thoughts have not regarded the hereafter as much as its preamble--which, with my luck, is likely pain and long suffering. :)

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Then the question is, at what point in ones life does the preamble outweigh nothing?

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Then the question is, at what point in ones life does the preamble outweigh nothing?

Isn't that the point? Nothingness has no weight. When I'm moved to consider my mortality and eventual demise, as recent events have, my thoughts regard what may come in the moments immediately before my end because afterwards there is none and nothing. Rather than being blissfully oblivious, I'd prefer to meet my end fully awake and aware--he said courageously. My only regret might be an inability to completely record and report my perceptual experience of the end moment.

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I've gone under general anesthesia twice, and yeah, the thing that most distinguished it from sleep is probably the complete lack of any sense of time having passed. One moment you're sitting there, the next everything is over.

 

When I wake up in the morning, there's usually some continuity of having felt like I was asleep for awhile or remembering falling asleep or waking up.

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My only regret might be an inability to completely record and report my perceptual experience of the end moment.

"The gold, it's in the...". :)

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"The gold, it's in the...". :)

 

Ha! More like, "It was B...B...B...rrrrr"

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Ha! More like, "It was B...B...B...rrrrr"a

;) I quoted a pink floyd song title.

 

Does it matter what your final thought was? You are just one of countless inconsequential organisms?

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Does it matter what your final thought was? You are just one of countless inconsequential organisms?

Not so much my final thoughts as my final perceptual experiences. In death, I believe our brain provides an interpretation of the process much like one might experience through a dream. I've theorized this interpretive process as the likely source of afterlife reports through near-death experiences. I think our brain supplies imagery of an afterlife and deceased relatives as an interpretation of the process a person believes he is enduring, which is a process ending with one joining one's ancestors in death.

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