When I rescheduled the uterine polyp removal surgery, I was pretty confident I could avoid the general anesthesia I so dreaded. The doctor told me in his office when I first found out I had the polyp that general anesthesia was usually used, but it was light and involved no tube in my throat. He also said I could discuss other options for anesthesia with the anesthesiologist if I wanted. Between scheduling the surgery and getting it, I asked no less than four (and possibly more) other people whether I would have the option to choose a different kind of anesthesia, and they all said yes.

The day of the surgery, I got four or five hours of sleep beforehand and somehow managed to be up at 6 am and ready when my friend picked me up at 6:15 am. That in itself was a miracle. I was disoriented and could barely say my own name, but I was up and ready. I was clearly motivated to do this since I'd casually walked into my knee replacement surgery last year an hour and a half after they said they wanted me there, just because I didn't want to get up so early. They didn't complain, though....to my face, anyway.

Once I got registered at the surgery center and called back to begin setting up for the procedure, I got to talk to the anesthesiologist right away. He was a really nice guy with a good attitude. In fact, I would say he was probably the nicest anesthesiologist I've ever met. He didn't try to force general anesthesia on me and immediately gave me two other options--a spinal block and local anesthetic--that I was completely comfortable with using. I said either one would be fine and he said he would ask the doctor which one was best.

The doctor soon appeared and seemed much grumpier than I remembered. I'd just been telling a nurse how much I liked him, but his next words changed all of that for me. He said he would not do the surgery without general anesthesia, and I could take it or get up and leave. The spinal would take too much time to set up in his opinion, and the local anesthesia wouldn't numb the pain enough. Great. Now I was upset. What was I going to do?


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