Anesthesia Tales: “I Love Bourbon…”

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Pentothal Sodium (known as the truth serum) is not used much anymore for the induction of anesthesia. At one time  it was the Cadillac drug when a patient needed to have Anesthesia induced rapidly for emergency surgery.pentothal

It was also used as the initial sleep agent in regular inductions of anesthetics. I remember one particular patient who was the wife of a local physician and I chose to do a slow induction of the anesthetic to keep her blood pressure from dropping. As the drug began to circulate in her blood stream, Linda (made up to protect her identity), began to talk and talk and talk.

“Jim doesn’t know it, but I have a crush on his boss.”

Her husband Jim’s boss was the surgeon preparing to do her surgery and the part of his face showing above his mask was beet red.

I told her to take a deep breath. She took a breath  and continued,”I really can’t stand this town.”

I answered her comment softly as I continued to inject medication, “Nowhere is right for everyone.”

I placed the anesthesia mask over her face and told her to breathe deeply. She went right on talking under the

She reached up and pulled the mask away and said, “I forgot to tell you how much I love Kentucky Jack bourbon. Really love it! I have it every day.” By this time she sounded like she had a couple of drinks with her slurred speech.

I decided to speed up the induction before she told the entire Operating Room staff all of her secrets. So much for slow inductions. I don’t think I ever did one again.

When a TV host asked me years later why the anesthetist asked her to count backwards from 100, I laughed and said,” we absolutely don’t do that anymore.”



8 thoughts on “Anesthesia Tales: “I Love Bourbon…”

  1. Hilarious … and when patients are coming out of anaesthesia they can also be very indiscreet … the number of little sweet ladies who swear like long-shore men is unreal,


  2. I am thrilled to hear the complete story of this incident!
    I read it aloud to Troy, by the end we were laughing hysterically.

    Ruby, you have such a way with words!


  3. This was really funny! I’d love to hear more stories! 🙂 Years ago, I was waiting my turn in a semi-private waiting room type area (curtains separating patients) and the girl next to me had must been given some sort of “pre” anesthesia and the gentlemen who administered it asked her “are you starting to feel that?” and she says ” I’m not sure, but you are getting more cute to me.” He laughs and says ” I guess it’s working then.” Still makes me chuckle when I think of that.


  4. Tonya:
    Your story is really funny. I’ve even used that same expression when giving versed to patients prior to going to the OR. I’d never thought of how it might sound to other patients separated by a curtain especially coming from a woman.


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