Author Topic: Transport after general anesthesia  (Read 2113 times)

maizeman

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Transport after general anesthesia
« on: October 18, 2018, 04:15:49 PM »
Not sure if this belongs here or in off topic.

I don't know how much of the general loopiness post anesthesia is common vs. an old sitcom trope, but the general consensus online seems to be that planning to take public transportation or an uber afterwards would be a significant risk. So what do you do if you might be going under general anesthesia and you don't know anyone local well enough (have enough social capital) to ask them to come pick you up afterwards?

I found this old thread on metafilter, but the only workable suggestion from it seems to be hiring a nurse/home healthcare aid for the 24 hours afterwards which seems both expensive and excessive unless there is really no alternative.

Anyway, hopefully right now the question will end up being moot, but even if so, presumably this is a challenge that would pop up again at some point in life.

Human beings really do seem to work better when we're part of tribes or families than when completely atomized but trying to solve that problem in the next few days seems overly ambitious.

Cache_Stash

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Re: Transport after general anesthesia
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2018, 04:35:54 PM »
Uber or Lyft.  You'll be plenty aware enough to deal with the situation.

TrMama

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Re: Transport after general anesthesia
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2018, 04:42:48 PM »
One of those driving services who transport seniors to/from doctor's appointments? Otherwise, you'll probably be fine in a cab. I've taken one to the ER when I was pretty out of it.

Pro tip: GA makes some people throw up. Carry a big ziploc bag or other container with you in the cab.

Pro tip#2: Get any post-event prescriptions filled before the surgery. Sometimes they send you home from the hospital with script and the expectation you'll wait in the car while your support person gets it filled at the pharmacy.

Zikoris

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Re: Transport after general anesthesia
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2018, 04:49:47 PM »
I think the only real solution is paying someone to do it this time. Then make fixing your situation a very very high priority once you've recovered.

Ocinfo

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Re: Transport after general anesthesia
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2018, 06:18:29 PM »
Ask your doctors office what they recommend. You’re likely not the first person to have this dilemma. There’s a few outpatient surgery centers in my building and I routinely see a nurse standing on the curb with a patient waiting for their Uber to show up.


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Cranky

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Re: Transport after general anesthesia
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2018, 06:29:17 PM »
You will need to ask the hospital their policy, because some places will not release you if you donít have someone with you, and the uber driver doesnít count.

And donít discount how shaky you may be.

BlueHouse

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Re: Transport after general anesthesia
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2018, 06:48:15 PM »
I find local list servs to be incredibly helpful.  If you have a neighborhood forum or are a part of Nextdoor, go there and ask if anyone will help you.  Hell, I've never met you, but if you're within 40 miles of Washington DC and if I don't have anything major going on, I'd take a day off of work to help you. 

So...where are you located? 

MoolahLula

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Re: Transport after general anesthesia
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2018, 06:54:25 PM »
Iím in a similar situation and Iím under the impression the hospital does not want you possibly being taken advantage of by a stranger in an Uber or taxi so they want your ride to be someone you know.  Also your paid Uber driver may not notice youíre in medical distress whereas someone who knows you will notice youíre turning blue/convulsing/whatever.  INOVA health sysytems seem to have this policy from my experience in the DC area. 

So maybe think of some nice motherly lady or fatherly dude in your office who can drop you or pick you up?  People really can be nice to their fellow man.  Ask.

catccc

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Re: Transport after general anesthesia
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2018, 06:57:00 PM »
Uber or Lyft.  You'll be plenty aware enough to deal with the situation.

IDK, I wouldn't count on this.  I am with OP in that this would be inadvisable.  I had 2 wisdom teeth pulled as a young adult (maybe I was 20?) and my dad drove me home.  I remember sitting in the chair at the oral surgeon's office, and I woke up on the couch at home.  Presumably my dad did not have to carry me unconscious to the car or into our house.  I didn't remember a single second of leaving the office or driving home.

I'm not sure if it is an option for your procedure, but is a local anesthetic an option?  About 10 years after those 2 wisdom teeth were pulled, I had the other 2 pulled.  Planned on general anesthesia initially.  But then I learned it would require DH to sit around the office for the entire procedure (the office policy was 'won't put you under unless your ride is there') and then drive me home when he had other things to do (not even an outside of the home job/work, just caring for our two littles that would have a hard time sitting around a waiting room quietly for so long), and also learning that general anesthesia was going to cost me about $300 more than local, and that plenty of people have the procedure under just local.  So I opted for local and drove myself home.  It was a good choice.

Is there anyone at all you can ask?  Maybe a coworker or a neighbor?  You could still pay them to make it worth their while, or perhaps trade it for a meal or a beer later.  Build that social capital for later...



SquashingDebt

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Re: Transport after general anesthesia
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2018, 07:04:20 PM »

Cranky

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Re: Transport after general anesthesia
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2018, 07:04:34 PM »
If this procedure is in an actual hospital, there should be an on staff social worker to help you work this out.

But as someone who had surgery last week, and technically not under ďgeneral anaesthesiaĒ but with a spinal and something that did pretty well knock me out, there is no way Iíd get into an uber by myself right afterwards.

Plus, my kids had dental work with gas, and I can categorically state that they were really shaky when we hauled them home nd put them to bed.

tralfamadorian

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Re: Transport after general anesthesia
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2018, 07:05:22 PM »
Another vote home health care nurse though 24 hour may not be necessary based on the seriousness of the surgery. It may be sufficient to have someone chaperone the ride and get you comfortable at your home or where you are staying then stop by every X hours to bring you food/water and help with WC visits if that much assistance is needed. Your doctor or their office should have some experience with patients needing this kind of help and be able to recommend a particular nurse or company.

MrsWolfeRN

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Re: Transport after general anesthesia
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2018, 07:28:26 PM »
Some of the hotels near my hospital provide a service for precisely this situation, and for much cheaper than hiring a home health aide. They will pick you up at the hospital, take you to your room, and then check on you every couple of hours. The hospital allows you to use this service in lieu of having a support person with you for same day procedures.

lhamo

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Re: Transport after general anesthesia
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2018, 07:32:06 PM »
Could you offer to pay a grad student?  I wouldn't ask them without offering compensation, but seems like an easy way for someone on a stipend to make a bit extra.

katscratch

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Re: Transport after general anesthesia
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2018, 07:40:03 PM »
I agree with NextDoor if you have that in your area - there are requests in my neighborhood for these types of things fairly regularly.

Also agree that you need to check the hospital's policy, and that you can ask what they would advise/if they have any referrals if you don't know someone. I had outpatient surgery a few months ago and the hospital would not begin the process until I had someone there with me that would be responsible for driving afterward. Thankfully my son was home from college for the summer or I would've been asking a random coworker to take the day off with me.

maizeman

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Re: Transport after general anesthesia
« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2018, 08:30:53 PM »
Thank you for the good advice all. And also for letting me know this isn't a problem that I'm unique in finding challenging to solve, I was really feeling like I'd failed as a human being for not having someone I could comfortably ask. 

MrsWolfeRN & tralfamadorian & TrMama, I'll look into services like they ones you suggested.

lhamo, my fear is that even if I offer to pay them for the thing that is clearly not part of their job the power imbalance between me and the students is big enough they'd end up posting questions to job boards like the one in SquashingDebt's link about how their boss was taking advantage of them.

catccc, I'll look into whether local would be an option, that'd certainly solve the problem!

LorettaLynn and BlueHouse, maybe you're right that I'm underestimating how willing people I don't know well might be to help in a hard situation like this one. (And I'm not in the greater DC area, but thank you, BlueHouse, it really means a lot.)

katscratch and Bluehouse, my neighborhood tried to start NextDoor a couple of years ago but apparently a critical mass of people didn't sign up in time (if that's a thing?). Will try to think of there is anything equivalent I could pursue.

Zikoris, yes it's a substantial flaw/weakness in how I've been leading my life the last 4-5 years. I've been trying to address it, but clearly I'm not working hard enough and/or aren't approaching it in the right way.

lhamo

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Re: Transport after general anesthesia
« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2018, 08:37:26 PM »
BTW, hope whatever it is you need to be put under for is not too serious!  And if you were in Seattle I'd definitely offer to give you a ride home -- only being internet friends sucks sometimes because I'd really like to be using more of my FIREd freedom to help various MMM friends....

iris lily

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Re: Transport after general anesthesia
« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2018, 09:16:59 PM »
We have several friends who are  single. They call on us for drop off and pick up from colonoscopies.
They drive us to the airport. It is a good exchange.

secondcor521

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Re: Transport after general anesthesia
« Reply #18 on: October 18, 2018, 11:09:28 PM »
maizeman, if you were in Idaho or nearby I'd give you a ride.

I'm sure people respond differently to general anesthesia, and I'm sure that it depends on the surgery itself.  That having been said, I had a hernia repair surgery done maybe 8 years ago.  The hospital had the standard policy, so my Mom and Aunt came to pick me up and drive me home.  That having been said, I was in a recovery room for about an hour after waking up from the surgery and felt entirely lucid and perfectly capable of driving myself home if they would have left me.  I also would not have had any problems or concerns taking an Uber or Lyft or taxi home.  I am a middle-aged male and can understand how people of other ages and sexes may feel differently about the safety factor.

galliver

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Re: Transport after general anesthesia
« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2018, 02:49:23 AM »
You might be ok, but if the above posts are evidence of anything, it's that everyone reacts differently, so best to be prepared. If you really are lucid sooner than expected, that's great! But maybe don't plan on that...

The ideas for how to find an appropriate aide were good, but I want to push on the personal connections front. I think in adulthood we forget that Big Asks and the vulnerability associated with them is sometimes how we build those stronger bonds. One of my most enduring grad school friendships started with "Can you give me a ride to the far-away post office? I'll bake you cookies," to a classmate I had spoken to a handful of times. Then, when I had my wisdom teeth out, my bf was able to come down from 3hr away but it wasn't a given he would. If not, I would have asked my housemate. Or 1-2 female acquaintances (that later became good friends through other activities).

Obviously, it's still awkward...my favorite way to dispel some of the awkwardness is to lampshade it: "So, I understand this is totally weird, but this is the situation. Any chance you can help me out or know someone who can? Absolutely no pressure. Thanks for even considering it." If that doesn't seem right, maybe you could fish when in casual conversation with someone..."Yeah, so actually I'm having this weird personal problem. Can I run it by you and maybe you have some ideas? Here's the situation...I heard there are services that...Any chance you've heard of such a thing in town?" Lets you communicate "I'm looking for help" without directly putting it on them to help... but if they're moved, they might offer. Or their gym buddy/brother-in-law/etc might be out of work and could use an odd job like this.

I'd probably avoid putting it on anyone who directly reports to you (or depends on you for grades); that can get weird...not only for the student/employee who potentially takes the task, but also anyone not "chosen"/asked (favoritism?). Maybe also don't ask cute female colleagues as a guy. But other colleagues you're friendly with (esp if they are also new/single and you might return the favor?) Or using a "fishing" approach with older department admins (esp if they have lived in town for a while)?


TrMama

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Re: Transport after general anesthesia
« Reply #20 on: October 19, 2018, 09:55:47 AM »
. . . the vulnerability associated with them is sometimes how we build those stronger bonds.

Galliver's whole post was great, but this is really key. We get closer to people when we share our vulnerabilities. It's why, when I'm trying to build a rapport with someone, I'll often say something self deprecating about myself. I know if feels super awkward to make a big ask like this though.

Otherwise, if you want to go the paid grad student route, perhaps you could find someone from a different department? Specifically someone who's future you couldn't influence even if you wanted to.

Schaefer Light

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Re: Transport after general anesthesia
« Reply #21 on: October 19, 2018, 10:03:48 AM »
maizeman, I just wanted to let you know that you are definitely not alone in facing this type of dilemma.  I have no close local friends - at least not close enough to feel comfortable asking for this kind of favor.  This became apparent to me when I had to find someone to drive me home after having my wisdom teeth removed last week.  For me, the stress of finding a driver was worse than the stress caused by the impending oral surgery.  I ended up getting my brother (who lives about 100 miles away) to make the trip to come help me, but I don't know what I would have done had I not had family within driving distance.  I also ended up needing him to pick up some prescriptions after the surgery.  I really don't understand why they didn't give me the prescriptions in advance so I could have them filled before the procedure.

And I don't think an Uber or a cab would have been a good idea following the procedure.  The first thing I remember after the surgery was taking my shoes off and laying down in bed at home.  I have no memory of leaving the oral surgeon's office or the ride home.

Schaefer Light

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Re: Transport after general anesthesia
« Reply #22 on: October 19, 2018, 10:09:44 AM »
You might be ok, but if the above posts are evidence of anything, it's that everyone reacts differently, so best to be prepared. If you really are lucid sooner than expected, that's great! But maybe don't plan on that...

The ideas for how to find an appropriate aide were good, but I want to push on the personal connections front. I think in adulthood we forget that Big Asks and the vulnerability associated with them is sometimes how we build those stronger bonds. One of my most enduring grad school friendships started with "Can you give me a ride to the far-away post office? I'll bake you cookies," to a classmate I had spoken to a handful of times. Then, when I had my wisdom teeth out, my bf was able to come down from 3hr away but it wasn't a given he would. If not, I would have asked my housemate. Or 1-2 female acquaintances (that later became good friends through other activities).

Obviously, it's still awkward...my favorite way to dispel some of the awkwardness is to lampshade it: "So, I understand this is totally weird, but this is the situation. Any chance you can help me out or know someone who can? Absolutely no pressure. Thanks for even considering it." If that doesn't seem right, maybe you could fish when in casual conversation with someone..."Yeah, so actually I'm having this weird personal problem. Can I run it by you and maybe you have some ideas? Here's the situation...I heard there are services that...Any chance you've heard of such a thing in town?" Lets you communicate "I'm looking for help" without directly putting it on them to help... but if they're moved, they might offer. Or their gym buddy/brother-in-law/etc might be out of work and could use an odd job like this.

I'd probably avoid putting it on anyone who directly reports to you (or depends on you for grades); that can get weird...not only for the student/employee who potentially takes the task, but also anyone not "chosen"/asked (favoritism?). Maybe also don't ask cute female colleagues as a guy. But other colleagues you're friendly with (esp if they are also new/single and you might return the favor?) Or using a "fishing" approach with older department admins (esp if they have lived in town for a while)?
I think these are good suggestions.  Just keep in mind that you're liable to say anything that pops into your head when you're in a heavily sedated state, so if you did get an attractive female to drive you home there's at least a chance you would hit on her in a way that would be considered inappropriate.

frugaliknowit

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Re: Transport after general anesthesia
« Reply #23 on: October 19, 2018, 10:12:23 AM »
If your hospital is like mine, they want to know the name of the person picking you up and their phone number.  They will also have that person check in with them before picking you up.  The hospital is concerned about potential liability.  They will not knowingly let you leave alone. 

Everyone is different.  Some folks (like me) could ride their bike home without problem, others act as if they just had 10 drinks...

With my medical network, if you don't respond to the hospital by telling them who is picking you up, they will eventually have a social worker contact you.  They might assign someone that lives near you to go with you in a taxi/uber that you pay for.

Personally, when I wake up after anesthesia, I am fine (as if I just had 2 drinks in a bar...).  One time, I snuck out after a colonoscopy and took a bus home.   A long time ago I also walked out of a Dentist office when no one was looking to walk 3 blocks home.

wenchsenior

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Re: Transport after general anesthesia
« Reply #24 on: October 19, 2018, 10:53:03 AM »
I (a tiny woman) was perfectly alert after general anesthesia but puked several times in the hour following waking up.

My husband, a much larger athletic person, was barely functional, had trouble walking, and actually had no memory of ANYTHING that happened (including talking with the doctor about the procedure results, his paperwork, our conversation, our drive home, the fact that he wandered around the house repeatedly trying to eat when he wasn't allowed to, the fact that he sat in the garden and played his mandola, etc) from the time he was put under until about 5 hours afterward. About 3.5 hours after waking up.

My mother was similar to my husband, plus puking.

Don't assume you'll be functional.


diapasoun

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Re: Transport after general anesthesia
« Reply #25 on: October 19, 2018, 12:30:47 PM »
Seconding the "don't assume you'll be functional" -- people vary in their reactions, and the type of anesthesia the anesthesiologist uses will vary, too.

I think that your concerns about asking a student are valid, and I wouldn't go for that, either. However -- I would suggest asking colleagues you're closer to (or would like to get closer to! like galliver excellently pointed out). You might also consider asking a neighbor if you have a good relationship. I know I'd like to help my neighbors if they asked, and your own neighborhood is a great place to start in building friendly relationships of mutual support.

Agreed that it's a bummer that all my forum friends are far from me -- this is the kind of thing I'd have no trouble taking a half day off work for!

BlueHouse

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Re: Transport after general anesthesia
« Reply #26 on: October 19, 2018, 05:07:37 PM »
Post your location, and post a thread in Off Topic asking for any local mustachios that are available and willing to help.  That way, you're not asking one person, you're asking a bunch of people to see *if* someone is available.  Anyone that doesn't want to, just won't respond.  But I would guess that as long as you're not in the boondocks, there will probably be someone willing to help out.  And if you're not familiar with the user name of people who respond, just DM those people and tell them you already accepted someone else's offer. 

Dude, people on this forum are willing to meet up IRL, willing to lend each other tools, and even swap houses for vacations.  I'm sure someone will give you a ride. 

Someone else said it....asking for help is one of the best ways to build really deep friendships.  I hate asking for help, but I'm usually quick to WANT to help others.  Why?  because control.  and because I don't want to be seen as needy.  Ask for help this time and offer to help another time. 

Give us updates!  We love the happy ending!

use2betrix

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Re: Transport after general anesthesia
« Reply #27 on: October 19, 2018, 07:12:26 PM »
It really depends on the surgery as well. Iíve had 3 hernia surgeries. First and third I was pretty good when I woke up. 2nd, I was in pretty excruciating pain by the time I left the hospital and would not have wanted to deal with a stranger.

maizeman

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Re: Transport after general anesthesia
« Reply #28 on: October 22, 2018, 11:26:39 PM »
Give us updates!  We love the happy ending!

Based on the advice from folks here I called earlier today and, while they sounded like they thought I was rather crazy for wanting to do it that way, but they agreed yes it could technically be done only with local anesthesia. So going to proceed that way. Like Schaefer Light, I was in a situation where the stress of figuring out a driver was exceeding the stress of worrying about the medical issue itself, so at least that's resolved.

Quote
Someone else said it....asking for help is one of the best ways to build really deep friendships.  I hate asking for help, but I'm usually quick to WANT to help others.  Why?  because control.  and because I don't want to be seen as needy.  Ask for help this time and offer to help another time. 

I think in adulthood we forget that Big Asks and the vulnerability associated with them is sometimes how we build those stronger bonds. One of my most enduring grad school friendships started with "Can you give me a ride to the far-away post office? I'll bake you cookies," to a classmate I had spoken to a handful of times. Then, when I had my wisdom teeth out, my bf was able to come down from 3hr away but it wasn't a given he would. If not, I would have asked my housemate. Or 1-2 female acquaintances (that later became good friends through other activities).

This is a very good point, and I believe both of you are right about the way human beings and relationships work.

It's really really darn hard to make that first ask though. At least for me. I don't know if that's something I can generalize to people in general or not.

Thank you everyone so much for your help and ideas and commiseration with this. I really appreciate it. -MM

galliver

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Re: Transport after general anesthesia
« Reply #29 on: October 23, 2018, 12:04:56 AM »
It's really really darn hard to make that first ask though. At least for me. I don't know if that's something I can generalize to people in general or not.

It absolutely is hard to make the first ask, and I for one don't fault you at all for not being able/willing to do that here. There have been plenty of situations I was paralyzed by fear and awkwardness in the face of asking for help (wisdom teeth surgery just happened to not be one of those, for me). Best of luck with the surgery!!