Day 13, Wild Trip

13/46, of daily Lenten blog journey

Y’all hear of Ketamine?  It’s a drug.  Its main purpose is medicinal, but it has abusive potential as well.  I have come to love it.  Not for my own personal use, but as a tool at the hospital.

For instance, today we had a little guy, 4 years old, who had a ‘Thingy’ on his eye.  “Thingy” is what most doctors call pathology pertaining to the eyeball.  Ask any eye doctor and they will tell you that other medical doctors don’t know jack-squat about the eye.  Ophthomology is a specialty unto its own world. Primary care doctors, and other specialists, avoid this realm at all costs.  We tread delicately around this organ, and refer to the eye specialist as quickly as possible. Eye specialists even specialize further.  You have right eye ophthalmologists, left eye ophthalmologists, and even blue, green, brown, and the rare hazel eye subspecialties.

4 year old Mike (not his real name) had some scar tissue on his sclera (white part of his eye) from a previous eye surgery, and Dr. Rick needed to remove it.  But, again, we’ll refer to this tissue on his eye as a “thingy.”

Imagine, if you will, approaching a 4 year old boy with forceps and scissors and declaring, “Now just hold still, lil’ fella, while we cut this ‘Thingy’ out of your eye.”  If you have children, you know that he is going to go absolutely Ape doo-doo.

Enter Ketamine.  It’s easy enough for us to use outside of the Operating Room because it is low risk for stopping a person’s drive to breathe (We consider it poor form when we give people medicine that stops their breathing).  We find it useful for situations with children that require them holding still while we use sharp objects on them.  Likewise, if we need to set a fracture, which is usually terribly painful, we can give an adult or child this medicine while we do the procedure.  In a pinch, it could be used for a brief surgery even.

Once it begins to kick in, their eyes start to twitch and they drift off to a presumably happy place.

I think it’s kind of like this:  Only click this link if you are old enough to hear a couple naughty words.

And a little bit like this:  This one is totally G rated, click away!

Once in awhile, It kind of goes like this:  Gotta watch at least to minute 1:05

So we gave Mike his injection, he went to an alternate reality for about an hour, Dr. Rick cut the thingy off his eye, I had a quesadilla, and everything ended up just peachy keen.  Mike went home none the wiser.

Now, as I mentioned, there is some abusive potential.  My first encounter with Ketamine was before I went to medical school.  Heidi and I went backpacking on the Napali coast line of Kauai, Hawaii.  It is a fairly remote hiking trail.  As we were sitting on a large rock enjoying our lunch, some dudes came strolling by.  They were talking about the amazing Ketamine trip they were currently experiencing.  I think they said “Dude,” and “Awesome” almost 20 times in the brief 60 seconds that it took them to hike by our position.  Also, they were buck naked.

At any rate, because it causes amnesia, patients don’t remember much.  As far as they’re concerned, no time passes.  I’m considering self-injecting just a smidge of this prior to our next trip to immigration.

So anyway, ketamine, useful tool…

Just to be clear, this post is not an endorsement for anyone to consider using this drug in any illicit manner.  One could definitely kill oneself by using a drug such as this.  Dang, so sad that I even had to think of writing such a disclaimer…

Photo of the Day:

Child with syndactly, 4th and 5th digits connected by a web of skin.  We’ll fix that eventually.


Lucky #13 done.  See you tomorrow

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