I have been sedated on two occasions, and have loved it both times, as this is the closest I believe I will ever come to true time travel. One moment you are awake, and then, well, you’re still awake, but not where you found yourself just a moment before.
I found myself in a doctors office this morning, waiting for an endoscopy that would search for the mysterious cause of stomach trouble. I’ve always had trouble, or at least that’s the way that it seems. Much like the time change that occurs with anesthetic, I can’t place a firm date on the beginnings of these stomach troubles. It seems like they have always been there, an indication that I must have arrived at my current state through gradual change. I don’t think I’ve always been like this, but it certainly feels that way.
I sat in the doctors waiting for the crew to finish preparing the room for my entry. When I say his office, I really mean his office, the room that contained his desk and a trophy wall indicating that I might, in fact, be in good hands. In the room adjacent, I could hear a number of people arranging instruments and a bit of the unknown, preparing for my arrival. It seemed strange that they would keep me waiting, denying me the ability to see what lay ahead. It felt like a birthday party. Your friends tell you to wait in the other room while they fumble to light the candles on your cake. You know what they are doing, and they know that you know, yet no one wants to break the theatrical element. It just wouldn’t be the same.
After some time, the anesthesiologist came into the office, my green room as it were, and ran through the standard set of questions. Time travel requires a large number of legal papers, just in case you don’t make it back in one piece. I finished signing, and he invited me to join them in the procedure room. I stepped inside. Male nurse, who I had met a few days prior, shook my hand and looked confused.
“Well it seems that you are wearing too much clothing”.
I was about to explain that female nurse had said my jeans were no problem, but the anesthesiologist beat me to the punch- sort of.
“Too much?”, he said, “I thought we were here for an endoscopy.”.
We were. Or at least I was. Male nurse looked confused.
“Oh, well…oh, I’ve already prepped everything for a colonoscopy. I’ll have to get someone who knows how to prep the endoscopy”.
I thought I caught the anesthesiologist muttering as the pair worked to rearrange the room. I certainly would have been. I’ve heard rumors about the unfortunate few who have a kidney accidentally removed, or are opened up for for a transplant when there isn’t anything that needs replacing. The party had gotten the candles lit, only to discover that the birthday boy liked cherry, and not vanilla. But hey, at least it was still a cake, right?
I lay down on the newly arranged bed, wondering what surprises lay in store during the 20 minute adventure that I was about the take courtesy of high grade sedatives. It was obvious that the office staff were miffed by the mistake that they had made, and as I relaxed and chatted with the anesthesiologist, they tried to convince themselves of the change in procedure. After some shuffle, the doctor finally arrived, and they said we were ready. I made a point of seeing how long it would take for the chemicals to kick in. Choosing a sentence on the wall, I made it to the third word before it felt like the world fell out from under my body.
Transported, I woke up feeling sure of my location, and managed to put together a coherent sentence which immediately betrayed my mental state.
“How the fuck did we get on this plane?”
“You’re not on a plane, your in the doctors office”.
My puddle of a brain clicked back on to find itself in a recovery room. I was momentarily perplexed. It was very clear that I wasn’t on a plane, but how had I ended up here? I didn’t feel the need to explain my ludicrous inquiry. I could have been talking about how we ended up on a spaceship, and I think it would have been both hilarious and justified. I find it remarkable that the brain is so capable of reorienting itself, despite a situation which sends signals in complete contradiction to what the mind typically perceives as possible. There seemed to be little, if any, gap in time from when my eyes closed and when they opened again. My brain assures me that this world I reentered is the same as that from which I exited, but, situation in mind, it still makes me wonder; In the instant that it took me to sleep and reawaken, the rest of the world experienced 20 full minutes. Time travel.