#1 Awake During Eye Removal Surgery
As well as a dose of anesthetic, a muscle relaxant is also administered to patients before they undergo surgery. Unfortunately for people like Carol Weiher, the strong effects of the muscle relaxant can leave patients feeling imprisoned in their own bodies and unable to signal to the surgeons that something is not right. When the anesthetic began to wear off for Weiher, doctors were in the process of removing her eye – and she had no way of telling them.
While on the operating table in 1998 to have her right eye surgically removed, Carol Weiher describes waking up only to hear one of the surgeons say “Cut deeper, pull harder”. Weiher only felt intense pressure, not pain, from having her eye removed. But the injection of a paralytic drug given to her halfway through the operation stabbed Weiher like “ignited fuel”. She described feeling such intense pain that she believed she may have died and gone to hell.
#2 ‘I Could Smell The Bone’ In Hip Replacement Surgery
A hip replacement is a fairly routine procedure and not an operation that could be considered life or death in the way that heart or brain surgery has the potential to be. For Peter Unruh, however, what seemed like a straightforward operation to the surgeons working on his hip was more like a real-life horror movie for the man himself. Unruh could not feel any pain, but the sensations he felt as they began drilling into his hip bone left him deeply disturbed.
Unruh recalled being roused awake on the operating table and at that point in his operation, he could actually “smell the bone as it was being sawed away.” Gruesome. If smelling (not to mention hearing) your own bone being drilled away at wasn’t nightmarish enough, Peter also describes the unsettling sensation of feeling vibrations as surgeons were in the process of bashing the replacement hip into his thigh.
#3 Awake During a Tooth Extraction
If you’re not already cringing at this one, then you may as well be a robot! It’s never pleasant to visit the dentist’s office – even when we’re only there for a routine check-up and our worst fear at the dentist is surely having a tooth removed. Having a tooth extracted is bad enough when we have anesthetic, so the notion of undergoing this without any painkillers whatsoever? Dear Lord in Heaven….
This is the nightmare Diane Parr experienced when she went for a routine tooth extraction. Parr remembered feeling relaxed as the anesthetic set in, but when she woke up again, the surgeon was leaning over her and pushing down on her body to get her tooth yanked out. Parr explains “It felt like my tooth was coming out of my foot, not my mouth.” to make matters worse, Parr’s tooth had cracked and was coming out in fragments, so the surgeon proceeded to cut into her gum line with a scalpel. At that point, Parr passed out. Unsurprisingly, the ordeal has left Diane with lasting psychological harm.
#4 Conscious During Leg Surgery
When one patient in the UK tried desperately to alert surgeons to the fact that he was conscious during leg surgery by wiggling his toes, he heard a nurse being told to ignore it as it was probably just his ‘reflexes’. All the while, the poor man had no choice but to lie in agony as the surgeons began operating on his leg. This operation involved the man’s leg being sliced open and drilling into the bone to make four holes.
Utterly horrified, the patient thought his best chance to make the surgeons stop operating and realize he was conscious was to stop breathing. Unfortunately, this didn’t work, since his ventilator began breathing for him and he had no choice but to endure hours of searing pain. The patient later won a lawsuit against the hospital that operated on him, but no amount of compensation can surely lessen an experience as hellish as this.
#5 ‘Worst Pain Ever Felt’ During a C-section
Giving birth is already an incredibly frightening time for a mother-to-be and when faced with the prospect of giving birth by caesarean section, this must up the ante for expectant mothers with a fear of going under the knife. At the very least, we know (and hope) that we’re in good hands with surgeons and that our operation will go according to plan. Not for a physical therapist, Becky Evans, who began to wake up during a C-section for the birth of her first child.
In her profession as a physical therapist, Evans often asked her patients to rate their pain on a scale of 1 to 10. So when Evans felt the scalpel blade pierce into her abdomen and couldn’t alert the surgeons, all she could do was repeatedly scream in her head “This is a 10!” She describes the agonizing pain and nightmare she endured throughout – what should have been – a joyous first birth “I had tears streaming down my face. I remember the intense burn as he was pulled out of me.” Disturbing AF.