A personal experience of acupuncture anesthesia

In the early seventies, I personally experienced a “live flesh cutting”, in “academic” terms, is the needle anesthesia tonsillectomy. Nowadays, I wonder if there are still many people who want to take the initiative to cut their tonsils. Thirty or forty years ago, it seems that many people believe that the tonsils are a pair of optional ornaments, but if they are often inflamed, they will become the focus of disease, small fever, large may induce chronic nephritis or even rheumatic heart disease, so there are still many people who go for tonsillectomy. I grew up with inflamed tonsils, and my doctor also suggested that I could consider having them removed. The first thing you need to do is to have your tonsils cut, so why do you need to do any needle anesthesia to remove them? It’s a long story.

The first time I was a youth in the countryside, one year when harvesting the spring (i.e. harvesting rice), the palm of my hand was beaten by the rusty handle of the threshing machine a large blister, just when the busy season, I did not expect a few days down the blister abrasion skin pus, the palm of my hand became red and swollen, but also hot, no doubt the infection, only to go to the communal health center to deal with. The doctor took a look and said, just cut open the pustules, drain the pus, and then the anti-inflammatory will not matter. Although it is a minor surgery, but still need to play anesthesia, do not want to go down a needle suddenly felt the sky is spinning, face suddenly changed even fainted. The doctor was really shocked, and he scrambled to “rescue” some, and only then returned to the Yang. “You are allergic to anesthetics”, the doctor’s words I remembered.

Since you are allergic to anesthetics, you can try acupuncture anesthesia. In the past, acupuncture was so hot that the “thousand-year-old iron tree blossomed”: acupuncture could make the deaf and dumb talk, the mentally handicapped see the light, and the hemiplegic get rid of his crutches. Acupuncture anesthesia is also gaining popularity, and can even be used for open-heart surgery, which is reported in the news media at this time. If there are foreign guests visiting, the hospital often also invites foreigners to observe the operation on site, to show the world: the big criticism brings big changes, a thousand years of national essence and a new chapter. Although it is said to be divine, almost evil, I still got carried away and believed in it. It so happened that one of my mother’s old classmates said that the Army’s 372nd Hospital in Leshan, her hometown, was carrying out acupuncture anesthesia surgery and that I could go there to have a tonsillectomy.

I don’t know if it was due to an acquaintance’s introduction or the hospital’s routine, but the middle-aged doctor who was in charge of the operation came to see me in the ward one day before the operation, and during the conversation, I learned that I was a youth who had been sent to Xichang Coronation County, and had come to Leshan specifically for this needle-prick anesthesia operation. The doctor told me not to be nervous during the surgery, that removing the tonsils was only a very minor operation, and that needle anesthesia was also their specialty, so just cooperate well.

The next day I was on the operating table. A fairy-like nurse inserted several silver needles into both of my ears, which were connected by a wire to a small box with several knobs. The nurse told me to open my mouth and took a cotton swab and poked around inside for a while, probably doing pre-operative sterilization.

After about ten minutes or so, the doctor pressed the tonsil with a metal probe that looked like a large head needle and asked, “Does it hurt?” “Yes!” I said, so he told the nurse to adjust the current strength, and the buzzing sound got louder and the silver needle in my ear shook more. After a few more minutes, the doctor did the same thing again, “Does it hurt?” “It still hurts!” The doctor then asked the nurse to turn up the intensity, and tried again a little later, and it still hurt.

The doctor got a little impatient: “Psychological effect! It’s purely psychological! You young intellectuals (he already knew where I came from), you have not read a lot of books, but will be thinking about it, it is purely psychological. The peasants came for the operation and told him that it didn’t hurt, he just didn’t think it did!” These words made me feel ashamed of myself and acquiesced to the statement that the pain was psychological.

So open dry, a knife down I screamed in pain, felt a rush of blood from the wound, the head also violently twisted to the side of the back away from the doctor, almost at the same time also heard the main surgeon a cry, and instantly summoned several fairy nuns, pressed me to death on the operating table. “Do not scream, the more you scream the more blood flow!” The doctor shouted sternly. The gushing blood soon formed a small pool in the throat, the nostrils are no longer enough to breathe, with the sound of gasping, the small pool bubbling and gurgling, I could not see anything, but the scene should be similar to the open pot of pig’s blood and fat sausage soup, right?

The scene is a mess, hands and feet are held down by the fairy nuns can not move, another fairy nun constantly put a small cotton ball into my mouth, the cotton ball was then soaked with blood, take out the cotton ball soon filled a spittoon, struggling to hear a foot quickly push the spittoon away, and another spittoon hooked over, the doctor also messed up, sweat dripping from his face, another fairy nun busy to dry him.

The sky is dark …… do not know how long it took, finally heard a “good”, did not have time to breathe a sigh of relief, they heard the doctor said “the rest of that must be anesthetic!” Now I remember that the tonsils are actually a pair: two! It took half a day of live killing to get one, and it was only the intermission! Oh my God, what is desperation?

The second half of the operation is still a fight, but the anesthetic goes down, on the level of horror and intensity and bloody scenes, has been lackluster, slightly tame.

A vicious battle down, clothes have long been drenched in sweat, the ground is a mess, in addition to two filled with blood cotton ball spittoon, there are also a lot of blood cotton ball scattered, all the people are paralyzed with exhaustion. Decades later, I ran into a fourth grade classmate who had served as a nurse in the hospital and was shocked to hear what happened to me, “You have too much guts! There was a male nurse in our hospital who also had his tonsils cut by needle anesthesia and died on the operating table! The hospital will no longer do this kind of surgery.”

A few days later, I was discharged from the hospital and returned to Chengdu, the wound was infected and inflamed, so I went to the Workers’ Hospital (now the Seventh People’s Hospital) not far from my home for treatment, injections and medication, but the situation became worse and worse: the wound became more and more swollen, and the passage of the larynx became narrower and narrower, and finally only a small hole the size of a green bean remained, not to mention eating thin rice, even water could not be swallowed, a small mouthful of water would spurt out, and the only way to eat cod liver oil He could only slowly squeeze a little water through the glass dropper used for cod liver oil. The doctor said that if the condition continues to deteriorate and the larynx is completely blocked, the only way to avoid death by asphyxiation is to cut it open!

Another heavy dose of medicine went down. Thank God, the next morning when I opened my mouth and looked in the mirror, I was surprised to find that the size of the small hole had changed from a green bean to a pea, and within noon, it had become a charming fava bean!

The tragic surgical shock made me understand two things: one, the body over hundreds of thousands of years of evolution did not get rid of things, it is best to let it stay. The second, acupuncture has its own brilliant place, there is a place for it, but all the surgery to cut the flesh to see blood, do not be reluctant to use numbing medicine, or better, a small silver needle, please stay.