Education: Mind to Mind
THE VIAL looks like any other, except for the warning
Above and below the cap. It reminds me that this is
A paralyzing agent. I settle the mask
On the bridge of the nose, asking
Impatiently for deep breaths, imploring denitrogenation, which seems
To take forever. Finally, propofol, a burning issue lingers as the eyelids
Make their gentle descent. Reflexes gone. What will I see? It's not too
Late to “awaken patient” per the Difficult Airway Algorithm. I tighten
The valve and squeeze, hoping the lungs will reciprocate. The chest rises,
A plateau over the horizon, a white blanket of snow. Now is the moment
To which I have been entrusted, a sacred and unspoken promise to care
With all of my mind, and all of my heart. The ruby red–labeled syringe,
The bridge not to be burned. For the patient, the Rubicon, now crossing.
© 2011 American Society of Anesthesiologists, Inc.