I’m nervous, like any mother. My baby is going under. There will be anesthesia and cutting – it’s a surgery.
Her friends are texting me:
“make sure you film her after!”
Look on YouTube and there are thousands of videos of completely out of it teenagers, post surgery. It’s become rote form to film your kids after anesthesia. They say bizarre things, they try to remove their clothes, they think their parents are bugs. It’s hysterical.
But it’s not.
I hate these videos. I hate the funhouse quality and the glorification of the altered state. To me, it’s a necessary evil associated with surgery but it’s also a disturbing and scary vision to see someone you love, so disconnected with reality.
Perhaps my feelings are shaped by the numerous surgeries of family members that I’ve sat through, and the complications afterwards. I recall my father ripping out IVs and demanding that the “Chinamen cease partying in his room!” a couple of days after a heart surgery. He accused people of urinating on him and and shared all kinds of bizarre thoughts and behavior. We didn’t laugh at the time. We didn’t film it for posterity. He was hallucinating for days and we didn’t know when, or if, he’d be back.
I can’t celebrate an altered state because I hold my loved ones consciousness and mental presence in such high regard. I cherish it, them, the REAL them. I’m not interested in celebrating and sharing a chemically distorted version of them.
But I realize this is me. This is what I find disturbing. My daughter’s friend has agreed to video her, something my daughter claims she needs because she is her own brand of control freak. She is disturbed by the not knowing, not seeing how she was during this time when she is coming off anesthesia. She wants to reclaim that time, to own it. This, I somewhat understand.
I will fight hard against her posting any video. She will fight hard to be allowed to share it (depending on what she says).
The allure of these videos will remain to me a joke that I just don’t get.