Weirdest Anesthesia Stories

April 11, 2023 | Laura Bergen

Weirdest Anesthesia Stories

The “yum yum juice”, as one of these Redditors calls it, can make people do some strange things. From making passes at doctors to involuntary bodily reactions, these patients, doctors, and friends of patients shared their wildest “coming off of anesthesia” stories. Have you ever embarrassed yourself while on the juice?

1. Safety First

I had a patient in for an endoscopy. As a matter of course, we place a speculum (think ball gag, but a metal ring instead of a ball) in the mouth through which to pass the scope so the patient doesn't bite the scope once they're under. We typically place it right at induction of anesthesia. This patient had the presence of mind to ask us what the “safe word” was before he lost consciousness as we placed the speculum. It was one of the rare times the whole OR erupted in laughter.

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2. Camped Out

My great-grandfather had surgery one time and I was in the room when he woke up. He was a WWII veteran and was convinced that he was in an enemy POW camp. It was honestly really unsettling. He recognized me and told me I had to help him escape by “taking care of” the guards (nurses) because he knew I knew how to do it (I was 16, obviously trained…). When the nurse came in he was calm and kept motioning with his head at her and finally looked at me and said, "DO IT...NOW”! She always came back with another male nurse after that.

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3. Hospital Hulk

My father-in-law was in a car accident that shattered his face, several vertebrae, and his pelvis. This isn't so much a story about what he said, but what he did. He was in a coma for three weeks. It was scary—but it got more terrifying when he woke up. He had to be heavily restrained when coming out of it. He was a marine in Vietnam, he was captured and escaped, and he still hated being restrained.

My wife went to visit him on a Sunday, and the doctors told her that tomorrow he was going to be the first patient to use a new, $30,000 restraint system that would cause him less discomfort. On Monday afternoon she visited again, and he was in the same restraints as before. My wife asked, and the nurse explained that he destroyed the restraint system. It lasted less than an hour. It wasn't salvageable.

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4. Emotional Decisions

I had a lot of ear infections when I was younger, and during my final time (I was about seven) I woke up to the Rugrats on a TV in the room (I hated the Rugrats at the time). Cue the following conversation: Me: "Why are the Rugrats on"? Doctor: "You woke up earlier and said you wanted us to put on the Rugrats. We asked why, and you said that you hated the Rugrats and wanted to watch it so you could be angry”. Me: "Why did I want to be angry”? Doctor: "You said you wanted to be angry because you don't like being so happy all the time”.

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5. Wrong Turn

I went straight from the ER to surgery to put a plate in my badly broken arm, so I hadn't been on a ward prior to the operation. I came out of surgery and recovery and was being pushed in a hospital bed to a ward. We turned into a ward and it was full of elderly people. I was in my early twenties. I turned to the hospital porter pushing me and shouted, "Sorry, we seem to have taken a wrong turn, we're in the morgue"!

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6. Legless

My first memory when waking up from shoulder surgery was a somewhat panicked nurse rummaging through the blankets at the bottom of my bed repeatedly muttering, "Where are his legs, where are his legs". I always cross my legs when I sit/lay down and apparently I must have done this as I was initially coming off the anesthesia. I heard her and started to panic. It took a while to process what was going on. The nurse seemed relieved when I mumbled, "They're right here", and nearly kicked her in the face when I extended my legs.

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7. Quite The Sight

So I'm an ER tech, and we have this regular that comes in all the time. She's an old Black lady who has a lot of health issues, including dementia. This time, I'm actually not entirely sure why she was coming in, but whatever it was, she needed to be intubated. So we sedated her, put the tube in and did what we needed. When everything was finished, we called EMS to pick her up and take her back home.

When they arrived, the nurse and I went in to prep her to leave. The lady is just starting to wake up from sedation, so with the EMTs standing in the room, we take out her foley catheter. Then, she queefs. The nurse and I smirk at each other, but this is fairly common. The ridiculous part came next: The noise seemed to surprise her, and apparently remind her what was going on, because she gasps and then looks over to the EMTs and says in an attempt at a seductive voice, "You boys eva seen a Black hoohaa before”?

Everyone in the room had to take a second to attempt to regain composure, but the EMTs ended up having to leave the room and the nurse was crouching on the ground trying not to pass out from laughing so hard. Since I still have the foley in my hands, I don't have this freedom, and I am forced to try to keep my sides from launching into orbit. It's since become a running joke around the ER.

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8. KO’d

I'd had all four wisdom teeth out at once, and I woke up earlier than expected in recovery — early enough that they hadn't taken out the wadding at the back of my mouth meant to absorb the blood. So I woke up, immediately felt like I was choking, and panicked. I've never been that scared before or since. I leapt off the bed, and a bunch of nurses came to restrain me.

Still out of it, I fought them and definitely gave one of them a good punch before they got me back on the bed. I passed out again straight away. I still feel bad about it. Poor nurse.

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9. Bond, James Bond

When I got my wisdom teeth out, they strapped my arm down for the IV anesthetic. Apparently, before passing out, I looked up at the white-haired German dentist and said in my best Connery, "Goldfinger, do you expect me to talk”? The dentist didn't reply, but he did tell me after surgery that it was one of the funniest things anyone asked him in a "haze".

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10. Getting Down And Dirty

It's been fifteen years and I'm still horrified when I think about it. I have to preface this story by saying that I have a super conservative, "girl next door " type of personality. I am shy, somewhat of an introvert, and most definitely never want to be the center of attention on purpose. I went in for a colonoscopy with the yum yum juice that made me forget everything that happened, although I vaguely remember talking and hearing laughter. When I woke up, people were smirking and glancing at each other, trying to suppress their laughter. I asked if something happened and the staff reassured me that everything was good.

So when the doctor came in to talk to me before I was released, I asked him if something funny had happened. He reassured me that I had a very normal procedure and then told me that sometimes the medication caused people to lower their inhibitions, but that the effect wore off very quickly, as does the medication. I asked him what he meant by "lowering their inhibitions" and he paused again and reassured me that it happens to a lot of people.

Then he finally revealed the truth, and I wanted to die: It turns out that I spent my entire colonoscopy talking dirty to my doctor…and his tools. I never went back to that doctor again.

Weirdest Anesthesia StoriesFreepik, DCStudio

11. Sting Operation

When my sister was 16, she had back surgery to repair a ruptured disc in her lower back. Apparently, the meds that they gave her before she was put under gave her low enough inhibitions that instead of counting backward from ten, she started belting out the lyrics to “Roxanne”. The OR staff later told my mom that not only were they amazed that someone that young knew the lyrics, but that the way that she started singing was one of the funniest things they had seen in an OR.

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12. Under The Big Top

My brother had his wisdom teeth out. We left the surgeon's office with no issue, but on the drive home my brother lost his mind. I had to take a circuitous route home because my brother "wanted to see the circus". At every house we drove past he was pointing out imaginary animals and giggling hysterically. He was 17 at the time.

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13. Bag It

I work on a floor full of patients post-surgery. One of my favorite patient comments came from someone fresh from the PACU (post-anesthesia care unit). He looked straight at me and said, "You put a bag on my weiner, didn't you”, referring to his catheter. His mom and I were in stitches. It made a surgery that went longer and worse than expected a little bit happier.

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14. Shake It Up

I had an endoscopy performed and was put into a twilight sedation. When I woke up, I barely remember sitting in the recovery area. I heard the beeping from my monitor. I started to shake, and my wife started panicking. She called in the nurses thinking I was having some type of seizure or something. I was just playing around and trying to make the beeping go faster by shaking.

Weirdest Anesthesia StoriesFreepik,freepik

15. Name Game

I'd like to seize this chance to say sorry to that poor guy who was around when I woke up. The first thing I said was, "I gotta puke"! And I did so generously while he helped me suffer through this. Then I looked at him and said, "What's your name”? I don’t know what he answered, but he reminded me of a friend of my sister. So I told him, "Well, you look more like a Tobias to me”.

He laughed and said that I look like a Hugo to him then. My dizzy mind then thought it was nice to say, "So does your mom”. Then I laughed and puked again. I fell asleep soon after and another nurse was there when they brought me back to my room, so I never got the chance to apologize. While it's a good story, I still feel a little embarrassed. I can just hope that guy has seen worse.

Weirdest Anesthesia StoriesShutterstock

16. Mouth Music

I had ingrown canines. They were basically growing sideways in the roof of my mouth. Anyways, once I woke up, my wife, who was then my girlfriend, had to leave the dentist office to go to the bathroom or something before we left. When she was leaving I started singing “Baby Come Back”. I did this with a hole in the roof of my mouth where they were trying to pull my canines out through, with two missing baby canines just removed, and under a ton of anesthesia while my mouth was filled with blood. So, needless to say, I had quite the lisp (she said it was both the cutest and scariest thing I had ever done).

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17. Time For An Adventure

I had to be gassed when I got my wisdom teeth removed. Apparently, my jaw needed some kind of jiggering so they doped me really well. Luckily my wife was there to keep me contained. When I came out of surgery, I apparently called the nurses "cold bags", probably for being rude, and tried to cheer them up by singing the Adventure Time theme song with a mouth full of gauze and blood. This is an assumption by the way, as my wife had to fill in the gaps in my memory, but what followed kind of confirms things.

The nurses, fed up with my attempts to soothe them, told me to pipe down and handed me a whiteboard with a marker. This is how I was meant to talk for the next while. But giving me that was their first mistake. I took some artistic liberties and drew my best Jake and Finn for them and kept trying to stop the nurses as they rushed past me so I could show them my drawing.

Nobody stopped so I sat there weeping and smiling, unsure what I was supposed to feel. I was quite a sight. A six-foot tall, heavily tattooed child smiling and crying like a doofus in his wheelchair hoping the nurses he insulted would be proud of his artwork.

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18. Code Brown

Code browns are pretty common (patients pooping themselves) during anesthesia or on emergence. One of my patients who was in the lithotomy position for a gyn procedure (vulvectomy), started wiggling a bit (the surgeon was positioned between the patient's legs, putting a wound vac on, and was almost done so I had turned off the anesthetic). That was a huge mistake.

She ended up squirting a dark brown streak of poop up the surgeon's gown and up her mask. The surgeon was less than pleased. I told her that she should have finished up faster and that I was sorry, but I ran out of quarters for the anesthesia machine.

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19. Scope It Out

I was the patient in this case. I had been put under for a colonoscopy/endoscopy combo and for some reason as soon as I woke up the nurse gave me my phone even though I was out of it. I found out the next day from my brother that I had sent multiple snaps to his best friend who has had multiple colonoscopies, letting him know that we were now "butt buddies", and that I understood him better than my brother because I had a camera in my butt too.

Weirdest Anesthesia StoriesPicryl

20. Memory Game

I once had a patient that went in for a relatively "safe" procedure (he was getting shoulder surgery for a torn rotator cuff). When he was coming off anesthesia and having his breathing tube removed, his throat clamped down and he wasn't able to breathe for a good three minutes. After we were finally able to get him re-intubated and eventually have the tube removed again (this time with no incidents) he wakes up and yells, "I REMEMBER EVERYTHING”!

We all get worried and assume he means he remembered the incident where his throat closed, only to later find out he was joking with us about remembering everything through his anesthesia. He is still to this day one of my favorite patients.

Weirdest Anesthesia StoriesFreepik,freepik

21. Weak In The Knees

I was an orderly at a hospital a long time ago. I worked in various areas and I hated the recovery ward. People are freaky as they come around. One day, a huge football player was coming around from knee surgery. He was so big he was on two gurneys. He started getting really restless and was knocking stuff over, so I had to strap him down until he was fully conscious.

As we were doing this, he stopped and looked me straight in the eyes with tears welling up and, in the saddest voice, said, "I want my mom”.

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22. Squirrely

I'm super talkative and suggestible, but I don't remember anything. The only thing I remember of my wisdom teeth is being wheeled out and there was a man in the elevator with us, coming from a different office. I looked up at him, with gauze-filled squirrel cheeks and glassy eyes, and slurred "I just got my wisdom teeth out. I can't feel my face. See? Touch it”, and I started reaching for his hand so he could poke my face. I don't remember his reaction but I'm sure he was uncomfortable.

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23. Hard Rock

I got my wisdom teeth out in college and was a little nervous about going under, so I brought my rosary beads with me and had them in my pants pocket. In the recovery room I was saying the Hail Mary with my beads, but I was actually singing it like a rock band frontman, and doing air guitar while laying on my back. When the cotton wadding started to come out because I was rocking so hard, blood began pouring out of my mouth and down my chin. It looked like a horror movie.

My shenanigans caused the blood to just get all over my face and chest. When I was finally allowed to leave, I walked through the waiting room and smiled at everyone and went to sit down next to a little boy who seemed nervous about going to the dentist to reassure him that everything would be fine and that the dentist was fun! I scared the daylights out of him, and his mom had to take him out of there. All of this was relayed to me two days later when I finally came off the pain meds. There was a photo of me with the crazy bloodstained face once I got home, but it has since been lost.

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24. The Heart At Rest

As a teenager I had minor surgery, and coming out of anesthesia I remember waking up in some intermediary room with a slow beeping sound and nurses (I assumed, maybe doctors) all around me. I notice my heart rate around 44 on the monitor through a bit of a haze. I used to run cross country so I knew my heart rate was low but this seemed low even for me. Of course, my next thought is, "I wonder how low I can get my heart rate”?

I began to slow my breathing down and relax, heart rate 41. "It's working", I grin. I relax more, taking deeper breaths, heart rate 38. Now more alarms are going off and I notice the nurses scrambling a bit. This didn't seem to worry me at the time but that's all I remember so I must have lost consciousness around the time I hit heart rate 37. I woke up remembering the whole thing but was too embarrassed to ask about it.

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25. Family Reunion

I had a patient wake up from K anesthesia who said he remembered "being on a train with all of his ancestors, some whom he's never even met". He went on to describe how he was standing with his now-deceased grandfather, shoveling coal into the train engine. After a while of conversation his grandfather said, "Okay, it's time for you to get off the train". He said he didn't want to because he really enjoyed the time and seeing all these people who've passed. After some convincing, the patient said he stepped off the train and immediately "came to".

Weirdest Anesthesia StoriesPicryl

26. Dancing Queen

My mom drives me home from the surgery. When I wake up at home, she tells me I danced with all the nurses (like, ballroom style) on the way out to the car and then offered to drive home. I think she is pulling my leg, because we make jokes like this a lot. I forget all about it…until she takes me back for the check up a few weeks later. That's when I learned the truth the hard way.

I walk into the waiting room and the receptionist blushes bright red. Everything my mom said rushed back to me, and I realized it was all true, every word.

Weirdest Anesthesia StoriesFlickr, Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja

27. Lumberjack

I was scheduled for hernia surgery. The drip to "relax" me starts making me act stupid. I am wheeled into the operating room where the surgeon or tech for all I know, said that he would shave me before the procedure began. My comment was, "Take out the underbrush but spare the tall timber”! The next thing I heard was "put him under". I awoke in the recovery room and immediately began hitting on all the nurses, which my wife reminded me of frequently during my recovery.

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28. When You’ve Got To Go…

When I woke up from anesthesia the last time, I woke up earlier than expected because I just realllyyyy had to poop, and they weren't ready to send me to my hospital room. But, they also only had a bedpan available so the lady watching over me told me to hold it. But I couldn't. I really needed to go. And I wasn't all there, obviously. So I started.

She flipped out and called my floor nurse and demanded they send someone because she wasn't going to clean it up. So I got sent back to my room almost an hour early.

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29. Take A Knee

This was during an ACL repair. As soon as he becomes coherent enough to mutter phrases after extubation, he lets out a sigh and a humph, "Well, at least I still have two good knees." "You just had ACL surgery", I replied. "You'll be able to move your knee but you're going to need lots of physical thera..." He interrupts. "My left knee and my weenie".

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30. Love Is In The Air

As patients emerge from a general anesthetic, we often say their name and give simple commands to gauge their residual depth of anesthesia. For my older patients, many of whom are hard of hearing, I often will put my mouth very close to their ear in order to ensure they hear what I am saying.

But sometimes, it gets dangerous: Due to decreased inhibition, on more than one occasion a patient has reached up trying to kiss me, and many others have made racy remarks towards me, some lewder than others. One very adorable 90-something lady successfully made contact with my mask.

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31. Prison Patient

My old job as a correctional officer afforded me much time in the hospital. We had an inmate, a young guy, break a catheter off in his urethra, so we brought him to the hospital. The fallout was gruesome. He got surgery, and he comes out to the recovery room. Me and my partner are watching him come out of it violently, puking blood, thrashing around, being held down by nurses and doctors, the whole deal.

It was one of those times where even we were cringing because it was so bad. Meanwhile, an old woman is literally right next to him. She wakes up slowly and peacefully, sits up, looks to the right, scowls, and swings her legs over the side of the bed without hesitation, brushing the nurse that was trying to assist her away. It was by far one of the funniest moments of my life.

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32. Pace It Out

I was having my first pacemaker installed, and I came to while they were pushing it into place. I couldn't feel any pain but definitely could feel them pushing it in...I said, "Well that's a rather disconcerting feeling". All I can remember is a panicked "Uh oh," then I was out again. A few months later I was having an ablation done. After, as I was being wheeled to recovery I apparently held up my arm restraints and said triumphantly, "Look Honey, we can have some fun when I get home"! mom and dad were also right beside my wife...

Weirdest Anesthesia StoriesFreepik,freepik

33. Learning To Walk

I remember a kid, about 17, waking up from all his wisdom teeth being taken out. He was super hazy, but he looked up at his mom (the only family member there), and started sobbing and asking her for a hug. When we got him off the chair, he told us he was good to go. He seemed okay, so he took a few steps on his own. He face-planted after his fifth step or so, and knocked himself back out.

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34. Mystical Experience

I was working recovery with one guy who woke up and he seemed completely lucid and normal. However, he began to tell me about how he was a psychic and he had a terrible feeling that the hospital was going to be targeted. He told me that they were here—men in all black and balaclavas outside the theater department ready to storm the place.

I said, “Sorry, I think you are still half asleep”. He sat bolt upright and said something I'll never forget: "You need to get these people out of here, they're coming". I was genuinely worried so I went out in the hallway to check....the guy was full of baloney and high as a kite. He had me for a minute though.

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35. Flashback

I work for hospital security. We get called when patients are aggressive, which can happen coming out of anesthesia. So we get a call for an old dude (70+), yelling, screaming, freaking out. We hold him down, nurses are putting needles in him. Then I see the number tattooed on his arm. My stomach dropped. He thought he was back in a concentration camp, and we were evil scientists, and I was one of the goons holding him down. It was deeply disturbing to be contributing to his horror like that.

Weirdest Anesthesia StoriesFreepik, DCStudio

36. The King

My cousin had surgery on his teeth for something by my mom (who is a dentist), and he had to be put under for it. My mom told me that when he woke up from anesthesia, he started singing Elvis songs, and telling them he was Elvis. He had the dance moves and lip curl and everything. Then he started crying when they told him he wasn't.

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37. Hey Baby

When I was a teen I had to have surgery at the children's hospital to repair a really bad break on my elbow. When I woke up in the recovery room I was in excruciating pain and the room was full of wailing babies and toddlers. The noise was excruciating. I looked around and saw a window. That's when I had a terrible idea: My pain and med-filled brain thought, "Throw the babies out the window”.

I managed to wiggle myself off the gurney and promptly crash on the floor, and I could not move anymore. The nurses found me there, scolded me, and got me back into bed. I also got some Demerol and that was pretty nice.

Weirdest Anesthesia StoriesFreepik,freepik

38. Night Nurse Knockout

Once after my grandma had a stroke, she had been in the hospital for a day or so. One night a nurse came in to check on her and accidentally woke her up. From my grandma's perspective, she thought she was in the middle of a street late at night, and the nurse was some mugger. Grandma punched her right in the face. They had to switch out her night nurse after that. We always joked about it but my grandma really was ballsy.

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39. Young At Heart

I had a little old woman coming out of anesthesia after having her hip operated on. She told me and another nurse that we were at Disneyland, and the other nurse and I were "such beautiful princesses". We had her on a hovermat (think an air mattress that…well, hovers, to transfer patients from bed to bed). When we slid her into the bed she yelled "wheeee '', clapped her hands, and asked if she could go on the ride again.

Weirdest Anesthesia StoriesFreepik, DCStudio

40. Terminator

My uncle has Down's Syndrome and has had many surgeries to fix a few issues. One time, he was having tubes put in his ears and was being put under. Just before it was lights out, he looks up at the nurse who was counting with him and just says, "Hasta la vista, baaaaaaaabyyyyyyy..." and lightly lifts up a little thumbs up.

Weirdest Anesthesia StoriesFlickr, Tojosan

41. Tooth Tales

I was told by my dentist that when he was prepping me to remove my wisdom teeth, I asked him why he became a dentist. I vaguely remember him telling me a story about how when he was a preteen he was at a local pool, running around when he slipped and smashed his chin on concrete and shattered some of his teeth (ouch). It was absolutely brutal.

He was amazed at how well they reconstructed his teeth that he decided to go into dentistry. Apparently, I then looked this man in the eyes and said, "Well that's a stupid reason to become a dentist". He was not pleased. Sorry, Dr J.

Weirdest Anesthesia StoriesPexels

42. Recovery Reactions

I had a patient come into recovery after surgery. She passed gas so long and loud that the entire 20-bed unit heard her. Then she said, "I was trying to clear my throat, excuse me. And I want a vanilla latte, I got a headache". As medical professionals, we had to hold in the laughter, but that didn't stop patients from turning into hyenas.

Weirdest Anesthesia StoriesPexels

43. Parched

One of the times I had an endoscopy when I was around ten years old, I woke up pretty groggy and naturally with a dry and sore throat. I asked the nurse for water but she said I couldn't have any yet. She left the room so I started climbing over the raised sides of the bed to get some. She walks back in with me almost at the point of no return (also the point immediately preceding the point of face planting the floor as I was in no state to be balancing or climbing).

She freaks out and starts screaming: "What are you doing”?! So I say something along the lines of, “getting some water” and she relents and goes and gets me some.

Weirdest Anesthesia StoriesShutterstock

44. Surgical Song

Right before Christmas a couple of years ago I had my gallbladder removed. In the recovery room as I was waking up I became obsessed with singing the “12 Days of Christmas” song. I kept asking the nurses what order the verses were in. As they were wheeling me out of the room I heard a nurse belt out, "Five golden rings”! which was followed by everyone's laughter.

Weirdest Anesthesia StoriesFreepik, DCStudio

45. History Lesson

My brother had top surgery and woke up from being put under. My stepmom (whom I call “Mom”) recorded him talking about how Abe Lincoln was a great guy. She asked him how he knew and he replied with: “I knew him back in ‘Nam”. And that’s the story of how my brother fought side-by-side with Abe Lincoln back in Vietnam.

Weirdest Anesthesia StoriesShutterstock

46. Hospital Hero

I had appendix surgery after a preventive two-day fasting (water was okay), and anesthesia hit me pretty hard. When I was told I had to use one of those plastic urinals or whatever because they said the abdominal effort could make me faint I just said, “I ain’t gonna poop on a plastic tupper, If I pass out in the toilet like a hero, then let it be”.

Weirdest Anesthesia StoriesFreepik,tonodiaz

47. No Family Resemblance

My dad (Italian) was waking up from anesthesia and kept looking at his Asian nurse and saying he was so glad his daughter was with him, and that he loved his daughter. The nurses were confused, so they went out into the waiting area to check for his daughter. I was the only one in the waiting area, and when they saw me they started hysterically laughing. I am Korean by birth, but was adopted by my lovely Italian family.

Weirdest Anesthesia StoriesShutterstock

48. Shape Shifter

My mom was coming out from under anesthesia after a procedure a few years ago and I was trying to help her. She puckered her lips so I picked up her water cup and asked if she wanted some. She turned her face toward me and said, "Do I LOOK like an AIRPLANE”?! The nurses and I completely lost it. I still tease her about it sometimes.

Weirdest Anesthesia StoriesFreepik, gpointstudio

49. Husky Voice

I’m a vet tech. Dogs and cats come out of anesthesia in an assortment of different ways. But this one husky, I swear, lifted his head and said, “thank you” in that strange way that some dogs can actually sound human in their bark/voice. The other tech and I just looked at each other and said, “holy…did he literally just say that”?!?!

Weirdest Anesthesia Stories

50. Coming Out

I had to get my wisdom teeth removed at the hospital because they were, for lack of a better term, messed up. When I woke up, the nurse was going through the routine to make sure I was fully functioning. She asks me my name by saying, “Who are you”? I respond with, “I’m a lesbian”. My parents were in the room. They didn’t know at the time. That was how I came out.

Weirdest Anesthesia StoriesPexels

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June 7, 2018 Christine Tran

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Warmest regards,

The Factinate team

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