The Grahams’ of Cochran County – Chapter 9


Ether is not used as an anesthetic agent much anymore. There are a lot better drugs now to keep you asleep while the surgeon operates on you.

When I was in my internship at John Peter Hospital in Fort Worth in 1960 we were required to get some supervision in using this agent. The nurse anesthetist who supervised us were excellent. They made sure that these children getting their tonsils removed got through the procedure with flying colors. My stint in the operating room using this ether mask drip technique convinced me against becoming an anesthesiologist.

The occasion that required me to have ether anesthesia was an accident at home. Bob and I were running circles around the pot bellied stove barefooted when I caught my foot on a larger splinter that embedded itself deeply into my foot. Try as she could, my mother could not extract the demon. She picked at that elusive piece of wood several times and started putting black salve over the wound. Several soaking solutions were use. An abscess developed and red streaks started running up my leg.

Dad, who was County Judge in Cochran County decided he had better try to save my life or ruin his reputation. He took me to a doctor in Lubbock who administered ether and cut the foot open to let the splinter and pus escape.

After the ether started wearing off, I got this weird dream that me and the doctor were snakes. We started fighting and caught each other’s tale. We started spinning around and around. About that time, I woke up in my Dad’s arms going down an elevator while giving those close by a heavy dose of vomit.

Ether dreams tend to become repetitive. I have not had this for several years but did have this nightmare into adulthood.

Blessings on each of you readers and may you never have an ether dream.

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