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What does intubation feel like?

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  • What does intubation feel like?

    I?ve heard negative and some not-so-negative stories about people?s experiences with the vent tube. But I?m still unclear as to what it actually feels like in your throat. Does it compare with any other experience? I?ve had a TEE down the other orifice ? does it kind of feel the same in your windpipe?

    Are you able to breathe through your nose while the vent tube is in? Can you breathe through your mouth, or does the tube completely block the windpipe and all air must go through it? How difficult is it to swallow? Does moving your head from side to side hurt? Can you move your head up and down easily?

    The tube I?ve seen in pictures looks fairly narrow ? can you inhale and exhale enough air or do you feel at times like, as someone said, you?re breathing through a straw?

    The nurse I talked to during pre-admission also warned that they may be using a nasogastric tube (nose-to-stomach) which doesn?t thrill me. Did anyone wake up with one of those?
    Bill
    [SIZE="1"]Mitral Valve Repair and annuloplasty ring 3/31/09
    Bethesda North Hospital, Dr. Hiratzka
    Endocarditis (strep) 11/08 - 1/09[/SIZE]
    [FONT="Century Gothic"]"That which does not kills us makes us stronger."[/FONT]

  • #2
    WOW Bill......I keep going over and over those same questions in my head....thanks for starting the thread.....I've read many, many concerning the tube here....but yours is more specific......we both are obsessing!!! :D
    Jennifer


    Proverbs 3:5a Trust in the Lord with all your heart..


    Minimal invasive mitral valve repair
    Cleveland Clinic Dr. Marc Gillinov
    May 26, 2009 at age 62
    Right thoracotomy
    Cosgrove-Edwards annuloplasty band

    Comment


    • #3
      Most likely you will be so doped up, you won't even think about whether you are breathing on your own or not, etc., etc.

      I do remember trying to cough and not being able to make a sound, but other than that, I just listened to the good news my husband and then my surgeon told me, gave the thumbs-up sign, and then went back into la-la land.
      Mitral valve repair & maze procedure - October 20, 2005 - Montreal Heart Institute
      A-Fib - August 2005
      Endocarditis - 2004

      Comment


      • #4
        the breathing tube for me I have no recollection. It came out immediately upon my waking up after surgery. As for the nose to stomach one, I had one of those after colon surgery last Nov. the worst part was when they pulled it out. Other than that it didn't bother me.
        1st Surgery 3/30/59 Henry Ford Hospital, Dr. Conrad Lam
        Aortic bicuspid repair.
        2nd Surgery 7/27/06 Aortic root, Aortic graft, and valve replacement.
        Emory University Hospital, Dr. Edward Chen
        29 MM Medtronics Freestyle tissue valve

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by ponytaila1a View Post
          WOW Bill......I keep going over and over those same questions in my head....thanks for starting the thread.....I've read many, many concerning the tube here....but yours is more specific......we both are obsessing!!! :D
          Jennifer, yeah, I hear a lot of "it doesn't hurt" or "it does hurt" but nothing that describes the actual sensation. I'm tempted to stick a straw in my windpipe just to see how it feels. I hate going into something with no idea on what it will feel like.

          Hopefully, someone can explain it. If not, I will make an attempt to describe the sensation as best I can when I make my first post-surgery post next week, for your sake at least. :D
          Bill
          [SIZE="1"]Mitral Valve Repair and annuloplasty ring 3/31/09
          Bethesda North Hospital, Dr. Hiratzka
          Endocarditis (strep) 11/08 - 1/09[/SIZE]
          [FONT="Century Gothic"]"That which does not kills us makes us stronger."[/FONT]

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Adrienne View Post
            Most likely you will be so doped up, you won't even think about whether you are breathing on your own or not, etc., etc.

            I do remember trying to cough and not being able to make a sound, but other than that, I just listened to the good news my husband and then my surgeon told me, gave the thumbs-up sign, and then went back into la-la land.
            I'm hoping for the same experience. When I came out of slumberland after my TEE a couple weeks ago, I couldn't feel much of anything for several minutes. I'm hoping that give me a stronger dose of that happy juice, or something similar.
            Bill
            [SIZE="1"]Mitral Valve Repair and annuloplasty ring 3/31/09
            Bethesda North Hospital, Dr. Hiratzka
            Endocarditis (strep) 11/08 - 1/09[/SIZE]
            [FONT="Century Gothic"]"That which does not kills us makes us stronger."[/FONT]

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by DeWayne View Post
              the breathing tube for me I have no recollection. It came out immediately upon my waking up after surgery. As for the nose to stomach one, I had one of those after colon surgery last Nov. the worst part was when they pulled it out. Other than that it didn't bother me.
              My mother-in-law had a colon blockage and everything backed up to her stomach. They made several painful attempts to get the nasogastric tube in before a doctor took care of it. She says having it in and getting it out wasn't nearly so bad. But I have no idea why the nurse even mentioned putting it in, so I'm wondering if it's common practice. As it is, I think I'll be getting a tube in almost every orifice, and a couple in my chest that didn't use to be orifices. :eek:
              Bill
              [SIZE="1"]Mitral Valve Repair and annuloplasty ring 3/31/09
              Bethesda North Hospital, Dr. Hiratzka
              Endocarditis (strep) 11/08 - 1/09[/SIZE]
              [FONT="Century Gothic"]"That which does not kills us makes us stronger."[/FONT]

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by TakeStock View Post
                I'm hoping for the same experience. When I came out of slumberland after my TEE a couple weeks ago, I couldn't feel much of anything for several minutes. I'm hoping that give me a stronger dose of that happy juice, or something similar.
                Let me just put it this way, if I try explaining WHAT it feels like to be intubated, you may not want to go ahead with your surgery!!!

                So, it's best NOT to push it any further, my opinion!!! (you are usually asleep through out this time & if you do wake up from time to time, you'll be so groggy that you'll just slip away again!)

                Don't worry ---- you'll survive the intubation!!!
                Best Regards,
                N Jean (New Mexico)

                May/1975: AVR & MVR Double-Valves (Cooley-Cutter Mechanicals)
                Dec/1975: MV Repair -- Re-suture Mitral Mech. Valve (Dr. Denton Cooley)
                Mar/2006: AVR -- Old Valve Replaced w/St. Jude Mechanical (Dr. Reul)


                "Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less."
                - Marie Curie

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by njean View Post
                  Let me just put it this way, if I try explaining WHAT it feels like to be intubated, you may not want to go ahead with your surgery!!!

                  So, it's best NOT to push it any further, my opinion!!! (you are usually asleep through out this time & if you do wake up from time to time, you'll be so groggy that you'll just slip away again!)

                  Don't worry ---- you'll survive the intubation!!!
                  Now is that supposed to make me less worried? :eek:

                  I'm not concerned about the pain and discomfort so much as HOW it will feel and how I can cope with the experience. My fear is I'll panic and be uncertain of how to "breathe" correctly. I suspect I'll be too groggy to panic and the nurse will be right there, but just in case, I want to be able to talk myself down. I remember panicking a bit when I had my first TEE because I wasn't used to the oxygen going up my nostrils and I couldn't swallow after the numbing spray, which made me feel like I was choking. Breathing on my own through my nose calmed me down, but I had never read about the choking sensation you can get from not being able to feel yourself swallowing, so I was unprepared. I hate being unprepared. :(
                  Bill
                  [SIZE="1"]Mitral Valve Repair and annuloplasty ring 3/31/09
                  Bethesda North Hospital, Dr. Hiratzka
                  Endocarditis (strep) 11/08 - 1/09[/SIZE]
                  [FONT="Century Gothic"]"That which does not kills us makes us stronger."[/FONT]

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I never felt it, Bill, so quit worrying!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Personally I'd not stress about it. I woke up in critical care, but was in the twilight zone courtesy of the drugs. I have a vague recollection of the vent tube being removed but I was so out of it that I didn't care, and I suspect you'll be the same.
                      AVR 19/03/2009 29mm St Jude Regent Mechanical Valve. Courtesy of our wonderful NHS.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I had the tube in for several hours after surgery, and what I remember of it is that it felt like I had this huge plastic tube in my throat which was uncomfortable, but not painful. The worst part was trying to swallow and feeling like I was gagging. It was not a pleasant experience, but not horrible. Hopefully you'll have it out before you ever become aware that it's in.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by TakeStock View Post
                          Now is that supposed to make me less worried? :eek:

                          I'm not concerned about the pain and discomfort so much as HOW it will feel and how I can cope with the experience. My fear is I'll panic and be uncertain of how to "breathe" correctly. I suspect I'll be too groggy to panic and the nurse will be right there, but just in case, I want to be able to talk myself down. I remember panicking a bit when I had my first TEE because I wasn't used to the oxygen going up my nostrils and I couldn't swallow after the numbing spray, which made me feel like I was choking. Breathing on my own through my nose calmed me down, but I had never read about the choking sensation you can get from not being able to feel yourself swallowing, so I was unprepared. I hate being unprepared. :(
                          I'm sorry if I came across a bit too strong for you Bill; believe me, that was not my intention!

                          What I'm trying to get across I guess, is that it's hard to explain how exactly it feels & how you will react to the intubation since everyone is so different.

                          Some people have almost no notion of having the intubator in while others, like myself, woke up in a panic & I had to be strapped down to the bed to keep me calm.

                          The one thing I had to keep reminding myself when & I awoke knowing it was there, I tried praying & calming myself down that way & also, telling myself that it was NOT going to be in there forever.

                          Hopefully you will be one of those that will have no notion of it being there & everything will go smooth. If the opposite happens, then try to focus on something else to get yourself in a calm state of mind!
                          Best Regards,
                          N Jean (New Mexico)

                          May/1975: AVR & MVR Double-Valves (Cooley-Cutter Mechanicals)
                          Dec/1975: MV Repair -- Re-suture Mitral Mech. Valve (Dr. Denton Cooley)
                          Mar/2006: AVR -- Old Valve Replaced w/St. Jude Mechanical (Dr. Reul)


                          "Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less."
                          - Marie Curie

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I never felt it either. I had worried about it but it ended up a non-event.
                            Wayne
                            02/28/06 Mitral Valve Repair & closure of atrial septal defect - Dr. Tirone David
                            03/24/06 Pericardial Tamponade

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I've been intubated more then I care to mention. I lived with the thing fully conscience for 10 days, then I was trached. It's a fullness feeling in your throat. You cannot breath in anyway except through and with the tube. It is very uncomfortable to move your head in any direction because your pulling on the tube while it's locked in your windpipe.

                              Should you find yourself awake with it still in, do not fight breathing against it. Try to time your breaths with the ventilator timings themselves. Should be 16 breaths per minute whether you want them or not.

                              The nasogastric tube is a non concern. They should insert it while your out which is the worst part of all. I've had it both ways and would much rather be out. Pulling it out is a little uncomfortable, but it's nothing compared to inserting it fully awake.

                              As everyones mentioned, you'll be so drugged out of your mind that you probably won't remember any of this.

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