In a few months, my 57th birthday will (hopefully) come (and go). A former colleague of mine was at about this same age when he requested that I provide an anesthetic for his prostate resection. It was an honor to agree to do this, as this physician was someone I held in the highest esteem. My friend and associate was a superb clinician, a wonderful educator and just fun to be around, despite his sometimes irascible nature. The anesthetic plan was simple – a bit of midazolam for anxiolysis, followed by a subarachnoid block, as my colleague wanted to avoid a general anesthetic. His surgeon, with whom I had worked before, was skilled and efficient, making the spinal anesthetic an excellent option. On the day of surgery, everything went without a hitch.

The next day, at the time of...

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