I had my 17th surgery yesterday so it's fair to say I've been around the "hospital" block quite a few times and know what to expect on the patient side of things.
Everything went as expected up until I was on the operating table and they were administering the general anesthesia to put me to sleep, and they put a breathing mask full of oxygen covering my mouth and face. (This was as expected too as I recall this happening prior to all my other surgeries). But this time, as soon as they put the oxygen over my nose and mouth, I felt like I couldn't breathe. I had a hard time breathing, and wanted to rip the mask off because I started panicking that I actually was not breathing (even though I logically knew there was an oxygen mask over me). But the mask made me hyperventilate instead, and my lungs started to hurt. Thankfully, this experience was only 30-40 seconds of panic before I drifted off to sleep.
So my questions:
Why a mask of oxygen over mouth & nose while general anesthesia is administered to knock one out for surgery? Common to feel like you can't breathe when it's placed over the mouth and nose?
Is it because some patients may have trouble breathing during the first few moments of the induction of anesthesia? (Like the sensation of not feeling able to breathe was not the oxygen mask, but the general anesthesia entering the body, impacting breathing system).
Or do the oxygen masks contain so much oxygen that the body has a hard time breathing it. (Like the amount/% of oxygen being pumped in a LOT of oxygen in the lungs all at once, and the lungs start to hurt?)
Or... simply that mini panic attacks can ensue as instinct doesn't appreciate something over the nose and mouth and wants to throw the mask off. And this causes one to get anxious and hyperventilate?
Basically, why the need for the breathing mask at first? And is it common to find it harder to breathe?