Author Mary Ellen Spruell’s New Book “Waking Up! An Anesthetist’s Diary” is a Novel Inspired by True Events Experienced During a Decades-long Hospital Career

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Recent release “Waking Up! An Anesthetist’s Diary” from Page Publishing author Mary Ellen Spruell is a fascinating glimpse of the behind-the-scenes work of the medical professionals who perform surgery and ensure that patients do not experience pain during their procedures. This novel puts a human face on the patients, doctors, and anesthetists at a busy hospital in the seventies and eighties.

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Mary Ellen Spruell, a digital photographic artist, barbershop chorus harmonist, and retired anesthetist with over thirty-four years of experience living in Lansdale, Pennsylvania with her husband, Lee, has completed her book “Waking Up! An Anesthetist’s Diary”: a gripping novel that offers a backstage pass to the life-and-death dramas that play out every day in operating rooms across the nation.

Spruell shares, “Anesthetists in those early days faced many situations that don’t exist today, thanks to development of safer techniques and equipment. Waking Up’s diary entries give us a chance to vicariously experience some of these difficult situations.”

The story begins in 1972 as Emily, the anesthetist on call, awakens from a sound sleep and dashes to resuscitate a man in the Accident Ward. It is her boss, the Chief of Anesthesia, and he dies. The balance of power changes in the Operating room. A horrible conflict occurs between her and the new chief, Doctor Panute, and something unthinkable happens.

In the meantime, Emily is raising three children on her own, and just entering the dating scene after her husband left her. A desperate call from her former husband breaks up her budding romance with a Marine, but she must offer to help him. Paul has malignant melanoma. He has surgery at her hospital, and it does not go well.

Her brother Jason seems to have gotten into a cult, so Emily travels into the mountains to rescue him. She has an experience of total ecstasy there, but blames it on their family’s history of mental illness.

Her anesthesia career careens when Emily makes a big mistake. She almost quits, but her brother at the ashram talks her out of it. She begins to chant every day. More and more, her meditation is giving her insights. One night after doing anesthesia for three craniotomies, Emily has a big surprise.

And then there’s the tractor trailer truck…

Published by New York City-based Page Publishing, Mary Ellen Spruell’s novel is inspired by over three decades of experience in various hospitals and surgical centers and offers a personalized look at anesthesia prior to the advances of twenty-first century medicine.

Readers who wish to experience this potent work can purchase “Waking Up! An Anesthetist’s Diary” at bookstores everywhere, or online at the Apple iTunes store, Amazon, Google Play, or Barnes and Noble.

For additional information or media inquiries, contact Page Publishing at 866-315-2708.

About Page Publishing:

Page Publishing is a traditional New York-based full-service publishing house that handles all the intricacies involved in publishing its authors’ books, including distribution in the world’s largest retail outlets and royalty generation. Page Publishing knows that authors need to be free to create - not bogged down with logistics like eBook conversion, establishing wholesale accounts, insurance, shipping, taxes, and the like. Its roster of accomplished authors and publishing professionals allows writers to leave behind these complex and time-consuming issues to focus on their passion: writing and creating. Learn more at

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