Another GK patient here with my 2 cents worth.
I had this done last April 18. That headframe looks so intimidating, and without the "happy" pill and local anesthesia, I'm sure it would not be pleasant. However,they do have that pill and once I took the pill, it worked very quickly. Then they rubbed an ointment on me which helped to deaden the skin, then there is that pinprick when they use the needle to administer the "real" anesthesia. It is a momentary uncomfortable pinpoint of pain. By the time they got around to attaching the frame, I was feeling no pain. I was sitting up but don't remember where exactly..possibly in the wheel chair. I was relaxed from the pill. Didn't really care what they did to me, at that point!! I felt some pressure when they tighten it up. For some reason, it dug into me more on my right side and that was a bit uncomfortable, but not painful, and then it goes away and the happy pill makes you forget what goes on anyway. At least the one they gave me had that effect on me. The nurse turned to my husband right after I took the pill and said, "She won't remember most of today, and when she get's home she will probably sleep the rest of the day." I thought, "Darn....this will be interesting and I'm going to forget it." I would think that since they know your medical history they will try to be as careful with you as they can be. I was awake throughout the procedure and apparently had a wonderful time as my husband heard a lot of laughing going on, but don't remember much during that time period. I would think, tho, that if something hurt you, you would be able to tell them. For me, it wasn't much different than getting an MRI, except they lock your head down so you don't move, and it's not noisy. I understand your concern, but if your medical staff is as nice and caring and professional as the ones I dealt with, I'm sure you will be just fine. Happy Thanksgiving.
Sue in Vancouver