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“Cardio surgeons stitch like they are playing a violin, while orthopods stitch like a little boy doing a karate chop”

October 10, 2007

Didn’t have to do Cardio today, it was back to Ortho, and in a new hospital too. Apparently its such a new hospital that the security is actually worth a damn, so my doc had to escort me in. I had agreed to meet him at 6:45 in the lobby, no later than 6:50 b/c we needed to be getting ready by then. As paranoid as I am about strict timelines like this, I got up at 5am, was out of the house by 5:30a, and in the lobby waiting at 6am, reading about regional blocks for the presentation I planned to do later.

Well, up comes 6:45 and I haven’t seen him. At 6:49 I’m about to shit myself. At 6:50 I head to the elevators, second-guessing myself as to where he said we needed to meet. Not there. I get in and head to the 2nd floor lobby in front of the OR. It’s 6:51 and no one is there. I ask the OR charge nurse if she has seen him, but she hasn’t. I think, oh great, he’s 2 min late and now I’ve missed him downstairs. I run back down stairs, no one there again, so I bite the bullet and page him. Apparently he’s already up there & changed. SHIT! WHEN DID HE…..?? HOW DID HE….?? Oh well. I run back up, tell him I was here but somehow missed him, hope he believes me, and apologize for the comedy of errors that is my life.

I go to get changed, but am so frazzled at this point that I keep putting my scrub pants on backwards…or is it this way…no I had it right the first time. I meet him in pre-op, talk to the patient and head back to get prepped. I already know I won’t get to try my 2nd intubation b/c this time the patient is 300 pounds (maybe thats why we’re putting in a new knee) and has no neck. No way am I getting that tube in. B/c the patient is so huge and has sleep apnea, I was put on the duty of giving PEEP with every breath. This basically means I spend the whole surgery squeezing the ventilator bag so he gets a better exhale, and thus he blows off more CO2, and maybe gets a better inhale too. The whole time I stare at the pressure gauge, with the occasional glance at the tidal volume (how big a breath he’s taking) and CO2. I’m trying not to squeeze the bag too hard b/c if I do, its like trying to blow up a balloon, and lungs don’t like to be manipulated. They are stubborn that way and will revolt if they figure out you’re helping them too much, like I kid yelling “I can do it! Leave me alone!”

So while I am trying to concentrate on this, my doc brings up the fact that he has heart issues (AAH! I thought I had escaped that for the day!) and starts pimping me on his condition and the mechanics of the heart. I’m not sure, but I think have that bag as something to focus on was a big help. I know the answer alot of the time, but I tend to try to make things more complicated than they are, and end up reasoning my way out of the right answer. But this time I was too distracted to really think so I would just say the first thing that would pop into my head, and it worked! It was the first day I passed all the pimping. And it couldn’t have been better timing, b/c I then gave him my evaluation to fill out. After all, tomorrow is my last day.

And it’ll end with….babies!

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 7, 2007 9:03 pm

    Hello my name is Benjamin. I was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea. I have been battling with my insurance company and they are not going to help me get a bipap machine because it is a pre-existing condition. I am trying to get one used online. I set up a website to try to tell my story and hopefully make enough from the ads to purchase a bipap machine. The last sleep study I went to told me that if I did not get a machine, I was headed for a heart attack in 5 years. I am 36. I appreciate anyone who makes the effort to spread the word. I would like to try to set up a way for the uninsured to get cpap and bipap machines without insurance. Thanks Very Much

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