Friday, August 9, 2013

"Turn your head and cough, please!" Day 18- I'm a brain surgeon!

For some reason I thought this was going to be a chill Friday. Wrong.

I had one operation today. That might sound like was 7 hours long. I was the only one at the table that was there from beginning to end. Granted I was offered a break but I figured I still had an hour in me and would then take a break. We ended up being so busy, I would have felt like a jerk had I said I wanted to leave then. So I sucked it up and stayed.

The operation was an adrenal gland removal. The patient had been operated before though so all the intestines where stuck together and it took a long time to even just get them apart. The presented anatomy was so bad that we ended up having to remove several organs.

There are certain phases I go through when I have to stand for such a long time.
  • I get to the table and my back starts to hurt but I ignore it and it is quickly gone again
  • I start having circulatory issues (I didn't wear my socks today....probably would have helped but would have been very uncomfortable in the next phase) where my sight starts acting weird and I feel extremely weak
  • I start getting really hot and sweaty. Especially under the face mask. Luckily it covers my mouth so no one can see me making funny faces to try to get more air into my mask :)
  • I start yawning profusely...I think my body tries getting more air. I try not to let people notice so that they don't think I'm just bored
  • after about 5 hours....I just don't care anymore and I can stand for probably another 5 hours. My body is used to what it's doing and nothing bothers me anymore (this stage is bliss)
Here is what you have to keep in mind about the 7 hours. I am scrubbed in and can't touch my face! So when my forehead is sweaty or my ear itches or my nose itches....I can't do anything about it! Except make funny faces under my mask hoping that will move muscles around and relieve the itch. If it really got terribly bad, I know I could ask someone in the room that isn't scrubbed in to rub my nose.

I also don't sit, eat, drink, pee or move around a lot in those 7 hours. Luckily, when I operate I usually forget about those necessary things. I am super thirsty once I'm done with the operation though and realize just how long I haven't had anything to drink.

So why was I the only one there for 7 hours straight? Well, the chief, Dr.S and I started the operation. Since we were dealing with so many other organs, Dr.C from general surgery came to help out. Once he did, Dr.S left the OR. (I secretly thought they might tell me to take a break instead.) About two hours before we were done, Chief left the OR and Dr.S came back. At about the same time the OR nurse switched with another one.

I couldn't decide if I liked Dr.C or not. He made some remarks to the nursing students that made me want to kick him. He just acted as if they needed to know every chief of the hospital and made stupid comments. I was not in the best mood for about half an hour and he happened to make these remarks in that time. I had about 5 scenarios played out in my head of how I would give him a piece of my mind if he made another comment (luckily it never came to that). So here he was making stupid remarks to the nursing students but then would turn to me and ask me if I needed a break or if holding the hooks was okay. I don't expect to be comfortable in the OR. I try to hold the hooks in such a fashion so that the surgeons can work easily. I told them I was fine and was only moving around a bit to move my back. I hope he wasn't being nice to me because I'm a med student and they are nursing students. I have a feeling that was the reason and I don't like when people are like that. Towards the end of the operation he was in a good mood though.

I didn't do much productive after I was done for that day. (Treated myself to the expensive coffee at the hospital though!)

I did however Skype with a good friend of mine and we were talking about gender differences and the problems they create. He said the problem was that men had two brains and one controls the body more than the other. That's when I told him, "I guess that makes me a brain surgeon!" Haha,...we both died laughing. So from now on, I will be telling people I'm going to be a men's brain surgeon :)

My whole weekend is filled with night shifts. This means sleeping all day (hopefully) and working all night before it's off to work again Monday morning.


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