Sunday, December 21, 2014

Week 5: Vasovasostomies, tumor removals and Mozart!

I have a hard time keeping days straight during the week. Multiple times a week, I don't know what day it is. I usually know what number of day it is because I document the date so often....but the day of the week? Always lost. Monday night, while sitting at my desk at home, I suddenly yelled outraged that I had forgotten to attend the intern lecture that afternoon which takes place every Tuesday!.....I was about to grab my phone and text the other intern that we had forgotten the lecture when I realized that it was only Monday. If it wasn't for Throw Back Thursday on my Instagram feed, I wouldn't know it was Thursday. I'm not the only one with this problem and so we colleagues often confuse each other even more.

I had a visitor on the ward on Monday. The patient (from here on out referred to as Pat. X) with the tumor from last week, came to say hello and introduce me to his wife. He informed me that we was being operated the next day. It was important for him to come tell me personally because he wasn't sure if the other department was staying in touch with me. I told him I would talk to the surgeon and see if I could assist.

This I did and was granted permission by my ward doctor and the surgeon to assist in the surgery. The whole thing took about 4 hours and went really well. We were able to removed the tumor in basically one big piece.....weighing in at 3kg (6.6lbs). It was a rather impressive mass. It still amazes me that the patient had no other symptoms but the varicocele.
Thursday, during the morning meeting, the senior consultant summoned me into the OR. I had no idea what operation I'd be helping with. My back has been hurting the past week and I already thought I might have to help with a fairly long operation that day. Luckily for me, I was assisting the senior consultant with a vasovasostomy! The operation reverses the result of a vasectomy, in the hopes of re-fertilizing the patient if he decides, for instance, to have kids again. The operation is done in part through microsurgery which requires sitting! Score! It was a 5 hour operation but it was all spent sitting. I helped cut, hold, coagulate, find, position and in the end sew throughout the operation.

Dear men, please think about what it is you are doing when you get a vasectomy because the work that goes into reversing it is a lot of fiddly work for the surgeon. The surgeon told me I better find a guy that hasn't had a vasectomy. Will do sir.

Lemon juice + honey + hot water = deliciousness and cold fighting power!

I felt bad leaving my ward doctors by themselves while I was in the OR. Who would be around to make sure the guys ate breakfast and make them lemon and honey tea because they started to get a cold. I've definitely taken on a motherly role with some of the guys. They haven't been doctors long and get caught up in all the stress and forget to look after themselves. I do it because I care, not because its expected (just thought I'd point that out for anyone starting their internship soon and thinking they will have to do all sorts of non-medically things and become personal slaves).

Some days get so busy, I just grab lunch for everyone and we eat on the ward.

I stopped by the ICU on Thursday to visit Pat. X. He was awake and happy to see me. He himself was amazed at how well he is doing. This guys spirit is so great. More patients need to have his attitude. He intends to stay in touch with me, even after he is out of the hospital.

Thursday night, I met up with 4 of the guys for some spiced hot wine at the Christmas market and afterwards a drink in the Irish pub. Live music was being played and we all sang along with the chorus of one of the songs at the end of our night (about the same time that all the students were starting theirs). The next day one of the guys sounded 10 years older due to his rough voice (he obviously does not sing along loudly to music in his apartment...)

Hennessey & Ginger Ale

Friday was a rather slow day. The other intern and I spent some time doing ultrasounds on each other. We figured it would be super easy to find and evaluate our kidneys since we are young and slim. We thought wrong. We actually had a really tough time. One of the doctors even came and helped us. Luckily he informed us that it usually is hard finding the kidneys in young, slim women. Thankfully it's a lot easier with our patients!
Hello Kidney

Best Moment: The continuous positive progression of Pat. X and his treatment.

Worst Moment: Nothing bad happened. I wasn't in the best of moods at times. Mainly I think because Christmas is getting closer and usually I'd be on my way home to Wisconsin around this time. Sadly not this year.

Off Topic: My uncle and I surprised my grandma this weekend with her Christmas Present. A trip to Hamburg for dinner at Opera Ristorante followed by Mozart's The Magic Flute in the Hamburg Opera. It was a great night and a lovely show! I can recommend it greatly for anyone interested in opera.

Music: I downloaded the new J. Cole album "2014 Forest Hills Drive" and love it! In general, I like all of J. Cole's music. This album has a different vibe than his last one but great nonetheless! For any R&B/Rap/HipHop fans out there ;)

This coming week is a short work week for me. I'm only in the hospital Monday and Tuesday before heading to Hamburg to spend Christmas with my extended family.

I wish you all a very happy 4th Advent!

Stay healthy!