April 8, 2013


The following is not FACTUALLY accurate. Details have been changed, things deleted, stuff made up, all to protect identity. But it is 100% absolutely true.

     The trauma page went over head as I followed my chief resident into the critical care unit.  It turns out that pointy sharp objects and skin don't mix very well.  Her skilled fingers guided by experience and talent quickly located the vein bleeding and tied it off.  What was left behind was a large bloody mess.  She turned to me and asked, "can you handle the rest?"

     "The rest" meaning clean up and put this gash back together.

     There is a definite appeal to surgery.  The patient's problem is (usually) clearly defined and amenable to physical alterations.  If it wasn't, the patient wouldn't be in surgery.  Consequently, surgeons tend to be very cut and dry, very goal oriented.  Subtlety is not in their vocabulary.  It's also instant gratification.  All bleeding stops eventually, so you know if you saved the patient in relatively short time.  Nothing like primary care where you're treating chronic life long conditions like diabetes. 

      While I have ZERO interest in going into surgery, I can admit it was a nice change of pace to just focus on the mechanical task at hand by sewing up the wound.  It's not the prettiest job ever but the chief wanted to leave it open somewhat to allow some drainage.  Now I'm definitely ready the next time my son decides to play with something sharp.  No more going to the ER for him.  Dad's giving him a shot of tequila and sewing him up.


Steve Parker MD said...

Beautiful work!


Cary Reams said...

I've got to stop reading your blog at breakfast.