Thursday, March 30, 2006

« You can’t rush a placenta »

Hello Beloved Readers,

Tabby here, coming at you after a 24hour call shift at the MoFo. What a great day and night! 24 hours of non-stop babies, uterus, and poonany can’t be anything but exciting. Here are some of the highlights:

First things first: I changed my bed sheets yesterday morning before leaving for the hospital. I had an inkling that I might be pretty tired when I got home this morning and that the ecstasy of ivory flannel-covered goose feathers would be a welcome treat.

I started the day by confirming my booking for the beach hut that I will be living in Mexico in a few short weeks. This vacation is long overdue and I can’t wait to go scuba diving, visit Mayan ruins and jungle, and generally vegetate with a few cerveza on the quiet beach. The last 2 nights of the vake will be spent at a yoga and wellness spa. Nothing bad could ever happen in a place like that right?

Because I was busy dinking around with my bed sheets and internet hotel bookings, I forgot about, and subsequently missed, ObsGyn rounds at the hospital. It’s not a big deal but unfortunately I missed out on a little cat fight that took place after rounds. Apparently, the tiff was centred around who would get to take possession of the breakfast leftovers. I have no idea who won, nor do I know who pays for the weekly breakfast offerings, or who is rightly entitled to the leftovers. What I do know is that there seems to be a weekly locking of horns between these two (potentially unstable) people, and I always hate to miss that sort of thing. Perhaps next week things will really come to a head with BLT sandwiches and whipped cream-laden strawberries being hurled around or smeared in people’s faces.

All four of us students currently doing our obstetrics and gynecology rotation were on site at the MoFo yesterday. This is a little unusual. It made for some good laughs, if not a slightly crowded house. At one point, two of us were turfed from the OR. The patient was bleeding a lot and tensions were understandably high. Anaesthetists are a high strung bunch (some more so than others), always freaking out about fluid management, blood pressure, and hemostasis. Two words: chill pill.

Anyway, at some point the doctor doing the surgery thought there were too many of us in the room. My colleague and I were (admittedly) dispensable, and we were told to get the hell out – please. It wasn’t personal, but my feelings were still hurt. I’m not even sure why. Perhaps my ego was still a little bruised from the arterial cord blood gas fiasco which had occurred a few hours previous. Also, I seem to have a mental block about the location of a woman’s urethra. I always want to shove the catheter into the clitoris. You’d think having made the same mistake twice and having my own female anatomy to study ad nauseum, I would figure these kinds of things out, but I am just so friggin’ perseverant sometimes.

Some people are completely bonkers, and childbirth really brings out individual personalities, and especially personality disorders, like nothing else. Yesterday, I met the poster girl for Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Also, the doting husband of the century. At one point, I thought his wife might haul off and punch him in the face. She had told him about 200 times not to rub her leg.

In between deliveries, we shimmied downstairs to meet with a drug rep who was touting Chinese food. I was so hungry, and time was at such a premium, that I hoovered down a gigantic plate of food in like 10 seconds flat. I felt ill for some time afterwards and you’d think that would’ve taught me a lesson, but several hours later, after a crash C-section, I found myself in the recovery room, robotically aspirating about 86 jujubes. I promptly developed another belly ache. Dinner was at midnight.

Yesterday was a pretty great call shift because there was a lot of different stuff going on. There were about 110 (or maybe 6) deliveries and a couple of good emerg consults; one ending in a diagnostic laproscopy, which revealed, among other things, endometriosis, and Fitzhugh Curtis Syndrome (?), perihepatic adhesions as a consequence of remote PID. Definitely pretty cool, but admittedly I didn’t quite share Dr. P’s level of enthusiasm.

Our second run to the OR was a little painful for me, literally. We had a baby with a prolonged low heart rate that needed an emergency C-section. It was wild and everything was moving pretty fast. I haven’t been going to yoga, or working out much of late. Basically, I have no muscles. Also, I hadn’t had dinner yet, and my blood sugar was pretty low. I was at the front of the right hand side of the stretcher as we were racing our patient down the hall when I realized that we were veering somewhat to the right. I tried providing counter traction to set us straight, but to no avail. No one but me seemed to notice that my side of the stretcher was careening toward the wall. In between the stretcher and the wall was me, and the gap was closing fast. I tried in vein to get out of the way, but it was too late. Before I could do anything to save myself, I was jammed up against the wall and pulled under the wheel of the stretcher. I could do nothing but cry out as the stretcher ran over my left ankle. The pain was immediate and my rubber shoe had been badly stretched out of shape. But there was no time to deal with any of that. I continued to advance with a tingling, potentially broken, foot. My only hope was that if my leg was bleeding it would be contained in my shoe until after the baby was delivered.

Thankfully, the caesarean went well. Baby was unbelievably brazen and took a giant crap on Dr. P’s hand, even after he had just rescued him from the worst possible living conditions – a shit laden uterus, with an umbilical cord wrapped around his neck, twice! Some people have no respect.

We had a couple of women last night who went with natural childbirth. 'Tough bitches' is all I can say on that front. One woman actually apologized for crying out, citing low pain tolerance as one of her shortcomings. I could not but set her straight on the fact that she seriously had it going on. She barely flinched even as her 9 pound baby was being sucked out of her vagina by a giant purple-handled vacuum. The tearing of her perineum had caused me to cry out in distress, and this woman was as cool as a cucumber.

I recognize the utility of the vacuum, but I must admit it freaks me out.

This morning after 4 hours of sleep, we delivered a couple more babes before calling it a day. Feeling like a million bucks, I took myself out to Stoneface for breakfast. Nothing less than eggs benedict after a night like that. My disgustingly smelly, and now stretched rubber shoes were then set to soak in Javex (they wreak). This afternoon I got my haircut and my hairdresser told me the wildest story about how he got shot in the neck when he was 23 (26years ago). Miraculously, he survived. He even got me to palpate the bullet, which remains lodged in his neck to this day. I was in awe of this wonderful man. It took him three times longer than normal to cut my hair, and it is quite a bit shorter than usual, but worth it in exchange for his GSW to the neck story.

So, now I will retire to my premeditated bedding arrangement. It’s been a slice and I have to say that this current rotation is giving me reason for pause. There is something to be said for rising with ease every morning and looking forward to the day’s work. Will keep you all posted on any life changing epiphanies.

All my love,
TT

8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello tt...I miss you too and hope to come home soon. I am at the mercy of my frequent flier program, so only Aeroplan determines when I may show up.

First and foremost, I can only imagine what sort of life you lead in the MoFo...I am so proud of you, I hope you know that.

Where in Mexico are you going, I will be in Mazatlan from May 8-14. I assume you will be farther south and east...

As far as my "cryptic" comments, you are absolutely correct. Sucking it up and going to see her was the best thing I've done for myself in a long time. thefuzzyblanket is happy !! :)

thefuzzyblanket

PS - Is it anesthesist or anesthesiologist?

1:13 AM  
Blogger telltale tabby said...

Dear TFB,

my life is not that exciting really. you know i have a flare for the dramatic.

i will be in mex from the 15th - 22nd of april. we won't be overlapping unfortunately.

come home as soon as air canada will allow it.

tt

ps - i think it can be either. anaesthetist or anaesthesiologist. though i have heard the former used more than the latter of late.

8:16 AM  
Blogger Mr. Apple said...

Hi tabby,

Thanks so much for your comments today. I have comment moderation on so I can choose what gets published and what doesn't (you wouldn't believe some of the stuff I've been getting today) and I've decided not to publish yours because I just think it will fan the flames. But it really meant a lot to me to get some words of support in a sea of negativity and insults.

yours,
Mr. Apple

7:51 PM  
Blogger telltale tabby said...

Dear M. Pomme,

I was aware of the comment moderation feature being activated. Otherwise, I would not have written those comments for fear of reprisal. I need full use of both of my hands for catching babies.

I meant what I said though.

goodnight,
tt

11:42 PM  
Blogger The One and Only said...

Hey TT! Great post....enjoyed every minute of it. You have quite the adventure when you are at work. If you could have any other job, what would it be?? As I ask you this question, I wonder what I would do if it weren't for my love of being tortured by 7 year olds!! I think that a law enforcer would have lots of interesting stories to tell....perhaps in another life time. As you talk about babies being born and the parents of those babies I can't help but wonder how my wife and I are going to be when we are at the hospital waiting for our little guy to pop out. I will say this...I will be watching the Dr.'s carefully!!!

Until next time TT.

3:38 PM  
Blogger telltale tabby said...

Dear TOAO,

I do actually have another list of careers that I would happily fall back on:
1. Personal Shopper (with full autonomy and to a reasonable person who recognizes my good taste).
2. Hair dresser (see above parentheses)
3. Real Estate Agent (to the stars)
4. Human Rights Lawyer
5. Wealthy Socialite
6. Bioethicist
7. Senior Sales Associate at Banana Republic
8. Delivery person for Hungry Sammy's Pizza.

As you can see, I have quite a diverse array of interests. It’s good to know though that I chose medicine because I want to do it, and not because Banana Republic didn’t call back!

I talked to Phoebes yesterday and told her that you and S. are expecting. She was happy for you.

If you want me to catch your baby I will.

xot

8:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can we bring our own Dr. in? If we want you to deliver our baby, can we do this? After all, it is OUR baby and you seem qualified enough...don't drop him though, I would kick your ass if you did that!! I just figured out (with the help of S) what TOAO means...I thought you were referring to me as TAO as in the religion TAOISM..which made me think of the TAO of Pooh and I am not a bear!!!

The ONE AND ONLY

6:28 PM  
Blogger telltale tabby said...

Dear TOAO,

I don't see why you couldn't bring your own doctor/medical student. People here bring in their own midwives, and that's practically the same thing.

The chances of me dropping him would be pretty slim. I've only dropped about 4 babies. As long as it isn'T squirming too much we'd be fine.

xot

10:01 AM  

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