Bedside

My job’s like any other job. I get up early, bundle up because it’s cold this time of year, catch a cab or a bus depending on the time, eat a little something on the way, maybe dry toast and coffee, then get to the office and start working. I’m a surgeon. My office is a hospital and today my work is your body.

This morning I’m going to cut you open and have a look at your parts. The ones your chart says need a look, anyhow. Usually it’s a textbook sort of deal. I open you up and mindlessly do what needs to get done. Don’t let it bother you that I said mindlessly because I’m just being honest. Some of this stuff is really easy for me.

But it’s also possible that I’ll get in there and things’ll go badly. I’ll have to do some seat-of-my-pants problem solving which’ll force me to act on instinct. Usually this also turns out OK. I’ve been at this a long time and I’d say that some of my best work was done after shit hits the fan. Fact is, my hands never shake and I can focus better when I’m under pressure. Everything moves in slow-motion. Times like this are when I feel most alive.

Between my experience and the technology we’ve got these days, you can count on everything going as planned. In pre-op they’ll have you start counting down from a hundred, then you’ll wake up in recovery. Wham, bam. Like clockwork.

If a patient’s heart stops on the table, it’s always when their body is compromised to begin with. Like obese or diseased or old. Sometimes these folks’ bodies can’t deal. But don’t sweat it. You’re pretty average and have a good attitude. You should be just fine.

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