Tuesday, November 6, 2012


I prepared for a c-section today. Standing, looking at the pile of green rain boots that are shared by all the staff, I cringed. I hate to put my foot down in that deep dark hole. Once I found an old, dirty sock inside. Today I found an old rag. I told the OR staff member standing in the room, "Judy, I hate to put these boots on, I imagine there are critters inside". I turned away to go in my plain shoes, but she stopped me. She said I had to wear them, that she didn't want me to get blood all on my feet, and that I knew c-sections always had plenty of blood dripping down. So, I grabbed them up and put them on. It seemed the responsible course. Those oversized boots clunked off my heels as I walked into the OR.

The case went fine, baby out, uterus back together, beginning to close the skin... and ouch! I jumped as behind  my right knee stung. I looked beneath the drape of my sterile gown to see a gigantic cockroach on my pant leg. Uggghhh! I broke sterile technique, jerked my foot out of that gross boot, and knocked the roach of my leg. It was Charleston sized, big enough to eat my toe if it wanted. Oh it was disgusting. I kicked the other boot off, considering that maybe he had a brother or cousin hiding out in there, leaving me in my socks to finish surgery.

As he ran for the door, my outburst demanded someone follow him for the kill. You can't let him get away with assaulting me like that. The circulating nurse went after him. And sure enough, when I came out after the case was safely completed, there he was flipped on his back, injured, but with legs still wiggling in the air. I left him to die a painful death. My compassion doesn't extend to roaches.

I can manage with limited suture choice, or bendable needles made in China, or power outages in the middle of a case. But I don't do cockroaches. Not on me. Who knew roaches could bite, or sting, or whatever it did to me. If my right leg gets infected and I die off over here, you'll know what started it all. Nasty little thing! I am still feeling crawly all over. I keep trying to brush away non-existent bugs as the sensations tickle my skin every few minutes. 


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