She walked into the OR in the dingy hospital gown and flip flops that are provided. She had prepared herself mentally for the hysterectomy, thankful that all the heavy bleeding would be done. She took that big step up to lift herself onto the table as directed. And then whoo-hooo! – the table started moving from side to side in a deep wobble. Patience, the skinny little scrub tech, dove forward to grab her, but it was too late. Off the other side of the bed she tumbled. She had been tossed, but thankfully, not injured. Heart rate was quite high, confidence in the medical system was quite low. Seems that somehow a bolt had come loose overnight. Usually there is a little jiggle in the table, it makes a small movement when pressure is applied from one side or the other. One leg of it always sits on the bottom of the heel of a flip flop to keep it more level and less mobile. But something changed dramatically overnight. The table now took on much more personality, the type of personality found in the bull-riding portion of a rodeo. I couldn’t help but to reflect on the similarities. I later tried to explain how bull-riding was a “sport” in the US. As I went through the descriptors of such an activity, I realized how foolish it sounded to do something like this intentionally. Indeed the more I talked, the more stupid it seemed even to me.
Well, 2 tables later, it seemed that all of them were broken. So, since no easy replacement could be found, we had to call in help to fix it. The help was definitely qualified. The Australian anesthesiologist took his position lying, kneeling, bending, straining, lifting, etc to knock the table back into shape. His face crinkled up with a mean look as he pushed and pulled against the metal pieces. Above him stood the vascular surgeon serving in more of a verbal role as supervisor and counselor. Finally, after much ado, it was back to only a gentle rocking from side to side.
The patient came for a second try. She used much more caution as she climbed on it this time, testing before allowing it to bear any weight. The scrub tech too, was more careful. She actually moved away from the bed. It must have come to her mind that the patient was almost twice her weight, so she was no longer willing to risk the catch. The bed had its little wiggle, then held steady, and we were ready to begin. Rodeo over. But it was sort of fun while it lasted. A much more entertaining way to start the day.
|Scrub tech moves away from patient thinking|
"sorry, you are on your own lady"
|Patient safely, and securely on bed|
|This one has no real connection to the story,|
I just enjoyed the American flag painted on each
toenail. I got very patriotic for a minute.