Thursday, January 22, 2009

ooey gooey red stuff.


I heard that Grey’s Anatomy uses pig hearts & fake organs & red ketchup-like substances for blood. Because using real human organs would be inhumane, not to mention gross.

And so, I’m often left standing over a sterile abdomen underneath the operating room lights trying to convince myself that what I’m about to see really isn’t human; that instead it really is just pig hearts & fake organs & red ketchup-like substances that the nurses squirted on the patient during that 1/100th second it took me to blink.

Sometimes the mind games work. Sometimes I pretend that the giant blob of skin-looking stuff that’s glaring underneath the surgery lights is really a giant present from the aliens with lots of moving, gooey, red stuff inside. And other times I pretend that I really don’t know how babies are made & that they magically appear inside that giant blob of skin-looking stuff inside a nicely packaged thing that slightly resembles a picture of a uterus I saw just that one time when I was passively glancing through my anatomy book.

Playing stupid isn’t always a bad idea.

Because the truth is that I’ve quickly come to find that my body--& my hormonally driven emotions—don’t really care about the sterile field. Nor do they care about the REAL LIVE PERSON that is lying under those blue drapes. Nor do they care about the bustling staff that scurries about the OR making sure we don’t leave gauze or forceps or sponges inside that REAL LIVE PERSON that is lying under those blue drapes.

No, in fact, my body & my hormones only care about thrill.

And on Tuesday, it was thrill they got.

They also got a surprise trip to the cold concrete floor of the OR when I almost passed out during a C-section---{err, I mean a baby removal from that nicely packaged thing that slightly resembles a picture of a uterus I saw just that one time when I was passively glancing through my anatomy book}

Make the incision on that giant blob of skin-looking stuff.
I was fine.

That red-ketchup looking stuff started coming out.
I was fine.

More incisions with scalpels & scissors & hemostats.
I was fine.

Jlyn, please hold the retractor so you can look into this gaping slice we just made & see what kind of presents are inside.
I was fine.

Look! Do you see the babies head?
I was fine.

Dad was in the room & got all excited.
I was fine.

Baby came out—big chunky 8 pound boy.
I was fine.

Admiring the baby while hold the retractor & wondering how much that little guys back must hurt from being crammed in that tiny mommy’s belly.
I was fine.

Getting excited about the fact that I JUST PULLED A LIVING HUMAN BEING OUT OF SOMEONE ELSE’S STOMACH.
A little less fine…

Look! Do you see her colon!
Nope, not so fine…

Here we are, pretending to practice our cross-stitch on her uterus!
Definitely not fine…feeling quite warm by now….

Give me that big staple gun so I can punch her incision like I would a stack of paperwork!!!
Oh man….sweaty palms…sick stomach….

And the next thing I knew, the scrub nurse was stripping all my unnecessary clothes off—the sterile gloves, the gown, the extra hair net, the wet-apron….

What? We just delivered a baby?

Oh…cool. No thanks…I’ll just watch from the floor—the view is just fine from here. Thanks anyways—I’ll practice my cross-stitch on the next patient.

3 comments:

Sarah said...

are you saying you fainted at the end? i'm a little slow here but dying to know.

j... said...

no no...no fainting. BUT IT WAS TOO CLOSE for my comfort :) you know that sweaty-palms-clammy-skin-almost-going-to-faint sort of feeling?

it was that.

Craig said...

That was pretty much before every test in my class wasn't it?....I thought I had prepared you for life in the real world....

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