Monday, February 02, 2009


My feet were tingling. I’d been standing for at least 45 minutes. In one spot. Frozen, if you will. Restricted in front by the physician & the patient (not to mention the sterile field), on the left by the anesthesia curtain, & on the right by the sterile trays of instruments…I’d been standing on a one-foot-square stool for far too long--& I was getting quite bored.

The scrub nurse in front of me (she is in charge of handling all the requested instruments) was getting clausterphobic & boldly announced that I’d better move quickly or else (they are kind of in charge in the O.R., aside from the physician). She “shooed” me away with her gloved hand & I bolted from my restricted position & glued myself against the cupboard behind me to get out of her way before a shiny instrument was thrown as reinforcement.

Which is when the anesthesiologist (they are always so nice) felt sorry for me & invited me into her space at the head of the patient.

Low-and-behold!! The view was SO MUCH BETTER from up there! I could see everything! And the best part was that my feet could move!! What an amazing feeling it was!

I was admiring my newly discovered surroundings when I glanced down & noticed that the patient’s face, normally entirely hidden from my view by the anesthesiologist curtain, was covered in a plastic sheet. Occassionally the sheet would be lifted so the patient’s skin could breathe (machine’s were breathing for the patient).

She was a pretty lady. Highlited hair. Manicured fingernails. I even noticed eyeliner & mascara under the tape they’d put over her eyelids to keep them shut during general anesthesia.

Which is when I noticed them.

And I swear to you, it took all the inner strength I could muster to resist the temptation to reach into the sterile field, grab a hemostat, & pluck those eyebrows so-help-me-God.

Who said surgery was about the patient, anyways?

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