Thursday, October 23, 2008

If you don't...

Want to deal with post-op complications, then don't operate.

Drilled into me by my mentor, a wonderful Gyn-Onc. Brilliant surgeon, nice man, excellent with patients, and now my friend.

Had a bad one recently, ended up in ICU with double digits worth of blood products. Somehow managed to avoid DIC...

At least she left the hospital alive.

And it hurts us too. I hate when bad stuff happens. Surgeons have a rep for acting more than thinking, but we do think. I've reviewed over and over in my head what I did, what steps happened. Had some sleepless nights thinking. And this time, I can honestly say "bad luck." Aberrant anatomy in a procedure requiring a blind pass with a sharp object.

I was reviewing it with the chief of anesthesiology (who happened to be my gas-passer for that day) and he told me the same thing. And he complimented me for the quick action I took, getting vascular surgery in as fast as I recognized the problem. I was brooding and he basically slapped me out of it - "The denominator is fixed, and you are constantly increasing your numerator. Sooner or later something will happen. It's just a numbers game."

I understand that intellectually. Still doesn't make me feel better. I aim for perfection and this type of event hurts.

But I'm a doctor. And a surgeon. So I will have to get over it - or at least act like I'm over it - because I have other patients to care for. We have to take a deep breath and do it again, for the next patient. Because there is always a next patient. It's a strange sort of optimism.

Monday, October 20, 2008

I HATE!!!!!!!

When I agree to do an early case on my day off and the patient DOESN'T EVEN SHOW!!!!!!!!!!


Guess what happened to me today. ;)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Congrats Joe

I grew up in small town Michigan. I can remember the Bad Boys in their glory days. I hated the Bulls and the Lakers. I owned the t-shirts proclaiming the supremacy of the Pistons. My sister adored Isaiah, I wanted to rebound like Dennis. I can remember being pissed when Adrian Dantley was traded.

And there was Joe. Rock steady. Distinctly unflashy. But you could count on him. Always. And now he kept the promise to himself.

Now that I'm older, I can appreciate him a lot more than I did as a teen.

Friday, October 17, 2008

New drug

We were talking the other day at the office, the FP doc, PA, and myself. We're going to patent:


I'm trying to figure out how much per pill the market will bear.

We'll be rich. ;)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Doc as patient

I fully admit I'm a lousy patient.

Worse than lousy.

At least I get CME credit for my issues.

But last month, something that has been bothering me for a year was finally getting to the point where I can't take it (and my self-treatment is helping less and less), so I called my doctor. She got me in, did some tests, and said "Which surgeon do you want to go to? And you're going to mess up your stomach with all of that Motrin."

Wry grin on my face. "I was afraid you would say that. Dr. X. And that's why I buy the economy sized bottle of antacid!" Got a laugh out of my PCP.

So the appointment for Dr. X is made...I deliberately chose him because A. he's good and B. he's conservative...I might be able to postpone the OR for myself. Which he's agreeable to right now, but he just smiled and said "We'll try it." It reminded me of my mother, for some reason.

At this point, I'll do anything to make walking and standing nonpainful. I want to wake up and not need my Motrin hit. I want to be able to not limp out of the OR. But I don't have the ability to be down and out for a long period of time. I just can't.

Classic doctor's (and mom's) thoughts...can't get sick...think of others...just keep working. We don't think of ourselves until we absolutely have to do so.