Saturday, November 18, 2006

coming off bypass

Wow, I haven't written an entry in so long that Blogger didn't remember me. Short memory, blogger dot com. What about all the good times we shared?

I've been rotating through cardiothoracic anesthesia for the past month, if that's any kind of an excuse. The first three weeks were kind of fun, but by the last week, I was longing for the sweet release of death. Workin' 5 to 9, what a way to make a livin'. My last day of the rotation, I was on call, and stumbling back from the ICU to the ORs at 2am after dropping what I hoped was my last patient of the night, I saw a guy delivering two small coolers off at the OR desk. Always an ominous sign.

"What...um...are there organs in those coolers?" I asked the nurse signing for the dropoff.

"Yup. Transplant." She confirmed.

"Which...organs?"

"Kidney."

"Really? Two kidneys? There's not a heart or a lung hiding in one of those coolers, is there?"

"Nope. Just kidneys."

"Nice."

"You're on call for cardiac?"

"Yes. So unless they're planning on sticking those kidneys into the guy's chest, I'm hoping that I'm done for the night. They can freaking transplant a baboon heart if they want, as long as they decide to do it after 7am. I am officially done with this."

"Long month?"

"You could say that."


* * *


The good thing is that I have a week of vacation now. Everyone always asks me if I'm going anywhere for my vacation, but I just really want to spend some time in my home, where, theoretically, I live. You know how everyone's house has a certain smell? Not a bad smell, but just a smell that's a combination of the food that they eat, the products that they use, the furniture and pets that they have, that kind of thing. But normally no one can notice the smell of their own house, because you live there--you only notice the smell of other people's houses. Like this one friend I had in elementary school had a house that smelled like Christmas trees and old books. Or my cousins' house, which always smelled like laundry and wood. The only time you can really smell your own house is after you come home after being out of town for a while or something like that. Well, this past week, when I've been getting home from the hospital, I realized that I could actually smell my own house. Which officially means that I've been working too much. It also means that we need to buy some more Febreeze and give Cooper a bath.

So given that we're not actually "going on vacation" (Joe doesn't have off this week, though he will be off for Thanksgiving), being on vacation basically just means that I'm putting my job at the hospital on hold so that I can do my nanny's job for a little while. Only twenty-four hours a day. And for free. However, on the plus side, I do get to work from home. Ah ha ha! Ha ha! I kill me! With my own hilarity! I am Doctor Hilarius! Except not a Nazi!

(Seriously though, I didn't really understand that book. I only made that joke so that you would think that I was High Class.)

We had some nice family time yesterday morning, but we were home by 2:30pm to give Joe enough time to mentally prepare for The Game, which seems a little general of a designation to me, but for much of the world seemed to be understood to mean the game between Ohio State and Michigan. Joe loves The Bug Eyes. A lot. I don't get the whole football thing (for example, when watching football alone, why yell things? Who are you talking to?) but as pastimes go, college football seems to be a fairly benign one, as opposed to, oh, say, heroin abuse, so I was pleased to man Cal for a few hours and allow Joe to carve out a little slice of couch with his ass.

So Ohio State won. Which would appear be the end of the story, but to Joe means watching more sports to see the post-game analysis and logging onto ESPN.com obsessively to check various stats and standings or some such. I understand liking to read a recap of something that you already saw--that's the genius of this site, after all--but I have to admit that I was a little surprised to wake up this morning to see Joe in front of the TV watching a replay of the exact same game that ended just twelve hours before.


MICHELLE
Is that Ohio State versus Michigan?

JOE
Yup.

MICHELLE
Is that the same game from yesterday?

JOE
Yup.

MICHELLE
I don't want to spoil the ending for you, but...Ohio State wins.

JOE
This was an awesome game.

MICHELLE
You just think it's awesome because your team won.

JOE
Yes. Because of their awesomeness.

MICHELLE
Don't you feel bad for the other team?

JOE
No.

MICHELLE
I feel kind of bad for them. Especially after their old coach died and all, Bud Shimbuckler.

JOE
Bo Schembechler.

MICHELLE
Yes. But aren't you proud that I was pretty close?

JOE
So proud.

MICHELLE
I feel sorry for Michigan. This is called "empathy."

JOE
I'm just going to watch this one last play, and then we can go to breakfast. It's coming up, wait, just watch this one part with me. Wait, look look look. It was second and inches and they broke from the huddle, feigning to go for a quick conversion, but then they faked a dive play, and then in a play-action pass the quarterback threw deep for the 38-yard score!

MICHELLE
I didn't understand a single word you just said right now.


I'm off this whole week, so I'll try to update a little more to make up for this past month. If Cal will let me. Lately he's been sort of a tough customer. But more on that later. Ooh, cliffhanger!

Currently reading: Nothing. I AM READING NOTHING. Well, OK, I actually am reading this comic book, but was too embarrassed to admit that this is the only non-medical book I've read in the past few weeks. Speaking of comic books, however, there's a great multimedia presentation on the visual language of graphic novels over at The New York Times Magazine. It's cool hearing all those cartoonists talk about their work. I only wish that Adrian Tomine was included, because I would love to hear what his voice sounds like. (Um, OK, stalker.)

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