Thursday, August 07, 2008

all independent and shit

As those who follow my Twitter stream are already aware, today was my first day doing my own case in the OR, a fem-pop bypass. It went well. Honestly, when I started the case, I was a little rusty, as I expected I would be. That coupled with patient-related difficulties and the unfamiliar environment with somewhat different setup and equipment than I'm used to using, it felt a little like Amateur Night at the Ha-Ha Factory--but I settled into things and the emergence was, if I may say, quite nice considering the co-morbidities involved, both supratentorial and otherwise. So that went well. Still, I've been getting up really early, even earlier than usual because of my usual neurosis about getting lost, not being able to find equipment, negotiating various procedural snafus related to new hospital systems and whatnot--and I have to say, I'm pretty tired. This weekend, I'm going to sleep and sleep, at least until the sun comes up. How's that for decadent?

I have to say that I'm really pleased with my new job. Maybe it's just a Southern thing, or perhaps just a non-New York thing, but the people here are really friendly, and everyone seems sort of baseline pleasant and eager to help, as opposed to the constant low-grade dissatisfaction I'm more accustomed to. When you ask for directions here, people don't just point you down the hall and say take a right, then a left before the double doors, they completely stop what they're doing, get up, and walk you there themselves. This is amazing to me. How are you all so nice? Coupled with the Southern accents that everyone seems to be sporting (I am getting better at understanding them--when we first moved, though, I was constantly lagging one second behind in conversation, translating) I feel like people are constantly on the verge of offering me peach cobbler fresh out of the oven or some such thing. Anyway--so nice. And from what I can tell, the hospital runs quite well. It is pleasant to work there, is all I can say. Pleasant from every direction.

Well, one direction that it's not quite as pleasant, I guess, is the air conditioning. I know that all hospitals are cold, especially the ORs, but people, really, this is ridiculous. There seem to be only two air conditioning settings in public spaces here in the city of Atlanta--off, or arctic freeze. The other day, after work, I literally had to sit out in the sun (and mind you, it was mid-90s that day) just to thaw out my extremities, because I had spent all day indoors, and had Raynaud's phenomenon. It is literally the coldest hospital I have ever set foot in. Even the neurosurg rooms at Columbia* weren't this bad. Not to mention that the patients in the OR are all half naked. Maybe this is some sort of cerebral protection scheme that I'm not aware of. Either way, I'm freezing my balls off. (So to speak.)

[*Yes, to those who pointed it out, I'm not calling it "University Hospital" anymore. I figure I'm not there anymore, and anyway, it's in the book, so no big secret anymore. Er..."secret."]