One reason why I chose to go into general surgery is because my patients are asleep. See, I really don’t like to inflict pain. So I prefer that my patients are asleep while I do things to them. This is in contrast to performing procedures in the ER or in the clinic, when the patients are awake.
Anyways, we needed to change a line out of one of our patients today. She had this big honkin’ huge-ass line in her internal jugular vein, and they don’t let you have those on the floor because if something bad happened, nobody would notice that Mr. or Mrs. So-and-so is in his or her room bleeding to death. And after we got the new line in, I got to stitch it back in. I’ll be straight- I didn’t do a great job. I get all scaredy and timid when my patients are awake, because- see above. I’m horrified. Scared.
We took the drapes down, and our patient was crying. In a way, I knew it wasn’t all because of the pain, because we were finished hurting her. I could see on her face the frustration she felt about just… being in the hospital, after a huge operation, in pain and not wanting to ambulate when we were pushing her to get out of bed. Sort of a hopelessness and a “poor me when is this going to end” sort of thing. I’m not pretending I know how it feels to have a huge procedure in which all of your bowels are rearranged, but for some reason, I saw that feeling on her face when the drapes came down. God, I hate it when my patients are conscious.
Anyways, I heard that later that day she was doing really well. I hope she leaves here without having any complications. Looked, I just jinxed it. But every patient with a major operation on this service has had some sort of complication. And we keep getting people coming back in with complications. It’s depressing. And since it’s a new service for me and we’re covering a bajillion attendings, I’ve been on edge all week trying to get off to a good start with everybody.
Like how I should be reading NCCN guidelines for melanoma right now.
Yep, right now.
Like now. Yes. Yes.