16 OCT The comfort of nothing
My call night has passed, and thankfully there has been enough calm this morning that I could slip home for a shower. We were flying the black flag most of the night. Vascular surgeon M. Was on duty with me, and he just seems to have the knack for very busy black cloud call nights. Since we were running multiple operations at once, I was blessed with good help from my partners. You can see Laparoscopic surgeon S. has his hands scrubbed and is about to head into a case. He has the good sense to be wearing his splash goggles. He is wearing a cooling vest, because we heat the rooms to near 100deg to protect the patients who often are cold and are losing blood. Sometimes we need to wear lead shields through long operations in those hot rooms and we come out with our scrub suits drenched in sweat.
We finally finished the days' operations at 0200. After rounding on patients and seeing a few new visitors to the ER, I snuck in two hours sleep on the couch of the PLX.
The morning was smooth. After a quick breakfast of powdered eggs, rasberry yogurt, tomato juice and biscuits with sausage gravy, I gave my morning report as the DFAC coffee began to kick in. We had treated patients from six different nations last night. With the multinational force and contractors, there are individuals from all corners of the globe at risk for injury.
I arrived in the OR for my morning routine of washing and treating the two boys with severe burns. It is very labor intensive care. I had the good fortune to have three or four assistants in each operation. We scrubbed away dead skin and fat and placed new clean dressings to ward off infection. In spite of the physical and emotional demands of burn care on both patient and provider, my spirits were greatly lifted today to receive a strong message of support to press on with this work.
If you haven't, please visit a wonderful blog on health called Well by Tara Parker-Pope of the NY Times. She was kind enough to mention our work here, and is a great source of health advice and stories.
Afternoon has arrived, and I crossed a few chores off my card after editing proofs of an article and completing some business readings. I'm going to visit the OR to see if the on call team has the action under control. I'm hoping that they do becaue I'm looking forward to an afternoon in my hooch alone and the comfort of doing absolutely nothing for a spell.
Take good care of yourselves!