Friday, August 20, 2010

Hip Replacements and Baby Catching

This past week was amazing.

Some of the highlights.

I delivered my first baby! Yes. It turns out if you harass the maternity nurses and docs enough they will call you up to catch one. I had witnessed a few during the summer but it wasn't until the day before my birthday that I got to catch my first one (thanks Doc R!) Baby Jessica was 9 lbs 4 oz, slippery, pink, screaming and born with a head of dark curls.

I was so excited in those last few pushes I had to clasp my hands together in order to keep them from inadvertently just reaching in there and taking the babe out or patting the perineum with anticipation. Doc R and I had gone through the steps verbally ahead of time but I hadn't really thought of what I was meant to do once the slippery, heavy, squirming baby was actually in my arms! I think I was giggling and cheering and almost (sorta) tearing up and then thought-- " I put her down or clamp the cord or...ack!" It was a crazy wonderful blur and flurry of activity, Doc R helped me from there, "yes...just set the baby down now", "oh, right".

Yes she did give me permission to post this photo of her.

That afternoon I got to scrub in for a great toe amputation. It actually amazed me at how simple and slick it is to remove a toe. The thing really didn't give up much of a fight at all, just a couple of swipes with the 'ol scalpel and, thunk! It's in the bin. For some reason I just assumed that everything in the body was really anchored down. Meshed together, tightly woven. I suppose that I've always thought that because in order to have survived the sabre toothed tigers, bears, falls, wars, famine, the body must be a very study structure. But as I am seeing more and more in the operating room, it really isn't.

The next day my colleagues kindly let me spend most of the day shift (which was supposed to be spent working in the  emergency department) scrubbed in on several orthopedic surgeries. Ok, let me just say now, I take back EVERYTHING I ever said about orthopedics.

How I could never do it. 

How I could never stand to watch such brutal surgeries. 

Oh how very off the mark I was. 

Let's just say, tendon harvesting for ACL repairs is a thing of beauty. I was actually operating the arthroscope for that one. Hello that is not an easy task. When you are staring at a large screen tv it is difficult to immediately appreciate that moving the scope 1mm actually turns your field of view to a completely different scene. I could feel the sweat running between my shoulder blades and down the backs of my knees, 

just don't screw up

don't lose what he's trying to look at

don't pull the scope out by accident. 

Yeah, I did all three. Considering the fits of rage that I'd seen come from Dr. S I was expecting him to wrap the scope around my neck and throttle me with it. But to my surprise he only called me a 'useless assistant' a couple of times and commented on how much I was slowing him down once! He also yelled pointed out that holding the scope for the first time was no excuse for not doing a good job. I was in bone-chip, bloody, tendon harvesting heaven so it didn't even bother me. He let me pull the finished graph through the hole to where it was anchored. Pretty amazing actually. 

Other thoughts from the day included, 

Wow! the plantar fascia is REALLY thick and white!

I can't believe that a hammer and chisel were just used to crack open that calcaneus! 

Exposed muscle really is a thing of beauty!

I think I might faint from hunger and sleep deprivation soon!

Hey. I didn't say they were deep thoughts. 

There was also a theme party--70's due to the decor in my living room. It was a combined triple birthday party/retirement from nursing for ABB party. 

Things really took off when both Karaoke and Dance Dance Revolution showed up. 

Yes I am wearing a giant peace sign bindi. Thanks for asking.

There was also a beautiful 15km hike one day, some c-sections, entertaining shifts in the emergency department, dinner on a cruise ship, the move into a new (wicked) house, a meteor shower, and possibly a hang-over somewhere in there as well.

Two shifts left as a nurse. So many memories rising to the surface. Almost exactly 7 years to the day that I graduated. 


K said...

(to the caption on your first photo with the baby) Isn't it terrible how you have to justify your maturity and pt's respect to privacy to the whole world for posting a photo of someone's baby? I mean, really, it's so sad that you almost *expect* people to look at it and question, "did she get the permission to post that?" *sigh* congrats on the baby catching! amen to HIPAA or is it HIPPAAAA? I get confused. lol

Cartoon Characters said...

Fun, isn't it? :) I lost track of how many I have actually delivered sans MD. Where I *used* to live, there was ONE MD in particular who didn't like to you could always count on delivering his....I did 2 of his in one night once. Only had to deal with one dystocia on my own tho...thank goodness....

Albinoblackbear said...

Hahahah--yes! I actually posted it on facebook and was waiting for someone to wag their finger at me!! :)

I was happy she was screaming so much because I thought it distorted her face enough that no one could say I was exploiting her image! Here in Canada it is FOIP (we don't put the "hip" in privacy like you guys do!)

Thanks--it was wonderful.

Albinoblackbear said...

Cartoon--yeah we have one of those here (nicknamed Dr. Placenta). It *is* fun, especially when everything goes perfectly! Too bad you couldn't bill for your services! :)

Nature Nerd said...

Wow, that makes me really glad I work with plants and that the words "tendon harvesting" have never entered my work or studies. And thank god there are people like you actually like this stuff.
Oh, and I love the large peace-sign bindi. I'm going to wear one of those to my defense I think.

OMDG said...

That sounds so awesome. You have no idea how jealous I am. You're making me want to come out of research hiding and return to the OR to hold the freaking camera.

Just wait 'til you see neurosurgery.

Liana said...

Sounds like fun! Congrats on delivering your first baby... I've never forgotten my first delivery.

ertwro said...

Awesome! The first time delivering a baby it's probably the only thing that will make studying worth it. That and getting paid for doing it.

Anonymous said...

Sounds so awesome ABB! Congratulations on the catch!

(P.S. I was thinking pretty much the same things when I was running the scope for the first time too!)

Cartoon Characters said...

The Doc promised me a bottle of wine but he didn't deliver... ;)

Babies look alike anyway - not sure anyone would recognize the little one!esp since they change so fast.....

FOIPPA:Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act - Canada