The shoe is on the other foot.

Defibrillator on left; pacemaker on right




Or I'm wearing a different hat. Or, less metaphorically, L is wearing the pale green Fancy Hospital smock today. He's supposed to be out of the operating room at 11:30 am Central Standard Time. Some of you may recall that he has hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. He is getting a cardioverter defibrillator installed to prevent a life-ending event, as the doctor said. He's supposed to be in the recovery room by 11:30 am CST. The very very worst thing about this is he can't play contact sports, for fear of moving the device, so yesterday was his very last basketball game. He loves basketball. It's his in-the-moment, everything-else-disappears activity. He will have to find another, one where a ball or a person or a floor won't hit him in the defibrillator.

In the waiting area today were three men, all with gray hair, two with paunches and canes, and one who looked diminished. One of the cane men was a patient and the other, his friend. L is in such perfect shape. He doesn't look like the usual cardiac patient.

A nurse told us that a (dreaded) Fellow was going to do the operation along with the Attending (the staff cardiologist). I have a horror of Fellows and interns and residents and medical students. They are real doctors, but they're amateurs. I could feel the difference between a Fellow and an Attending during a biopsy. The Fellow was uncertain and tentative and had to be guided after her first attempt to poke around in my breast. I said we wanted the Attending to do it. I don't know if L was forceful enough with the doctor. He just asked, You're going to do it, right? The nurse had demurred, saying, This is a teaching hospital. Yes, but let them learn on someone else's body. I know this isn't charitable or generous or unselfish. So be it.

2 comments:

Sam said...

I've always thought that it was easier to be operated on than to have someone close to me operated on - no matter how major or minor the surgery. Somehow just being able to feel my self - pain or not - gave me a feeling of much more control and optimism than the most minor thing inside another person.

Of course I’d have to admit that a big part of the difference is that during a five-hour operation for prostate cancer I was blissfully (?) sleeping, while I was forced to stay awake and worried the whole way through Mary Jo's tubal.

Why are we convinced that when we’ve looked at the options available and made our decision everything’s under control, put when someone close to us does the same thing we’re sure something is going to go wrong?

Cancer Bitch said...

When it's someone close to us, perhaps we think that we should be doing more, should be helping more, and there's stress in that.
c. bitch