Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Booty Call


The phone rang in the middle of the night.
I reached for the phone, and mumbled, 'Hello?'
I recognized the voice and said, 'You're not going to let me sleep tonight, are you?'

The voice said, 'It's not me who is going to keep you up all night. It's our friend...you know...'doctor'...' paused a delicious pause at making an inside joke only the two of us understood, and gave a big sigh as I smiled back as I held the phone.

I weighed my options. 'I'll be there.' I said, and I hung up.

In the car as I drove over, I felt the same wave of guilt that I always feel when answering a call like this. Part of me looks forward to what unexpected things will happen. And part of me regrets having to live like this, and is wondering how after all of this night I am going to get through my day tomorrow?

I pulled into the hospital at midnight.

The patient had sick bowel.

My 'booty call' was my colorectal surgeon. Without anesthesia, there can be no life-saving surgery.

The patient was going to die if we didn't operate in the middle of the night.

Sick bowel is the sickest 'sick gets' at a hospital besides trauma.

Well, that and the ruptured triple A (abdominal aortic aneurysm).

Everything went well.

The patient did fine.

I slept overnight on a gurney in the recovery room.

I slept poorly.

I also had a full assignment of cases to do in the day.

The French have a phrase for the messed up hair and disheveled clothing look after a night of romance: the walk of shame. It's what they call it when you walk back to your apartment to get ready for work the next day. It's not really shameful. There is a certain 'coolness' about it, and everybody knows what went on the night before, and is happy for them.

I sort of fit the part--worn-out make up, bed-head, and wrinkled scrubs.

That's the booty call I get.

At two o'clock in the morning, it just feels like two o'clock in the morning.

It doesn't feel like 'saving lives' until you round the next day, and see the patient and their family.

Then it feels great.

Namaste,

Reiki Doc

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