Five Routine Minutes: The Urine Sample Lady Does Not Like JokesPosted: December 16, 2011
The countdown is on. I check in for surgery at 4am this coming Tuesday. If all goes according to plan, by noon I will have a piece of donated bone and a titanium plate in my neck. I’ll get rid of some pain and some bone spurs that are injuring my spinal cord. All in all, I’m planning on Tuesday being a good day.
There is a lot of preparation that goes into doing surgery on someone’s spinal column. To speed the process, I got an appointment to go to the hospital this week and take care of some of the preliminary questions and tests.
Tuesday, 10 A.M.
I arrived for my pre-surgical appointment early. Sadly, that meant I had to sit in the waiting room and watch Dr. Phil. Dr. Phil is such a hack. I’m not sure why they felt that I deserved to suffer through that.
Soon, I was in a room by myself. A series of people came in to poke, prod and question me. Each of them started our meeting by asking me my name and birth date. I don’t know for sure, but I think they are planning a surprise party for me next year. Hospitals are expensive, but the people who work there are nice.
They kept mentioning to me that my surgeon had a lot of standing orders concerning his patients. They said it in that reverent way that implies that not everyone is as conscientious. The one standing order they let me in on was that he wanted to know the blood types of his patients before surgery. I had always assumed that, unless it was an emergency, all surgeons knew their patient’s blood type before surgery. I think that is one of the two questions a surgeon should ask themselves before surgery.
I think those questions should be part of the surgeon’s creed. I don’t know if they have a creed but if not, I submit this for consideration at their next meeting:
I (state your name) promise to always wash my hands thoroughly with an antiseptic soap before going into surgery. Because they are important to all concerned, I will ask myself two questions before I cut anyone. Those questions are whether I am operating on a person and if I know their blood type. Measure twice and cut once, so help me God.
Filling The Cup. Now With Moist Towelette.
So off to the lab I went, to give blood and urine samples. I knew I was giving a blood sample so I could receive donated blood if I needed it. I don’t know why I did the other.
A woman at the lab handed me a specimen cup. “Fill this” she said as she handed me the cup. She also handed me a foil wrapped disposable moist towelette like you get in some restaurants. As she did, she said “but first, you know what this is for.”
She didn’t have much of a sense of humor.
I’m hoping for a funny anesthesiologist.