Monday, March 18, 2013

The Surgeon

It's almost akin to saying "the math teacher". Have you ever been at a gathering and asked someone what they did for a living and they answered "I'm a math teacher."

My anxiety level immediately causes my blood pressure to gain 10 more points on the spgynometer. I'm lost as to a follow up question especially if this person teaches the higher level maths. If it hasn't come up in conversation with you in the past, I will tell you now that I have a math phobia.

I can't even talk to a math teacher. Mentioning a surgeon has negative connotations for me. It means only one thing. Someone wishes to cut open my skin and maybe even deeper which is usually the case.

I did my rotation in surgery while in school. I stood beside that surgeon as he picked up the scalpel. The belly was swabbed, the sterile drape in place. We were all in sterile garb which means when you pass someone in surgery, you never face them. You pass all the sterile garbed personnel back to back. Your sterile front remains uncontaminated. Sterility is a big thing. The float nurse's main job is to monitor this and you will be quickly removed from that surgical suite should you break any of the laws of sterility.

The surgeon's favorite music has been plugged into the sound system in that suite. Sometimes it's classical and sometimes it's Rock N Roll...or Country. The music selection in those suites would put to shame the normal music aficionado's collection. Everything is geared to making the surgeon comfortable.

As I stood silently and big eyed beside that surgeon in my school uniform, a white dress, hose and shoes, he glanced over at me. His quick glance of my face, he whispered "the first cut is the worst. Look away and if you are going to pass out try to hit something soft and not me."

I must have had a green tinge going on. I looked away. For the next week we observed facial reconstruction, gall bladders removed, back surgery and open hearts. Surgery is not my thing. I want the patients stitched up and needing my attention on the unit.

Today I will see the surgeon. I won't be standing by his side in a surgical suite. The thought of surgery does not affect me; it's the thought of what he might find. The tests taken have been nerve wracking. I hold my breath after each one and try to prepare for what they might show.

This post is simply a revelation. Revealing to myself and others that might be experiencing the same trepidation on a health issue in their lives, I will reread this some day in the future and reevaluate what I have written here.


  1. Another step in the journey, but a very nerve-wracking one. Stay positive Charlotte xx


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