Sunday, September 4, 2011

On call Surgeon

Possibly the last time my younger colleagues in Orthopedics allowed me to take weekend calls was in the early 90's! That possibly was also the last time the pianist allowed me to cook for myself! I thought of this today when I looked at all the vitiligo on my right thumb. It was a beautiful weekend in the 90's and the colleagues were all away. The pianist was at Lotus Island potting and I was in Lotus city,meeting the osseous needs of the populace! It was quiet that Friday evening at 8 o'clock or so and I thought I would make some popcorn while watching TV. As I began by heating my oil in a saucepan on the electric range, the phone rang from the emergency with a problem. As I discussed the matter with the ERP there was a flash from the kitchen and my oil was on fire and shooting up to the ceiling. I raced in and grabbed the saucepan with the flaming oil and burned my thumb, so laid the saucepan in haste on the linoleum of the kitchen, which proceeded to burn as well as my thumb. The thumb developed a monster blister on the palmar aspect, and the linoleum, a large black melted welt in the center of the kitchen. I did the weekend call that time, but kept a glove on regularly to contain the swelling of the thumb. The hospital staff were impressed at how tough I was and also how stupid. I got through several surgical cases, and my landlord at the apartment was gracious, and said, "It is time we redid that kitchen anyway!" Serendipity struck: I got out of taking weekend calls any further, obtained a kitchen renovation, reaffirmed that I needed feeding, and provided general hospital merriment! How can they say I wasn't useful?

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