Thursday, November 17, 2011
Home again, home again, jiggity jig
Everyone said second year was the worst. If you can make it through that, you are on the home stretch. I heard groans and whines about General Surgery. Four long months. It lurked ahead like a long dark shadow, not really being able to make out what made it so scary but I knew it wasn't to be reckoned with.
And now, I'm into November. Which means that my four months are behind me. And honestly, I didn't mind it. But my first day back after a day of tooth extractions (dentoalveolar surgery, we call it), I looked and and had this amazing thought, "Wow, that morning went by so quickly. And it has been such a nice day!" Nice because I didn't have to do any rectal exams; I didn't have to feel for hernias; I didn't have to check for pulses on the gangrenous feet of peripheral vascular disease patients; I didn't have to try to fudge my way through explaining disease process or surgery I knew nothing about to a patient and their family; I didn't have to learn that one of my patients has died; and mostly, I didn't have to feel like a COMPLETE idiot for at least most of the day.
It is so nice to be back. Seeing those familiar white objects in the mouth and feeling perfectly capable to describe them, diagnose them (and remove them!). Using my hands to help heal patients from pain and future problems. And finally, knowing what is going on more. I'll take the blood spatter on my face and glasses (yes, I shower at night), the ER calls in the middle of the night to be cussed out by drunken patients, and the bad breath (which surprisingly isn't usually a big issue)...if that means I never have to do a rectal exam again.
**PS I actually don't like the comic above except to say the following, we get comments all the time about patients who heard of someone or experienced extractions in this way, the "knee or foot on the chest" scenario. I have discussed this with our staff and none of us have ever seen this happen in real life. I wonder where this idea comes from? If it ever happens, it must not be from Oral Surgeons! :)