Saturday, December 10, 2005

She made herself a bed of nails

There is almost nothing better than turning on the car to go to work and hearing your favorite Springsteen tune just beginning. It was the Mazda too, not the van.

and the poets out here don't write nothing at all
they just stand back and let all be
And in the quick of the night they reach for their moment and try to make an honest stand
but they wind up wounded, not even dead...

It was a glorious morning, despite my reluctance to be participating in it, but duty called. The sky was a clear blue, and the world was covered in white from yesterday's storm. All of it made for a very pleasant ride into the city.

So, Gray's Anatomy last week jinxed me! Those bastards. For those of you who don't watch, there was a patient who required leech therapy, and sweet George had to apply them to this man's nose. I found it amusing, because the hospital I work at is a major reconstructive and plastic surgery center. We often have requests for medicinal leeches when grafts or flaps are failing to take, or in the case of a traumatic amputation. They are very useful in removing excess blood, stimulating more blood flow, and a chemical they secrete is a natural anticoagulant, preventing clots from forming. All this helps the graft to be successful.

Anyway, guess who dispenses the leeches?

You got it. The pharmacy.

Lucky me, a supply of leeches arrived on my watch this afternoon, courtesy of Leeches, USA. (No, I wasn't kidding.) They come in packages of twenty. You can get bulk pricing too! The more you buy, the more you save! Unfortunately, we cannot dispense them as they are shipped. In other words, I have to take them out one big bag o' solution and put them into a irrigation bottle filled with sterile water and a 0.5 gm of special salt that Leeches USA sends with them.

From their website: Since leeches are amphibious and like to crawl about, a lid is essential.

No kidding. You should see those buggers go! And they stick to the bag with their little sucker mouths, so getting them out of this bag with a Kelly clamp without squishing them too hard is difficult.

I can't wait to go home and watch a few hours of Steven Colbert with a bottle of wine. Oy.


Anonymous said...

yeeechh! when you say you "dispense them", does that mean you have to pick them up & put them in/on the patient??? (this whole subject makes my skin crawl!)
-- Judi

Giovanna said...

No, I don't put them on the patient, thank God. But I have to handle them to the extent of transfering them to the other container.

Jamie: said...

ohmigah that is so freaking COOL!

Tell me more leech stories.

No, seriously.

Anonymous said...

So was this a traumatic amputation aka a bobbitt.

Giovanna said...

You are such a P.I.G. pig! :p What a seguey, for I was going to oblidge Jamie with one of the leech cases I recall, where the leech was used to save a failed TRAM flap. The only thing worse than a leech on your face, is a leech on your nipple. However, a leech on your Johnson might just qualify too.

Gene&Michelle said...

I can't believe that. How NASTY! You didn't have to touch them with your hands did you? (I'm such a girl..!)