A cardiac by-pass, a mitral valve replacement or a ring replacement within the ventricles; they all have three things in common.
1) They all are heart-related,
2) They need the doctor’s utmost attention.
3) You need something to momentarily replace the heart you are fixing.
This “backup” heart is quite complicated to operate.
So, as they cut patient 02115798 open and started with the procedure, I feel nerves grown inside me. It isn’t the first open-heart surgery, in fact, I believe it’s my third or fourth, but I get jittery and jumpy when the blood starts being drained out of the body and into a beeping, careless, cold metal contraption. And I know my co-worker is nervous as well, as her foot taps like a jackhammer, just more graceful. But we shouldn’t be nervous. It’s a typical surgery within the complicated, plus, the doctor next to me has done 1500 of these and not one death on his list.
Pretty good if you ask me.
But the other guy (there’s always another guy) gets me nervous. And gets her on her nerves as well. And it has nothing to do with medicine.
This other guy is the Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery and a complete player. There’s no female that can reject him–whether they want to or not–to a point in which his wife (who used to work in the same hospital), asked for a transfer because she was fed up of such flirting (and other “issues”). The moment he laid eyes on my co-worker, who we’ll call Michelle, he knew he had another challenge, especially given the ring on her finger. Keep in mind that, like a super Hollywood action star, he always comes in late (because his job asks him to; there’s no need for him when the patient is sawed open and stuff) and says hi with a stupid grin on his face and a loud, confident voice so everybody knows he’s here.
We’re halfway into the surgery and the doctor starts his imposing walk towards the patient. If only patient 02115798 would know what was going on, she’d wake up in no-time. Halfway between the washing room and the patient, he spots Michelle, she straightens her stance and turns to me: don’t be so evident in your discomfort, I think to myself, because if this guy gets angry with a scalpel, patient 02115798 is done.
Time flies by. We’re about an hour into the surgery.
But then I grow uncomfortable. After opening the third ventricle, he turns to be sure Michelle is following up on his fantastic moves. And he looks ridiculous twisting his head almost 180 degrees to look for her. But she’s not there, because Michelle left to the bathroom for a moment and he doesn’t know this: he grows nervous since his prey is gone, it has disappeared and the possibility of banging her in the back of the dressing room has just diminished to zero; he sure wanted to get sex tonight. I think her resistance is as enticing as the ring on her finger. Where has his bounty gone?
“Doctor, doctor!” his assistant calls up, “watch that vein!”
He turns to the patient. The machine starts beeping. Everybody grows tense. There’s quiet and awkwardness as he returns to the real world.
Michelle’s steady walk echoes in the silence. I feel bad about predicting (sort of) the incident and I wonder: what the hell is Dr. Flirtatious thinking right now?