Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Epidural interuptus........

0532 "Good morning Bob, Heather wants you to come put an epidural in her patient."

I'm in the shower just soaping up when my phone rings and I consider briefly not answering it, knowing that that'll give me the few minutes I need to towel off before my beeper sounds.  But no, I reach out and answer my cell phone putting it on speaker phone so that who ever is calling will hear the shower running behind me.

"Okay," I say.  "Be there in a few."

It usually takes me 10 minutes at most, even from a dead sleep, to arrive in the OB dept. after a summons.  This morning I moved deliberately yet took time to finish my ablutions, thinking, "really this is a call for a labor epidural, and while it probably constitutes an emergency in the pregnant mom's mind, in actuality is not an "emergency.""

I arrive in the parturients room 20 minutes post phone conversation and her nurse, looking at me sheepishly says, she's at 9 cms., she progressed much faster than I anticipated;  "do you want to offer her an intrathecal instead?"

"Mais oui," says I with a twinkle in my eye, and proceed to explain the difference between an interthecal and an epidural to this 19 year old, skinny as a toothpick prime-ip (first pregnancy).  Unsure if she wants a needle pick in the back to relieve her labor discomfort, she asks her mom what she should do, who in turn asks the OB nurse what they should do.

While this interlude is taking place the mid-wife appears on the scene.  I defer to her and step out of the room to await a decision. In less than five minutes a second OB nurse comes out and says, "she's" delivering so they won't need you."

Hear I am 40 minutes later, back in the frat house eating oatmeal, prunes, walnuts and skim milk.

"Ahhhh, the life of an on-call anesthetist," he muses smiling at the screen.


Blogger Suz said...

ah but we are so glad that you are there.....take a nap...enjoy the day

2:05 PM  

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