Broken Hearted. AKA: A Valentine's Story Sweet Enough to Rot Your Teeth
I am a cynic to the core of my soul and I think, for just one moment last night, I may have known how the Grinch felt with that sudden onset of cardiomegaly that occurs when he decides to return his spoils of victory (the fool).
Warning: Proceed with caution! The following is so sickeningly sweet, so saccharine, that it will rot your teeth.
And I do mean rot 'em good. I am a cynic to the core of my soul and I think, for just one moment last night, I may have known how the Grinch felt with that sudden onset of cardiomegaly that occurs when he decides to return his spoils of victory (the fool).
Anyway...on with the tale.
This week has been the week of chests. Pick something in the chest and it has randomly started or resumed bleeding to the point that crashing over, pouring and cutting has been the name of the game in a weird macabre version of "rock, paper, scissors".
So this gent goes all pear shaped over in Cath Lab, the Blue Calvary is called (that would be us) and we swoop over, lickety-split, banners flying and trumpet sound and saw our way in to get control of what was a truly ugly, no good very bad situation.
Everything is settled, we're on pump, all is right in the world (as much as it can be) and there is a phone call from the waiting area that the family is a bit worked up and would like to know how things are going.
Right. Fair enough.
I am one that prefers face to face interaction with surgical families. I have found that there is a better outcome in expectations regarding pain, recovery, prognosis, and perception of the patient--especially when they are going to next be seen in critical care wired and lined to high heaven. It is proven that knowledge decreases anxiety.
So I went and changed my , as there is nothing good that comes out of going out to see a family looking like I just came out of a horror film, before heading to the surgical waiting area. Finding them did not prove a challenge.
There was quite a gathering of family, holding each other close, talking in low voices and weeping. Beneath their conversation was the palpable pulse of fear and dread. As I approached, I noticed a kidlet lying on a couch, swaddled in blankets, clutching one of those novelty teddy bear plush sold around this time of year (you know, the ones with the bear "holding" a heart stitched between its two paws) and dozing beneath her mother's tearful, doting gaze.
The conversation went as well as could be expected. I got hugged. A lot. Still not quite sure how I feel about that....but just as I turned to excuse myself back to the suite, I heard the mother's gentle alto call out to stop me.
In her arms is what I'm fully confident was a cherub, rubbing her brown eyes a bit sleepily and hugging the little red stuffed heart last seen between two plush bear paws. I returned to them, bewildered, and the tiny one extended her hand and offered me the heart.
"For Grandpa 'cause his is broken."
Holy crap. I swear to you there was something in my eye. Bilaterally. Universally.
But I am nothing if not a woman of action, so I accepted the proffered palm size plush heart and swore that I would take it with me to give to her grandfather.
Normally that would probably be where this story leaves off, but no. Not this time. Your teeth are intact. And your blood sugar is well below one hundred. I know these things. No, there is more.
Let's fast forward a touch, shall we?
Case goes well, we're wrapping up and preparing to transport our gentleman to Cardiac ICU, when the surgeon spies the little fabric heart lying on the nursing desk. After I explained what it was and how it came to be in OR, he cradles it in his big ol' size nine bear paws, finds a clean silk suture and puts a couple of stitches in it, before dotting it with a Band-Aid and placing it in his lab coat pocket.
When I continued to stare at him in dumbfounded curiosity, he just drawled something along the lines of, "Well, if it was broken, I fixed it. I'll give it back to her when I see the family. She'll have to look after his fixed heart for a while." I dunno if that was verbatim or not as I was in the middle of a full blown Grand Mal brought about by an overdose of cuteness and drowned out by the chorus of "aaaaaaaawww" from the neighboring staff.
Oh my sweet mercy, when in the world did my life become a Hallmark special?!
Got all your teeth?
Yeah. I thought not.
Happy Singles Awareness Day!
Love and snuggles,
~~Your Friendly Neighborhood Sociopath~~Last edit by Joe V on Feb 15, '13
"The human heart has a way of making itself large again even after it's been broken into a million pieces." ― Robert James Waller, The Bridges of Madison County
Joined: Jan '12; Posts: 241; Likes: 2,374
OR circulating/scrub nurse; from US
Specialty: Sleep medicine,Floor nursing, OR, TraumaFeb 14, '13I think my blood sugar is just below that of my comatose DKA pt now CP!!!
lots of <3 to you and that oh so cool card surgeon!Feb 14, '13Quote from CheesePotatoyes, smiling, even laughed a little.Warning: Proceed with caution! The following is so sickeningly sweet, so saccharine, that it will rot your teeth.
OUCH!Feb 14, '13Thank you for another great article, CheesePotato. You were correct when you had warned us that this one was going to be sickly sweet enough to cause my teeth to decay!Feb 15, '13I want to know if the Dr. is single or not. He is my kind of man. I think I'm in LOVE! : ) I've worked with some really really great Drs. and then again I've worked with some really really poor Drs. that if they had a physical done themselves results would reveal hearts 3 sizes too small. Nice to hear about a Doctor that still has a sense of compassion in this crazy crazy world we care healthcare. This story warmed my heart!Feb 15, '13CheesePotato, you are one of the greatest storytellers ever born. If you don't make a book out of your funny, wise, sardonic, touching, hilarious and heart-warming tales, the world will be poorer for it. "Write" on, CP!!!
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