Monday, 3 November 2014

Jewelry

Of the many questions I've gotten, the most common is some version of "What is the hardest thing you've had to do as a surgeon?"  My answer has generally been to tell some long, drawn-out, maudlin story of my most difficult and complicated surgical case.  But after answering that question way too many times, I thought more about what the most appropriate answer should be, and much to my own surprise I've decided to change my response completely.  In fact, the toughest thing I've ever had to do, by far, is . . .

. . . buy a gift for my wife.

Yes, shopping for Mrs. Bastard is more difficult and more nerve-wracking than removing a shattered spleen and repairing a torn colon while doing internal cardiac massage because the patient is actively bleeding to death.  I tried buying clothes for my wife once.  Once.  That's a mistake I'll never make again.  I once bought her a gift certificate to a very nice spa thinking she could enjoy a day getting pampered, but she never redeemed it.  My one great success was a surprise birthday vacation to a remote tropical island, but how often can I really get away with that?

I know a few of you out there are thinking, "Just buy her jewelry, you idiot!"  Wait, why didn't I think of that?  Oh wait . . . I have.  It's the most obvious answer, so of course I've thought of it.  Unfortunately my taste in jewelry is completely different than Mrs. Bastard's.  That is to say, pieces that I think are beautiful, she thinks are hideous.  And pieces that she loves I wouldn't think to buy her in a million years.  She almost never wears any piece of jewelry I've ever bought her (that she hadn't picked out herself in the first place).

Anyway, another recent failed trip to the jewelry store got me thinking about the subject (segue alert).

Several months ago I was explaining to a patient exactly how I was going to remove her gall bladder - the number of incisions (3), the size of the incisons (10 mm, 5 mm, and 5 mm), where each instrument would go and what they would be doing.  When I paused to ask if she had any questions, she only had one:  "Can I keep the stones?"  As odd as that sounds, it wasn't the first time I've been asked, not by a long shot.  But it was the first time I thought to ask why.

"I'm going to make a pendent out of it and wear it."

I laughed, thinking she was kidding.  She just stared at me with a perfectly straight face.  A 0.195 second Google search told me that not only wasn't she kidding, but the idea wasn't even hers:

Apparently there's an actual market out there for people who want . . . this.  There's really nothing more that I can really add, so I'm just going to leave that there.

But while I'm on the subject of jewelry, I was reminded of this little gem (har har har) from some time back.  It's my second-favourite actual real X-ray of an actual real patient of mine.  He was in a car accident at 2 AM, the details of which are entirely unimportant.  Part of our workup included an X-ray of his pelvis, which didn't show any fracture.  What it did show, however . . . actually, I don't want to give away the punch line.  Take a look and see if you can make the diagnosis:
In case you aren't a radiologist and/or have never seen a cock ring before, that's . . . ah shit, I just gave it away.  Yes, that round thing at the base of his penis in the lower middle portion of the X-ray is indeed a cock ring.  So what was he doing driving around by himself while wearing that bit of jewelry at 2 AM?  

It remains a very strange, exotic mystery.  THAT is a question I did not ask.

But speaking of questions, I wonder what Mrs. Bastard would think of getting some gallstone earrings for her next birthday . . .

30 comments:

  1. I'm prepared to bet she would rather that than a cock-ring!

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    1. I really thank you for the valuable info on this great subject and look forward to more great posts. Thanks a lot for enjoying this beauty article with me. I am appreciating it very much! Looking forward to another great article. Good luck to the author! All the best! pawn shop in glendale

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  2. Thank you for keeping my browsing history interesting.

    Have you two considered Amazon wish lists?

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  3. Get a brochure from the jewelry store you plan to use and have Mrs. Bastard's best friend show you pieces that she thinks your wife would like. Then take the brochure back to the store and engage one of the clerks to help you pick out something similar to what you've been shown. This is how they make their living. They are quite good at gauging style.

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  4. when my wife and I became engaged back in the dark ages; we both had exactly the same criteria for the engagement ring - no protrusions. she worked with animals and didn't want the ring getting caught in the hair, and I had been accidentally scratched by a diamond solitaire in my past. I ended up choosing the only ring of the style I chose in an entire jewelry fair - and imagine my surprise when it became fashionable a couple years later.

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  5. Why does the x-ray patient have two coccyges (yes, I had to look that up)? Why does the x-ray look like it was taken over a baroque painting with a horned beast on the left side of it?

    My only suggestion for gifts for Mrs. Bastard would be to hone in on something she loves to do as a hobby. Gardening? Art? Exercise? Whatever it is, find a classy website that specializes in the types of things she loves and get her a gift certificate. Unless she's like my mother who considers that kind of thing crass and akin to handing someone a wad of cash. Weird, that's my very favorite gift in the world.

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    1. There's only one coccyx, I assure you. I'm not sure what horned beast you're seeing, but I'd strongly suggest seeing a psychiatrist.

      No but seriously, seek help. I'm worried about you.

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  6. I drove a semi for 10 years. It was not at all unusual to see men with it out. A few of them would drive beside me, thinking I was a man and hoping to entice me; but most were just amusing themselves.

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  7. At 2am I would guess that the gentlemen had just finished visiting his Dominatrix and she instructed him to wear that until she says it comes off. Of course she didn't bank on a car accident.

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    1. gee, this looks awfully suspiciously like an advert.

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    2. Yes it was. I tracked down the poster and eliminated her.

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    3. and now it looks like you have another down at the bottom.

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  9. Hang on, wait... Not only did I end up with 4 incisions, not 3, in my cholecystectomy - but I could have had a bonus necklace with my pea-pod style gall stones/bladder? I feel ripped off...

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    1. The fourth incision (usually a 5-mm incision in the right upper quadrant) is used as an additional retraction port to manipulate the gall bladder, but I've found that it hinders more than helps. I switched to the 3-incision method about 7 years ago and haven't looked back.

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  10. Gift cards! That way she can buy whatever she wants and you won't have to worry about her getting something she won't like. My father has been giving my Mom nothing but gift cards for the past few years. Everyone is happy.

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  11. Dear Dr. B, You will NEVER go wrong with a trip to Paris, Prague, Budapest, Rome, Florence, Geneva....get the idea??

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  12. I was very sad when my urologist told me he could not remove my .8 mm kidney stone intact. Not sure what I would have done with it. Damn thing, worse than childbirth/back surgery and a hip replacement, all rolled into one.

    Amazon WishList is a great thing...

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    1. and to think you created this profile just to post that advertisement.

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  14. Give her your time. Spend the whole day with her. Make her breakfast. Clean the kitchen. Take her out on a shopping spree. Be patient, let her take her time. Buy her flowers, Not the kind that you order and have delivered but where you go to a flower market and pick out individual flowers and arrange them for her. Take her out to dinner. Before she falls asleep give her a half an hour massage. Make it all about her and don't ask for anything in return.

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    1. And don’t forget to arrange the childcare for your beautiful child(ren). Preferably at a friend’s home who is willing to keep them overnight. They of course will want to be part of your wife’s birthday celebration so arrange with your friend that you and your wife will be stopping in after your shopping trip for cake and any other birthday traditions that you do with your children.

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  15. Well, the best gift you can give is when it's from the inside out...

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  16. I love how everyone has an idea for romantically blowing the socks off of Mrs. Bastard when we still really know nothing about her. *mild sarcasm ended* Seriously, though, I would ask what kind of a crazy person doesn't redeem a certificate to a day at the spa, but then I remember the walking pneumonia incident (or whatever it was) that landed her in the hospital. Now that makes a little more sense. Mebbe she's one of those folks who likes practical things. I brought my husband home a #5 cast iron skillet from my recent vacation to Tucson/Sierra Vista/Bisbee, and he loves it. If someone gave ME a cast iron skillet I'd be happy, but not thrilled. I'd much rather have the jewelry or clothing.

    Oh hey, fun thing about buying gifts for someone-- ask for a gift receipt. They won't know what you spent on it (until they take it back), and if they want they can exchange the item for something actually pretty.

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  17. Also, I'd LOVE to see a pic of the type of jewelry you'd consider pretty and buy for Mrs. Bastard. I'm curious as to the level of "hideous" that's actually going on. (Well, differing aesthetic, but you know what I mean.)

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  18. A gallstone necklace. If it's one of those nice shiny pigmented ones, sure why not. There's total marketing potential here, I'm thinking chole pearls, but maybe pronounced jolly-pearls.

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  21. The blog works were so decent, I wished they never finished.
    แหวนเพชร

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