Monday, 5 January 2015

Confessions

I should get this out of the way at the very beginning (since hopefully everyone reads the title before the story): NO I WILL NOT BE CONFESSING TO NOT BEING A DOCTOR.  I'm fairly sure that will not come as a surprise for most of you (since, unlike the people who still don't believe me, your IQs are greater than that of a fruit bat), but I'm a bit more sure that it will disappoint my critics.  And I'm absolutely positive that I seldom give a flying fuck about what any of my critics think, but I remain amused that people like that even exist.  Regardless, over the past 12 months there have been some things that I felt I should confess but haven't had the inclination.  Well, since this is a new year and all, I think it's high time to get a few things off my chest and start 2015 with a clean slate.

So without further ado, allow me to present the Official DocBastard Confessional.  Some assembly required, batteries not included, please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery, your results may vary.

  • Though my stories are real, there is one that I nearly wholly invented.  No, I will not reveal which one, because what's the fun in that?
  • I was never really considering dumping my anonymity, though I did have a passing thought about it.  I just wanted to gauge everyone's response to the idea, and I confess it was the exact opposite of what I had expected.  Sorry for using you good people as guinea pigs.  Not really.
  • I love building furniture almost as much as I love performing surgery.  If I could make as good a living doing woodworking, I would retire from medicine faster than a 50-50 thinned coat of lacquer dries. 
  • I hate hospital politics and actively avoid any and all committee meetings. 
  • After a particularly stressful day, I sometimes come home and take out my frustrations on my wife.  She knows what I'm doing and why, and she always lets me do it because she knows it makes me feel better.  This is just one of the approximately 6,836,356 reasons I've identified (so far) why I love her. 
  • I love cold, rainy days because it keeps the idiots indoors and out of my trauma bay. 
  • I enjoy taking care of people, but every now and then I'd like a day where the Call Gods have mercy on me and let everyone stay blissfully uninjured.
  • I wish I could hit some of my patients, but only the ones who really deserve it. 
  • Finding and writing new stories for this blog that I think won't be boring and/or repetitive is becoming increasingly difficult.
  • I wish some publisher would stumble across this blog and ask me to make a book out of it. 
  • I like the smell of cauterised human tissue.
  • I'm not sure if that last one makes me a cannibal, but I am sure I don't really care. 
  • I have a not-so-secret man-crush on Neil DeGrasse Tyson.  Seriously Neil, call me. 
  • Sometimes it seems ibuprofen and coffee are the only things that get me through the day. 
  • I love getting fan mail, and I have kept all of the emails I've gotten. 
  • I love getting hate mail even more, though I haven't gotten any in a while.  No, I'm not asking anyone to write me any, thank you very much. 
  • One of my colleagues left a bottle of wine in my call room as a Christmas gift, and I was tempted to drink it while on call.  No, I did NOT drink it.  I know this is supposed to be a confessional, but come on.
  • I sometimes speak more kindly to my female patients.  Sorry gents, but that's just human nature.
  • I still tell my idiot female patients that what they did was stupid. 
  • I've never once actually felt remorse for telling my idiot patients that their actions were stupid.
  • There have been a few times during an operation when I've thought, "What the fuck do I do now?"
  • While I enjoy challenges, I'd MUCH rather do a simple appendectomy than a complicated perforated appendectomy with an abscess.  
  • I'd rather watch "Keeping Up With The Kardashians" while making out with Miley Cyrus and listening to Justin Bieber than do a dead bowel case.  Dead bowel is the worst possible smell in the world, and even if I double-glove and wash my hands repeatedly afterwards, the stench stays on my hands for days.  Forget any finger food for a week. 
  • One of these confessions isn't true.  No, I will not say which one, because what's the fun in that? 
Well folks, there you have it.  I'm sure there are other more egregious sins I've committed, but either I have forgotten or am too bashful to confess them.  Hm . . . I think that's the first time I've ever described myself as "bashful".
  • Believe it or not, I can be bashful.
Ok, now I'm done.  Really.  If any of you have anything you'd like to confess, leave it in the comments below.  But I warn you that I will not assign you any Hail Marys, Our Fathers, or any other Penance, and you will not be absolved of any of your sins.  And I confess that people may be amused by your confession, but you might just feel better nevertheless.

And . . . go.

37 comments:

  1. I'd read your book.

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  2. I googled dead bowel case. I'd also read your book.

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    Replies
    1. I have yet to learn my lesson from right-click googling medical terms here. That kielbasa is going to have to be on another night. Into the freezer it goes.

      Delete
  3. I'd read the book. I freely admit to doing stupid things.

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  4. OK, I'll ask it. We need a detailed account of your worst dead bowel case.

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    Replies
    1. I thought I had done that already. It looks like I may have overlooked it. Advance warning - it isn't pretty.

      Delete
  5. "I wish some publisher would stumble across this blog and ask me to make a book out of it."

    You mean this hasn't happened yet? I'm shocked.

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  6. I bet the fake confession is that you faked a story.

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    Replies
    1. That would be interesting for sure

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    2. I think it is that there was once he felt sorry for telling someone the stupid thing they did was stupid.

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    3. Nah...I bet it was that he only gets through some days w/the help of coffee and Ibuprofen (alone)....I've worked in surgery!

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    4. That was my thought exactly, OP. I think that all of his stories have been true.

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  7. i'm really surprised the internet hasn't come down on you in an angry wrath over some of this stuff yet. *grabs popcorn and waits.*

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  8. iiiiiiiiiiiiiiick!! that bowel confession made my skin crawl :/

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  9. I have a confession. I stay with my boyfriend though I love another one. And you're right, I feel better now.

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  10. "I like the smell of cauterised human tissue."

    First time to attend a surgery where cauterisation used, I kept wondering what was the source of the fried salted pistachio smell. That was one of the few times I thought that smell is bearable.

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    Replies
    1. I actually laughed so much at this comment. That is amazing! Fried salted pistachios!

      -KM

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    2. I found when doing pm's i always got really hungry. I also found that when peeling lots of mandarins they smell of roast chicken and i get really hungry.

      I also confess that when i worked for a vet, many years ago, we would have lunch on the operating table, clean it all down, disinfect and stuff and then do any needed afternoon surgeries including a pomeranian having an eyeball removed (crunchy and surprisingly not as messy as we expected)

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  11. really, when the firefighters are talking amongst themselves after an incident, we do NOT want the public to hear. what we have to say is usually a combination of graphic, and socially unacceptable. it is also a critical part of our stress management process.
    we see horrible things as a matter of routine that normal people frequently only see a couple times in their life. those things affect us as strongly as they affect the rest of you - and we have to relieve that stress or we suffer breakdowns.
    so yes, we have calls we hate to go to - usually obnoxious patients, or obnoxious family members. we refer to people as "frequent flyers" if we see them so much we end up on a first name basis with them. we have letter codes for certain high frequency types of calls. and yes, "SOB" really does stand for "shortness of breath"

    and yes, there are those who go into emergency services for the wrong reasons - but confession time:

    most firefighters do it because we care about people and want to help.

    secondary confession: we watch the TV shows about firefighters - and we make fun of all the wrong things the writers put in there.

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    Replies
    1. That's interesting that you watch shows about firefighters. I work in a prison, and people always ask me if I watch "Orange is the New Black." Why would I? That would be like going home and watching work on TV. (Though oddly, I do like "Lockdown"). Do doctors watch medical shows?

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    2. I can't answer for doctors, but as a nurse, I can only watch the real life shows like TLC has. I did like Nurse Jackie though for the storyline and her compassion as a nurse. But for the most part, I roll my eyes at most attempts to show critical patients on nasal oxygen and no one in the hospital on TV/Movies EVER HAS THEIR SIDE RAILS UP.

      Delete
  12. Confessions? Okay, here goes...I hate that my doctor gave me pills to take in the afternoon. I NEVER remember to take them. I get inwardly pissy when I have to wait in doctors offices because of the price of parking...yes, that is PARKING. And I didn't go to the ER when I hit my head hard enough to dent it because I didn't feel well enough to sit there. Sometimes there is something seriously wrong with the way I think.

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  13. You should post a picture of a perforated dead bowel on Twitter and watch what happens!

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    Replies
    1. Well, that would have quite a lot more impact if we already had olfactopics.

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  14. I confess that sometimes I feel cussing my husband out, but I don't because I don't want to be that kind of wife. I swear he'll be shocked to see/hear the type of cuss words that swirl around my head, it'll make a sailor blush...

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  15. No confession here. Glad you are staying anonymous. I always enjoy your posts!

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  16. Not much of a confession, but as an EMR, I fucking love splinting. It just gives me joy.

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  17. Hey Doc, I've been meaning to ask you a question. If you were in a tragic accident and your brain was dead, would you want to be kept on life support? What about if you were in a vegetative state and you would act mentally like a child all the time and slobber over yourself? They are a little different situations, I hope you understand what I am trying to say even though I didn't use any medical terminology.

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    Replies
    1. My wife has very clear instructions to let me go if I am ever severely brain injured and vegetative. If I'm severely brain injured but not vegetative, there's nothing that can she can really do.

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  18. DocBastard, I have a question for you as well. Assuming you were unmarried and not in a relationship, would you ever date a patient of yours after they stop being your patient?

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    Replies
    1. No. There are a few lines in medicine that must never be crossed, and that is one of them.

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    2. I have a follow up question. Does your philosophy apply solely to you, or do you expect all other medical professionals to follow this as well?

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    3. Holy late reply, Batman.

      It's a general medical ethical line, not just mine.

      Delete
  19. aha. I just caught the false confession: cold rainy days do not keep idiots indoors and out of the trauma bay. :D

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    Replies
    1. Hmmm, that's a good point. In fact, the volume probably goes UP! People don't know how to drive in the rain.

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  20. I once dropped off a bottle of wine for one of the Docs I work with. The label is exactly why I did it. He had been having a rough go of it with between volume and less than ideal outcomes. The label said "Don't worry, Help is here!" the bottle now empty, lives in his office, he says to help him to remember to smile, relax, and page me to help him out.

    Like the firefighter above, I, too, love watching the Fire/EMS/Medical dramas to point and laugh at everything they do wrong.
    ~AnonRN

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  21. "I wish some publisher would stumble across this blog and ask me to make a book out of it."

    This happened to me in 2009. I wrote the book, got a nice advance for it, and that was about it. Sold relatively few copies and is now out of print, though the rights have reverted to me, so I could theoretically sell it again. An interesting experience, though probably not all it's cracked up to be.

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