Martini Quotes

"I'm not talking a cup of cheap gin splashed over an ice cube.

I'm talking satin, fire and ice; Fred Astaire in a glass; surgical cleanliness, insight.. comfort; redemption and absolution. I'm talking MARTINI.

Anonymous

Monday, January 26, 2015

Call Day and Martini Free

     A Mini Martini Prohibition

     The worst day of the week for me is not Monday, or even hump day, it is decidedly Call Day.  This day may fall on any of the standard 7 days and may even occur twice in one week.  Although I am fairly well remunerated as an anesthesiologist, there is no amount of money that can adequately compensate me for this onus.  Spending 24 hours in a hospital can be outright torture.  To add insult to injury, alas, there can be no Martini on call.  Drinking in the hospital while being responsible for patients' lives is not only frowned upon, but may actually be a criminal offense.   I guess perhaps a MASH unit is not the same which is how Hawkeye Pierce got away with it!

     I arrive at the hospital at 6:40am and my day begins innocently enough with a c-section at 7:30am.  A quick spinal anesthetic is placed without much fuss.  After the patient is brought to the recovery room, I head out on "rounds".  I see all the inpatients who had surgery the day before and anyone on the pain service.  Finally time for lunch-nothing like the hospital salad bar.  Next I'm called up to OB for a labor epidural.  Women in labor really seem to appreciate my services.   Next, time to take over the OR for staff getting to go home.  It's good practice to let your colleagues out as soon as possible, so some day they will return the favor.  Dinner at the hospital cafeteria and no Martini bar in sight.  Although, I always put three queen olives in my salad as a sort of surrogate.  Cases continue until 8:30pm and another epidural goes in while the previous one comes out.  This doesn't include the three preoperative evaluations to prepare for the next day's add on surgeries or the innumerable pages throughout the day.  Hit the call room at 9:30pm and hope for the best, knowing that there is still an epidural running which could turn into c-section at any time.  Hopefully the local knife and gun club remain inactive tonight.

Can't wait until 7:00 am.

      Sleep comes slow and interrupted.  It is never the same at the hospital compared to the home environment.  There is a level of comfort that can never be adequately attained "in house".   Reading helps.  Tonight, it's "Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley.  For those of you unfamiliar with the novel, it shares a lot of similarities with Orwell's "1984".  Huxley was actually Orwell's teacher.  If you enjoyed "1984", then this one is in the same genre and I'm sure you would find "Brave New World" just as compelling.  (N.B. the ubiquitous beverage in "1984" is Victory gin)


In any event, time creeps inevitably forward, closer to the end of Call day and this little period of prohibition.  Another day away from the family, basketball practice, tennis lessons, homework help, etc.  I begrudge Call day because of all these things I miss and more.  Time lost can never be regained, unless of course you consider time travel or your name is Billy Pilgrim (read Slaughterhouse Five another good read).  Soon enough I will be heading out to my son's hockey tournament.  The first game is at 9:00pm which leaves plenty of time for a Martini or two before the puck is dropped.   I will have to make up for Call Day.

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