Tuesday, October 05, 2004

More Fun With Catheters

In anticipation of my first labor and delivery day on Thursday, I decided I'd practice my catheter technique. Catheters are a pain. They are floppy, need to be lubricated, need to be kept absolutely sterile and, worst of all, need to be inserted into a tiny urethra into a swollen perineum. I am keeping my fingers crossed that my first patient/victim has had an epidural and can't feel me fussing around with tubing and inserting the tip of the tube where no tube will fit.
I have also been practicing my neonatal assessment techniques which includes eliciting all sorts of reflexes. Two of these reflexes (Moro and startle) involve making loud noises near the baby and watching the baby freak out. My personal favorite involves eliciting the "anal wink." Yes, the anal wink. You take a strip of gauze and draw it slowly across the newborn's anus until it winks at you (the anus, not the newborn although that would be a neat trick). Perhaps you I should wink back or politely respond: "Not looking so bad yourself."

Finally, I forgot to report another totally inappropriate thing I said to a patient last week. On my last day of postpartum care, I was watching a new mother try to breastfeed her baby. We got the baby to take a couple of gulps and then the baby fell fast asleep and was near motionless on his mother's chest. For some reason, I felt the need to say something and came out with: "He just looks dead." What I MEANT to say what "he looks dead to the world," which is, on reflection, almost as stupid. I remembered what I meant to say about 5 seconds after I pronounced this woman's infant deceased and added "to the world". But it was far, far too late. One quizzical "who the hell are you again?" look from the mother and I was out of there like a shot.


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thank you so much! i needed a laugh -- i think you'll go far and do really well with your sense of humor. it's impossible to get by without it.

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