When Being Crazy- Means You Have a Great Team !

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a dAY @ tHE oFFICE 

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It was one of those cases…

Tales of doom and woe preceded it, there was small talk, whispers, and banter that it might be canceled just because it was a to-follow case- and it would probably be a late start-

Not-So-Secretly… We all hoped it would just go away for another day 🙂

Circ-Arrest was definitely in the cards, so the cafeteria mule train had already gotten us a ton of ice. 

Anesthesia and perfusion huddled together forming plans for cerebral protection, transfusion thresholds, and all the things that make a potential aortic root replacement- what it is- an unknown mountain that ya gotta climb and don’t know where the cliff is-  until post sternotomy.

Femoral cannulation plans were in place with the scrub team.  Pans “B” & “C” already formulated- and ready to go…

Late afternoon personal plans were being canceled, and the sky outside literally promised a grey storm of rain and winter sleet.


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The Team that Makes ‘Ya or Breaks ‘Ya


All things being equal- the case is- what it is.  You deal with it.  Yeah there are some unknown variables coming up- but the the truth is- there are also some very reliable Konstants on our team.

First of allWe all like each other, and trust that we have each others’ back.

SecondWe all like to laugh- or at least we laugh when it’s ok to laugh.

ThirdWe have ALL been here before-

Fourth–  A damn good Surgeon


On top of the mess- I had to pay him $ for ND getting slaughtered by the Tide-

So then he buys the team lunch- with the $ he just won…  That says something about the man and his team.

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Ok.  Simple enough- it was brought.

Fairly routine Benthal procedure with no direct arch involvement- a 9 cm aneurism nipped in the bud with a simple AVR with tube graft.  A lot of wasted ice.

But there was a lot of fun in the process.

My buddy Alfredo was barking @ the moon crowing about how we would be there past 8 or 9 pm.  So we bet some $ on that.  I took 5:30 pm and he took anything after that.

He was also bummin’ because we hadn’t given him his Christmas cookies this year (a 4 Winter tradition since I have been in West Texas).


Here he is at a Mission- doing what he does so well :)’

But regarding the bet?  No Way !  He was certainly off on that as we came off CPB at 3 pm-ish.  So that’s a 2 1/2 hour window to close right?


Fantastic circulator- keeps it real- owns a great staffing agency.

My other buddy Senior Reetz- was circulating the case- and we went nuts during a long post CPB period- just talking trash and having fun at everyone else’s expense.

But no way we aren’t done by 5:30 right?

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It’s called post-op bleeding for a reason- in this case it was just the subtle hint of generalized oozing that clearly isn’t surgical- but is elusive in terms of defining it as a true coagulopathy.  So that basically represents the Sargasso Sea– in terms of closing the sternum- and/or getting aggressive with blood products.

So we waited…


And it took awhile- I figured I was going to lose my bet.  But fate was on my side and we got out before 5:30 pm (but it was sooooo close).


Still Waitin’…   Down to the nitty gritty…  It’s painful-  hence the closeup …

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We Did It !  Out before 5:30 pm !


Taking pictures for proof!

And as we started cleaning up and prepping the room for the next case- more antics in the OR…


Finding new uses for left over dividers from the pump pack …

We laughed too hard- but really had fun on a case that was supposed to be so bad- and wasn’t…

Oh yeah- Fredo?  You owe me $20  bro 🙂

And btw- Kashmir has your Christmas Cookies ready whenever I can drop them off…




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