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Tuesday, December 13th 2005

My First

It dawned on, as things tend to do while looking at histo pics, that I hadn’t commented on what I’m going to call my first procedure, and I use that word with a smothering of sarcasm. This despite the fact it is at least two weeks in the past. That is actually kind of sad. I’ll talk all day about the politics of medicine but the humanistic moment when I first stuck a catheter up a guy’s penis goes without a word.

I was following around a trauma surgeon and down in the ER was encouraged by one of the third years to ask a tech if I could put in a foley, and what do you know they let me. I think they thought I was further along my education than three months, because they seemed surprised I couldn’t put on the gloves and keep them sterile at the same time. It is harder than you might imagine. They were good sports considering I went through three pairs before figuring it out, not that I could duplicate it right now if I had to.

It was my second time spending the night down with the trauma service. This one was interesting in its own way, but certainly much slower than the first time around. Beyond the foley I went up and watched a resident clean out an anal fissure and fistula (like I said, slow), which looked like a pretty miserable thing for this patient to be living with for a decade.

A foley ain’t much of anything, but at least for me as a first year, it was something to marvel at. I hope that never goes away as I learn more, as things I see become common, this sort of excitement over all medicine is.

Penises and assholes…interesting.