Saturday, December 26, 2020

Heart Only

     Christmas Eve was quite a day it started off at CARTI tumor board at 7 Diane had so many cases to present cancer doesn't rest on the holiday. On the way over to Baptist autopsy doc texted me a consent and I replied this is not my job contact Jessica. Well he was probably feeling bad so he had his resident contact her that guy was really nice and she texted me a little after 8 that the consent was legit and we would proceed with the procedure in an hour.

    Got my cases triaged and went downstairs to the morgue. We all get in a tizzy and bitch and moan about autopsies but there is something so sacred and serene about the performance. Jessica and Evans were recording the external exam as I walked in - noting the scars and the details about her nails and I would describe it to you in better detail but it seems like sacrilege. We do a U shaped incision on women instead of Y for obvious reasons. As Jessica was getting into the chest someone from Central Processing accidentally wandered in, and jumped and shrieked and apologized as if she walked in on someone going to the bathroom.

    She opened the door back up a minute or two later and asked if she could watch. I said I had no problem with that and asked Evans and Jessica if they objected they did not. As we opened the rib cage and started to dissect the heart from the surrounding vessels - Jessica and I had to use a lot of suction to clear the area of blood for better visibility - she swooned. "I was having such a bad day, week really, and to see this - I feel like I am the luckiest girl in the world. This is so amazing. Thank you so much." I told her a little about the history and what we were going to look for and her awe was infectious. 

    It was a short autopsy since it was heart only. Evans weighed it and cut into the ventricles a little so it would get adequate fixation when we gross it in week after next. It will be easy to answer docs question and I told him that the autopsy went well it should be signed out in a couple of weeks. So I got my easy autopsy after all.

    Got home a little after 3 and prepared the catered meal from Boulevard. When you have a little one - Rennie - things start and end early and I was grateful for that I was exhausted. Rachel watches It's a Wonderful Life with the kids every year S and I have never seen it so we started it on Christmas Eve and ended it on Christmas morning it's so long I'm surprised the kids sat through it Jack only remembered a few key parts when we discussed it Christmas afternoon. It came out in 1946 years before any one of us was born. 

    S and J and C and Woody all got tested for Covid when I went to work today and I was proven right - they were all negative. You pray for negativity sometimes - cancer margins and Covid tests. It's nice when your prayers are answered and you can travel and visit loved ones in relative security that you aren't a threat to them. Since I had the vaccine I didn't get tested. Thinking despite not yet receiving the second dose I'm ok too. Christmas on the couch in yoga pants and comfy t-shirt was lovely. Hope yours was too. Much love, Elizabeth.

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