Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Autolysis

     I called Jessica yesterday and asked her, if we are holding these benign uteri, appropriately, we need to open them. We've been triaging specimens bc the surgical load is so overwhelming. I got about seven benign uteri (is that even a word? too lazy to google it, but she knew what I meant) yesterday and I couldn't tell what phase the glands were in because there was so much autolysis. The formalin was not penetrating the serosa. She agreed, and told me that she would pass it along. She told me a funny story.

    There's a cartoon on the wall, not sure if you have seen it, that addresses that. It is a fish in a plastic bag surrounded by water, but he's dying. It's about our frustration with gallbladders. I know! I told her. They surgical staff puts them in bags and then in formalin. What is the freaking point? Formalin cannot penetrate a plastic bag. I got so mad one time a few years ago I signed out a case as autolytic cannot read. Passive aggressive as hell, and I got in trouble for it from Shaver, who gave me a gentle correction not to do that anymore. I made an amendment to the case.

    Sean and I were dissecting White Lotus this afternoon and I told him I was off next Thursday and in town we could try a pool afternoon then. I've been inviting Sean and Avery and Lucy but weekends are not ideal for them bc they work. He told me that Shelby told him it was supposed to rain all next week. Shelby was standing right there and said yeah, but that was just a guess. I laughed and told Sean he might want to get a more reliable weather predictor. The internet maybe? 

    Today Melody and Jan and I went to Tina's mother's funeral. She was 91 when she passed, and none of us have met her, but we felt like we knew her and wanted to support Tina. Tina and her husband Reggie have been her primary caretakers for years - she lived next door to them. She was like a mother to Reggie too - his passed too soon. Tina texted me from the ED waiting room last Thursday and said please pray for my mom they are coding her. I ran to the ED and sure enough there was a team of 15 or 20 working on someone. Reggie was standing at the ED desk wondering if he could have done something to save her. I told him don't play that game you are amazing and he told me where Tina was. I hugged her and we both cried. She texted me later that the Lord had called her mom home.

    The funeral was downtown at a Baptist church on Gaines Street. We were the only white people there; it was a packed house. The finery was astounding - I resisted the urge to ask a couple of ladies where they shopped. The first few messages and songs had strange reverb - the music was too loud and something was amiss. Then Reggie got up to say a few words and sing. Something magical happened, it was amazing - I got goosebumps and teared up some. He has an incredible voice. I've seen him sing before at the Baptist MLK day service over the years and this was even more heartfelt. The rest of the service was pitch perfect. The choir did an almost acapella song that blew me away. I need to google some of this - there was a theme in the music I had never experienced. Lots of repetition at the end causing some of the congregation to stand and sway. 

    I could tell Tina was surprised to see us as she was exiting the church and we all hugged her and admired her beautiful pastel pink dress and blue hat. Losing a mother is a unique cut, one I haven't had to experience. Although her mom had a lot of health issues in the past few years it was still a shock to Tina's system - mom was living on her own and didn't have a long convalescence. Sometimes that's a blessing. It was a touching tribute to a long life, one that was sad but somehow easier to bear than the single mom funerals I went to last month. It was a celebration. I told Melody on the way out I might not have been an atheist so long if I grew up in a church like that. I'm not sure what she thought, but she did transcribe texts for me and gave me the non-interstate directions home so I don't think I offended her too bad. She is Baptist as well. 

    Finally reaching hump day. Light at the end of the tunnel. Lots of kid support the past few weeks. Marta came today and cleaned half of my office before she had to get her kids. She uses all natural products they smelled so good and she shared her vision of my future office it was genius. The bromeliad and other plant she brought really brighten the space. We talked kids and divorce and her strong desire to get better at English and get back in school. She has a hunger to learn. Cleaning, for her, is a financial means to an end. Looking forward to getting to know her better and support her in her vision for herself. No autolysis there. Happy Wednesday. Much love, Elizabeth

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