Why vascular surgery is my nemesis
This time last year, I saw a vascular surgeon in the hospital changing room— a great start to the story, I know, but bear with me.
He had spent an unreasonable amount of time picking which shoes to wear to theatre.
It’s a very important decision; you have to consider the size of the shoe, the fit... these things make all the difference in avoiding being stood on a bed of nails as your legs fall asleep through 6 hours of surgery, increasing your risks of a deep venous thromboembolism, until you curse yourself for actually showing up to theatre.
The problem was, I also needed to embark upon this quest; I had to find shoes too. I didn’t want to be the typical medical student, hovering behind doctors, so I figured I’d wait. No biggie.
15 minutes later, I was still stood there like an idiot, trying not to look like a sixth form student doing work experience, and the consultant was palpating every clog, looking for its dorsalis pedis.
After THIRTY MINUTES, he’d finally found a pair that met his exact, pedantic and over-the-top referral criteria and sauntered away.
As he moved away to put on the surgical hat, I seized my chance.
I hurried over to the clog container, fully intending to grab a pair and get out of there. I’d been there for far too long.
But something stopped me.
At first glance, all the clogs in the pile looked way too small. I decided to take my chances and stick my arm deep into the bin, looking for a pair of crocs that I might be able to possibly pull off. But none could contain my large phalanges, much like China couldn’t contain the coronavirus.
15 minutes into this, I figured maybe the consultant was on to something—perhaps there’s a way to find the perfect clog. I began palpating every clog like a first-year medical student trying to find the brachial pulse, and it occurred to me that I had been on this journey of discovery for too long, I’ve held every clog in that bin and I should get the hell out of there. Wait. Did that surgeon just take the last clogs that were in my size?
At this point I was so exhausted, I bailed on the whole thing and left, wearing my own shoes... for which I was immediately turned away from the theatre.
Turns out you definitely need clogs to watch.
Determined to see the surgery, I returned to theatre wearing shoes 3 sizes too small, looking like I’d been asked to help bring in the groceries by my mother.
After the surgery is completed, I return to the changing rooms, tired and dejected. My calves cramped; my feet numb. I guess this is what it feels like for women after wearing high heels.
Across the changing room, I see the same surgeon from earlier and there, with him, they are. The crocs that should have been mine.
Was the surgery worth tiptoeing in small shoes for 4 hours? No.
Would I go back in time and skip it? Absolutely, positively, yes.
Since that day, I have developed a profound dislike for both crocs and vascular surgery.