Day 470

Today I was an anaesthetist.

I helped sixteen patients get through their minor surgeries. I am grateful to have a job I enjoy, to have colleagues who are friends, to be able to laugh and sometimes make other people laugh and to have the strength to get through a busy day calmly and artfully. Here’s a lovely poem written by my friend and colleague:

I, Anaesthetist

I don’t want you to feel trepidation
similarly, any anxiety
Relax, I’ve come to explain
How with profound sedation
I’ll drain your synapses of electricity,
To create a state of dissociation
Yes it’s true, it’s what we do
Temporarily abolish your sentience,
Take over your physiology
Until there’s not much left of you

And when you are where I need you to be
I’ll stay with you, diligently
through Alpine fluctuations
of muscle tone and circulation
below raging tempests of nociception
of which you’ll have no recollection
As I said, you will be fine
I’m out of sight, you’re out of mind

And when the filleting is done
and suturing, and cautery
I’ll bring you’re back up from the abyss
but you’ll have no idea of this
and you’ll open eyes, without pain
and ask have you had your surgery?
as recovery nurses say your name
and offer you a cup of tea
Dr Michael Duncan

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