Some people think it is glamorous to be a Dr. They have nice houses, they drive nice cars, they seem to have some prestige .
Let me tell you how glamorous it can be.
I was a junior resident in Orthopaedics at the VA and we had just fixed a hip fracture for an older veteran. As Jr resident I would get all the calls on our patients on the Orthopaedic floor, About 1 AM I got a call from the nurses about this gentleman whose abdomen was getting progressivley larger and larger. I asked them to get some tests and Xrays and I would be in shortly (we took call from home).
When I saw him it looked like his belly was going to blow up! He wasn’t in a lot of distress , but if it got much larger his bowel could rupture. Turns out he had something called Ogilvies syndrome where the bowl goes into paralysis without actually getting obstructed. The treatment is a nasogastric tube into the stomach from up top and a rectal tube from below to decompress the bowel while it recovers and they usually get better with some time.
While writing my note the nurses kept coming up to me and telling me the rectal tube kept getting blocked with feces and couldn’t decompress all the air in the bowel.
So here is my conundrum. I could go home, get calls every half hour when the tube kept getting blocked, the bowel would not get decompressed and he could get much worse or even die. Or make sure that air got out.
So we rolled him on his side and I put an index finger from each hand in his rectum and opened the anus with the hoped for and expected rush of air
coming right at my face! I sat there for a half hour while getting a steady fart in my face with the expected smell accompanying it!
His bowel quickly decompressed and I got to go home and sleep without getting further calls about him the rest of the night. Not quite what I was planning when I went into Orthopaedics, but you gotta do what you gotta do!