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  • Paul Davidson

I Can Perform Surgery On Myself

I have a wonderful bedside manner.

Since I know myself and since I would be about to be performing surgery on myself, I would probably pull myself aside and tell myself all the things I know would make me feel totally comfortable about my impending surgery… “I’ve done this a thousand times, Paul. What I’m doing today is what I learned during my first day of residency. It’s so simple, I could do it with my eyes closed, but I will obviously not be closing my eyes because you are the most important patient I have ever had, and here’s a present for you! That’s right, even while you’re in the hospital, you’re allowed to have huge blocks of white chocolate at your bedside table. No, I didn’t know that was your all-time favorite candy. Well, I do what I can.”

Once the coddling part was over, and I had made myself feel better about the surgery I was about to perform on myself, I would urge myself to lay down on the hospital bed and get ready for the pre-op part of the process. I’d have to, obviously, call for some help to get me wheeled down into the operating room, but that’d be fine, because really I have no way of wheeling myself, while I’m on a wheel-able hospital bed, down into that room.

The affected area would have to be sterlized and shaved. Now, this, would be my shining moment as I have shaved my own sideburns and the back of my neck on a variety of occasions. Shaving the area that I would be about ready to knife into would, of course, have to be iodined-over and cleared away. I would prop my head up, grab my trusty Braun shaver, and go to town.

And still, Paul the patient would be feeling damn good that he was being operated on by the one surgeon he knew better than any other person on the face of the Earth. Himself.

I’m not an anesthesiologist. Let me state this for the record so people don’t start hmmmm’ing and huffing about the fact that if I’m going to do surgery on myself, how the hell are you going to deal with the anesthesiology part of it all. Well, please, don’t worry your little head over it. Since I am talented enough to perform surgery on myself, don’t you think I’m talented enough to go through that anesthesiologist-rolodex I have and call one of my buddies to come by and take care of it for me?

Right. That’s what I thought.

You know how sometimes when you go on a job interview the person interviewing you asks you if you have any weaknesses? They ask you to list them out? Well, if I’m going to be puffing up my chest and telling you that I can perform surgery on myself, I might as well tell you the one downside. It’s sort of a Catch 22 if you think about it.

When the anesthesiologist pumps my patient’s body full of the stuff necessary to allow me to perform surgery on myself… Well… I fall asleep.

It’s happened every time I try to perform surgery on myself and it’s getting to be a bad habit. I, personally, am finding myself doubting myself as a surgeon, because every time I wake up from the surgery, there on the table — I’m still shaved and iodined-up, but there has been no progress in removing whatever the surgery was supposed to remove. The other option, of course, and the Catch 22 is that I could probably perform surgery on myself without the drugs, causing there to be no pain… But then the surgery would be really painful, and… Well. I don’t like pain.

So, in the end, although I could perform surgery on myself as I have already outlined and proven through the (a) coddling pre-op portion, and the (b) shaving the affected area part, and the (c) wheeling myself with help down to the OR, and the (d) drug part… Although I can do and have done all these things which elicit trust from myself as a surgeon for myself as a surgeon — the falling asleep at the wheel part makes both me and me a little nervous.

Therefore, although I am fully capable of performing surgery on myself, I choose not to. And in doing so, I think all parties will agree that we’re comfortable with the decision here, and fully confident that there is at least one other surgeon out there who can also do the job.

They’d just better bring me some white chocolate.

In other news, jump up from your chair and scream in excitement, for tomorrow is yet another edition of “Words For Your Enjoyment”! That’s right – submit an idea for me to use in tomorrow’s post and not only get a shout-out, but become the envy of, well, someone…somewhere.

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