Day 117 It’s Only Wednesday

Today we woke to Daniel getting news via Facebook message of all things that his grandmother survived her percutaneous aortic valve replacement that happened while we slept (I dreamt about everything that could go wrong, Daniel dreamt that we were swimming with beluga whales).

I read more of my ebook, Freedom, the sequel to Daemon, a technological thriller.  I was so engrossed in it as I walked into Bloor/Yonge Subway Station that I power walked (I don’t amble my way to work) right into the bollard that prevents people without tickets access to trains. I hadn’t swiped my card.  I think subconsciously my brain was in the computer-driven world of the book and I assumed I’d automatically be granted access without something so archaic as a swipe-card.  If I was any taller I’d have neutered myself.

I got to PMH early, as there was an MRI biopsy booked.  From the amount of breast MRI they do in Toronto I’d forecast that it’s only going to increase for high risk screening, surveillance, preoperative staging and trouble shooting and, when I go home to Perth, we’ll need more people to be doing MRI-guided biopsies.  I hadn’t checked with the staff if I could do the biopsy so one of the breast fellows was in there already when I got to the magnet.

Perhaps last week was rather busy, or perhaps I’ve begun to adapt to another new hospital but today was actually pleasant.  My workload was a nice mix of workup, reading, mammo, MRI, ultrasound, ultrasound-guided and stereotactic guided procedures.   I had a rainbow day.  Got stuff done but there was laughter too.  I also got laughed at.  Karina offered to buy me a cappuccino and I said yes.  She came back with a Tim Hortons’ coffee.  I can’t believe I fell for it again.  Last week I asked for an espresso, so today she offered a non-existent cappuccino.  That’s it! Next week I’m taking my Nespresso to work and having as many espressos as I like.

Today I showed the resident how I insert hookwires under ultrasound guidance.  After having learned how to manipulate a wire with my right hand while simultaneously holding a catheter with the same hand in angiography I found it easy to just deploy the hook of the wire while watching it form with my right hand, while holding the insertion needle.  Like holding chopsticks! No need to put the probe down.  No holding your breath that you might accidentally be pulling the wire out because you can see it.  He thought it very cool.  It made me wish I had a younger brother, so I could feel good about simple things that I don’t think are marvellous but somebody less experienced thinks is absolutely amazing.

This week I have learned that nobody understands how I pronounce the letter, “A”.  In Canada it is pronounced “air”.  Australians pronounce “A” as “ai” and “I” as “oi”.  I realise patients don’t understand a word I’ve said when they stare at me, bewildered, then suddenly shout out, “Are you from AUSTRALIA!?”  Either that or New Zealand.  I can’t even do a New Zealand accent, it sounds Sith Ifrican.

Daniel booked tickets to Churchill for next Jul/Aug so I applied for leave today, and it being next year, have it approved.  He’s very excited.  Ugly whales with bulbous forehead wobbly organs will soon be sharing the ocean with a 6 foot grinning fan.


God knows why Daniel wants to be immersed in frozen water with these giant things swimming nearby.


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