Day 146 Are You Nervous, Doctor?

Today I was offered the chance to spend both morning and afternoon sessions scanning – something you get less opportunity to do the more senior you get in radiology so I grabbed it, with one hand (the probe) and spent most of the day doing nuchal translucency measurements for First Trimester Screens (starting the scan, then the FTS accredited sonographer, who was watching my scan from the reporting room monitors came in, took her own pictures and gave me advice on how to improve mine).

After the first scan my hand was cramping.  By my second case the sonographer came into the room wondering why the image was shaking – my cramping hand had started to tremor.  By the third scan even the patient piped up, “Are you nervous, doctor?”  I got a headache by 4 o’clock and my right rhomboids were completely knotted.  All from trying to hold the probe still over 45 to 84 mm long fetuses measuring the tiny (usually less than 2 mm) diameter thickness of skin on the back of the neck.  It was like my first ballet technique class as a company dancer – without proper alignment and with too much effort than actually needed I went home knotted and sore.  All I had done was 5 FTS and a bit of an anatomy scan – a morning’s work for a sonographer!

At least today I managed to take some textbook quality CNS images to redeem my blurry cerebellar images from Friday, and a 4-chamber view that got praise from one of the Senior Sonographers and the Staff.  Huzzah! Still going to take a lot more experience to get an accreditation-quality NT image.

After rounds Vaughan had organised Thirsty Thursday post-rounds-Abdo/WI-Fellow-Food, at a Thai restaurant downtown called, Sukho Thai.  The “medium spicy” was a Canadian not-at-all-spicy but the Larb Gai was slightly Larb-like.  I got a chance to talk to Minnie – a radiologist from the U.K. who had worked in Cairns, with a guy I’d been to Medical School with in Western Australia.  Small world.

I bought a Starbucks coffee before work, over the road at the General.  The girl said, “Double expresso.”  If she says that again tomorrow I’ll have to spell it for her.  Today all the signs had changed from dark green to a festive Christmas red.  Even the shops here are seasonal.  Colours clearly demarcate that Christmas is the next thing to be looking forward to.  They’re inescapable.  I wonder what colour Easter will be?

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