Saturday, September 4, 2010

paging P. Enis

some stories are best told in long narrative form. and today was no different.

i feel like to tell you about today's adventure, i must first tell you a few other stories.

1. this first tale is sort of a free medical terminology lesson. on some occasions in my field we obtain venous blood gasses. these tell us the pH of the blood. the potassium, oxygen and various other levels. blah. blah. blah. today i learned, that apparently, you can draw a venous blood gas from a particular part vein in the body and tell if surrounding tissue has suffered an infarction (basically lack of oxygen and tissue death.)

2. the second is best accounted as a hypothetical situation if you will. let's say mr. a or mr. b or mr c. whatever you'd like to call him. let's pretend that he's been taking his cell mate's meds. and this certain med has a habit of causing a priapism as an unwanted side effect. a priapism is a sustained erection that is painful and considered a medical emergency. evidently, you can obtain a blood specimen from the penis, send it to lab for a blood gas and tell by the pH if there has been permanent damage to the tissue.

3. (the good part) at some point during my day today, a urologist sent this type of blood sample to the lab only it was in the wrong type of test tube. at this time lab calls me to tell me the bad news. at which point i notified her that this was a penis venous sample and that another sample could not be obtained. could she please run the test anyway. there was a long pregnant pause followed by a little giggle on her end. "a penis venous, huh? hold please" she pulls the phone away from her ear, forgets to place me on hold and yells to someone else in her department "it's a penis venous! what. no. penis. venous.(staccato) peeee-nis.(now enunciating) penis. penis. " (at this point, she's clearly exasperated) she regains herself and simply says, "i'll call you back." the line goes dead.


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