Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I performed surgery today.

A girl walked in the Scholars lounge today with a staple stapled into her palm. Having watched an anime about a surgeon (doing mainly cardiac surgery), I was confident that I could translate the skills and mannerisms of the anime into real life dramatics.

"Ahhhh!" screamed Dielle, the panic-stricken student office worker. The mere sight of a staple stapled into a soft, delicate hand caused Dielle to faint in a flurry of sighs and nauseating convulsions.

Rachel, another student in the lounge at the time leaped onto her desk--perhaps suppressed memories of staple-misfires in Rachel's past induced a waking-coma-like state in her. The gazing and reddening of her eyes rivaled that of possums.

Thomas saw the extent of the staple and immediately threw up. Twice. The third time Thomas tried throwing up, I told him to get a grip on himself and he promptly swallowed his barf as quickly as it came up. [Later, it was revealed that Thomas had once lodged a fishing hook into his thumb, wherein the hook's removal involved anesthetizing his thumb and then ripping out the hook after clipping it into pieces].

The poor girl with the staple in her hands was my main concern, though. The others I would deal with after I performed the emergency staple bypass procedure. Every second the staple stayed lodged in the palm of the girl was a second too long--bacteria, viruses, TB, malaria, the bird flu, the cat flu, bipolar narcoleptic syndrome... all of this I had to worry about.

"Let's get to it," I calmly asserted.

"But... but... it's not disinfected properly! We need to clean the wound!" cried Dielle.

"No time for the 'proper' tools!" I barked back. "In the field, you have to make due with what you've got!"

I ordered Dielle to make two cups of hot tea while I examined the wound, noting the exact positions and penetrations of the pointed ends; I would have to be careful not to damage the muscles of the hand or the complex set of nerve and vein and capillary action within the girl's hand.

"What's the tea for?" tear-jerked the injured girl.

"Here, have some," I suggested to her as I took a cup for myself. As she sipped her tea (mind you, the tea bag hadn't had time to osmote yet), I grabbed her hand and poured my cup of tea onto the wound. The searing hot pain of the energetic tea nearly caused the girl to collapse.

"Disinfected." I explained. "Also, the herbal properties of this tea will help to alleviate the pain thereafter."

"Thereafter what?" the girl puzzled. "It's hurting now!"

I then squeezed her hand at precisely the right angle and pressure; the staple was almost coming out by the mere presence of my will.

"It's too painful!" cried the girl. "Please, I think it's hooked in there!"

I seriously doubted that. With my engineering background, I quickly assessed the nature of staples and a stapler's function. There usually is a metal base on which the staple makes contact with; with sheer force applied onto this metal base, and the curved geometry of the base, I deduced that the stapler must make contact with the base with the correct orientation and depth in order for the stapler to become hooked at the ends.

"You're mistaken," I explained to the girl. The staple did not come in contact with the metal base of the stapler--as it was lodged in her hand with no exit wound--and so the stapler must have not been deformed.

"No nooo nooooooo!" cried the girl. Clearly the girl was now suffering from bipolar narcoleptic syndrome. I quickly grabbed some cold water and threw it in her face.

With the girl's blood pressure rising alongside her adrenalinal-levels, I knew that I had little time to act before she went into full COS (crapped out shock).

"We can try a stapler remover?" suggested Rachel as she calmed her senses.

"Damn it, Rachel!" I was at the edge of insanity, but I still kept my cool. "This is a girl we're talking about here, not some pieces of paper!"

My hand still clenching the girl's hand and willing the staple to go out, I knew I had to yank out the final centimeter by force.

"Do we have scissors!?"

"No!"

"Get me one!"

"She's going into full COS!"

"Hurry up!!!"

*BARF*

"Ahhh!"

"Calm down!"

"I... I can't... do this...!"

[There is a period of chaos here].

...

...

...

Suddenly, a pair of scissors was in my hand and I quickly jammed it into the girl's hand.

"No.. ugh uhh," the quiet whimpers of the girl wisped through the dead air.

"Operation success," I declared, holding out the staple-trophy clamped by the scissor.

"But... but how?" Dielle was always confused.

"It's simple," I noted. "A simple procedure in which you use the torque produced by some lever arm pivoting about a fulcrum. The force applied was at my hand by the handle of the scissor. I used the rounded side of the scissor handle as a fulcrum point, with the lever arm being the blade of the scissor. With the force being applied nearer the fulcrum, the force exerted at the end of the blade was multiplied by a factor of about three or four."

"Simply pulling out the staple proved painful to the patient. It was slow and her anticipation caused the tightening of her muscles before I was able to yank out the staple before. I wasn't really going to jab her skin and cut her open with the scissor. I went in faster than a turtle on crack and bet on the effects of COS (crapped out shock) to numb her reflexes so her hand muscles wouldn't naturally contract and suck the staple in more."

"With her in COS, and her muscles numb, and the combination of the hotness of the tea and the tea's herbal properties, along with my quick, cool hands, my engineering background, and an anime (Team Medical Dragon) that taught me how to be a surgeon, I was able to diagnose and treat this patient perfectly!"

"I am proud to have swallowed my barf on your behalf, oh great one!" exclaimed Thomas.

"Never again will I suppress the memories of those distant staple incidents in my past!" cried a born-again Rachel.

"Truly, I am unworthy to be in your presence," a humbled Dielle murmered as she knelt.

"Get up, Dielle, for though you are unworthy in my presence, you will always be of worth to the surgeon," and I knighted Dielle. [I was kind of high from the excitement and decided to knight her--I don't even know if girls can be knighted... or if I can knight people at all!]

"Oh, Dr. Lue," the injured and healed girl started, "I am in your debt!"

"Do not worry about your debt to me, for your contributions to the world of surgery are immense!"

"Immense? But I did nothing!"

"Liar! You were the patient which allowed me to do surgery. Like darkness and light, like fire and ice, like cats and dogs, one cannot live without the other! You give me life!"

"But you gave me my life back!"

"Hush! I will hear no more of this!"

The motion sensors in the room malfunctioned and darkness filled the room as I exited into the distant hallway, descending into surgery history.


I am Team Medical Dragon.


[Lue's note: Team Medical Dragon is actually a manga and a live-action drama series based on it in Japan. It is not an "anime", but I don't think most people know what a manga is and saying "Japanese drama show based on a manga" is too long; the show is basically like an anime, but with real people! Note also that "today" was actually Tuesday, October 30, 2007.]...!