dimanche 20 mai 2012

The one whose life was saved by a mushroom.

Summer in the Visceral Surgery Service. Operating room.

I attend a diverticulitis surgery. It is a complicated inflammation of a part of the intestine which is called the colon.

A patient is there, lying down somewhere under the surgical drape.
I've never met him because he came in by the ER. I will never see his face because he won't be in my area of the service.
As usual, i am holding the operating tools to remove the tissues and the little device to draw of the body fluids. I am quite good at it actually, drawing of. It is tidy, it is meticulous and it doesn't need you to overthink at all. The main difficulty being the task of keeping the operating field clear for the surgeon and the resident, i think i can handle that without any overwhelming difficulties.

This patient is kind of a riddle.
The CT scan tells us that he is suffering from a perforation of the digestive tract leading to a start of peritonitis, an inflammation spreading in the abdomen, but the clinical aspect of this man is actually quite good.
Several minutes and a incision running from the sternum to the ombilic later, here we are, in front of the trouble-making gut.
"- Er, it's..."
"- Do you believe... It seems... I think..."
"- Nurse, take my iphone !"

The beaming surgeon smiles at me over his procedure mask. He cuts the gut and put it on the operating field so that we can examine it.
There, forming what is litteraly called in french a "perforated-then-patched-diverticulitis", is a... Mushroom.
A real one, a button mushroom, full piece, with its stem and its little cap. Cutted in half in the lenght side, it blocks the hole, preventing the intestinal content from pouring itself where it shouldn't.

I don't look at the mushrooms the same way anymore.
First, because i know the fungus' secret : the fact that we can't process them at all.
And secondly because they remind me the fact that, sometimes, you just need to be the right one in the right place to make the difference, no matter what brought you there.

Aucun commentaire:

Enregistrer un commentaire