My best friend’s kids… They are an amazing expression.
Everybody has a best friend. Someone we care about now, or was that person as you learned how to ride a bike with (or at least how to kinduv fall off from one), chased careless cloud dreams with, walked all the away across town right before having to come home for curfew, both figuring out how to live forever somehow, walking a couple of miles so as to continue the conversation to it’s end at the doorstep- only to walk home alone- but it was so worth it. Snow deep and all- It was worth it. (John)
The people you don’t have say a thing to as you sit back to back on a dune in the beach realizing your life has changed forever (Kash).
So today- this is about best friends, because everyone we put on bypass has one- had one- or is about to get one or lose one. Doesn’t matter the age or the moment.
That is something to build a sand castle for- as we set up a pump for another nameless stranger, that is all those things we are.
From their perspective?
They have a brief episode in which to watch all of us in full-on-combat mode, all geared up to get ‘er done.
That’s us… We got “dat science and technology” to boost us up. But all they see is us- maybe not being people as much as technicians trying NOT to fail. But that’s all they see prior to a major life threatening surgery is us. And they hear us as well. Not quite as easy to filter out as the cross-conversation between mechanics when doing an oil change, while you are sitting in the car.
They hear the conversation, sense the group dynamic, and may or may not want that much information as they try to get ready.
The problem is… we are designed to be ready- trained to be ready and therefore:
We are always ready…
Meanwhile- they are alone. On a table with people looking down on them- wearing masks and goggles.
In a moment they are about to fall off a cliff to anesthesia, and not know if they will see that best friend again- or meet them on the other side.
I watch them, see how they have prepared themselves for that potential fall- and some faces are resolute, some determined, some stoic, some almost happy, sometimes eyes are locked shut, some so jovial- to laugh it off, some in a religious repose- propped up by years of devotion and handing themselves to a higher power, and then the few that are feeling this may be the last moment.
99% of the time- it doesn’t matter, because we get them ALL through it – period.
But right before surgery is the most vulnerable moment.
Each has their story. Each one with a best friend- and a family behind them.
Unfortunately- there is nothing on our vaunted checklist, that has a check box asking: Have you said hi to the patient?
The OTHER Perfusion Checklist
So Here’s to Best Friends 🙂
We all have various friendships in our lives. Some are lost to us due to geography, age, changing philosophies, and whatever way the river turns in our lives.
Today they are called “Besties”, and I suppose that means more than one. But when it comes down to it, and perhaps you need a desperate operation, or someone to help you through a serious rocky road, well then “Besties” usually dwindle down to “Best”.
So here is a tribute to the best.
Johnny & Brood…
Kash- my wife and best of best friends 🙂
My Girl- Maria
So anyway …
These are the People behind the People you are putting on Cardiopulmonary Bypass.