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I peeked my head into OR 10, and very matter-of-factly said: “Are we rolling the patient back soon?” The scrub tech in the room was busy setting up the room for the case, but managed to look in my direction and say anesthesia went to get the patient. “I’m Karen, I’m helping the surgeon today, I’ll go get my gown and gloves, I responded, half way out the door.

I had only done 1-2 Robotic hernia repairs before, this was my first bilateral. Patient rolled back, The tech and I helped to intubate and position the patient. While we worked, I had the strangest feeling overcome my body. I felt warm on the inside and it had nothing to do with temperature. It was almost like a giddy, teenager in love feeling, except I had been single AF for a long time, with a negative amount of prospects. There wasn't even one person I was crushing on! What a weird feeling, I thought to myself, something weird and energetic is happening and I have no idea why.

Meanwhile, Thank God this tech dude seemed like he knew what he was doing.  He appeared super young, like still in undergrad young, but under the hat and mask I couldn’t tell. All I could see were his eyes, and they were striking. They were an exotic mix of blue and green-they were bleen. Whatever, I thought to myself. He is way too young for me to even care what he looks like under there anyways, I thought.

I was out of my surgical element. Most of my time was spent playing in Thoracic Park. General surgery made me feel as displaced as a Velociraptor at a kids party.

Robot is docked, lights get turned off, surgery gets on the way.

The surgeon asks for a Lapertie, The scrub ,looks at me and gives me a silent palms up, shrug  basically saying “I don’t know wtf that is”. I look at him in disbelief, my eyes wide like 2 fried eggs, shit- he has no idea whats going on! But I point at something anyways- “I think its that plastic thing over there, I say, hoping to be right.  Do you know how to load it?, He asks. Noooooo, but let me see if I can do it. I take the thing and it’s a no go. The surgeon brays. Bleen eyed scrub, gets the lapertie on the passer, I take it and deliver it to the surgeons robotic instrument, unscathed. Crisis averted.

We both laugh. “Hey I work in Orthopedics, so I have no idea about this case, he whispered to me. “What?!” lol, I laugh, “I work in open heart and I thought YOU were gonna help ME! we giggle some more. “Don’t worry”, I said, “we’ll figure this out”.

The surgeon was done and gone, and it was time for me to close. I decompressed the patients pneumo peritoneum. The testicles however, were not too keen to deflate so easily.  Crap. We had a solid case of “pneumo nuts”, which is when the CO2 insufflation gets trapped inside the testicle sacs after laparoscopic inguinal hernia repairs. It is a very common and mostly inconsequential and not too painful side effect of this operation, save the patients’ shock of having to wake up with humungo King Kong b****.  Massaging can help the decompression process, and we, do it while the patient is still under anesthesia to make it as pain free as possible for the patient. Also we would probably get sued if we tried that on anyone that’s awake.

I closed and left. We never saw each other’s faces. More than 6 months would go by before we saw each other again

So that’s how I met my fiancée. In the OR, while Massaging another grown man’s balls.



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