Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I heart our tech

Subtitle: "How I ended up doing surgery with a shoe-cover on my head."

Our tech/lab manager type person is away this week. Our tech is a 20-something who didn't get into pharmacy school and makes beer in his parents' basement. I didn't like him at first. But he is astonishingly long-suffering and good-natured, and even though I don't think he gives a darn about the science we do, everything always runs smoothly.

But, as previously stated, he is away. So is one of the other grad students and our research assistant is sick. Thus, I am somehow in charge. In charge of ordering. In charge of the frogs. In charge of making my own solutions and electrodes. And stuck with frog surgery.

So, I go up to anesthetize the frog. This rarely works in the time-frame described in our protocol. 45 minutes later the frog is still kicking. At an hour it's not. But then I flip it over, and I can see it's throat pulsing. Back in the anesthetic. Meanwhile, my surgery suite reservation is running out of time. (N.B.: I did not reserve the suite, our blessed lab manager did, I didn't even know we needed to reserve it!). Finally, the frog is out. I realize I have no gauze for dabbing blood. I figure, oh well, I'll just deal. I start the surgery.

As soon as I start extracting eggs, the person who had the surgery room reserved starting 5 minutes before pokes her head in. I say I need 15 more minutes, she says no problem, she'll use a different room. It's all good. Then I go to stitch the frog back up. I swear to goodness, that thing had HIDDEN the other side of the muscle layer (it could have been all the blood that I couldn't mop up sans gauze). I was stressing. My new (very professional hair) was in my face and sticky. This is because I had no hairnet (they're not required in this situation, but are helpful for hair restraint). For some reason, the little supply station on this floor was out of hair nets. Finally, in extreme frustration, I leave the suite in search of a hair retainer. The little supply station is just outside the door. I grab a shoe cover and stick it over my head and return to fishing around for the muscle layer. When I eventually put the frog back together and start hauling all my supplies (and the frog) back to where they belong, I get strange looks in the hall. This is when I realize I still have a bright blue, waterproof shoe-cover on my head.

Thank heavens he's only gone a week. I will remember to be extra-nice to him when he comes back (until I forget).

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