Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Back On Top, Christmas Markets and Scrubs

        Despite a few moments of frustration...
  We were able to take care of business this weekend, and with a little help from Stansdorf, who took an unexpected loss, we moved back into a three way tie for first place. We jumped out to an early lead, ahead 20 after the first quarter, and never really looked back. It was great to get a win after last weekend, and especially nice not to have to travel (both on the court and off it).

    Apparently it has never been so cold, so early, here in Germany, so I guess it is just a case of good timing on my part.
         In another stroke of luck, the fuse in our windshield wipers broke. This made driving in blizzard conditions even more difficult (don't worry mom we got them fixed so we are safe now!).

         One of the best things about December in Germany is the Christmas Markets that spring up in every town center. The size of the markets are relative to the size of the towns, so Marcus and I decided it would be best to get out of tiny Herten to see a real Christmas Market. We drove down to Essen and were not disappointed. The Markets are open every night and have all sorts of Christmas shops and food. Every third store sells chocolate, beer or the traditional beverage of choice, gluhwein.

Me with my gluhwein outside an ornament store. It is basically warm red wine with cinnamon, honey and nutmeg. I am glad I tried it, but I'm not going back for seconds.

    My job at the hospital got very exciting this morning. I was casually washing my hands before entering the operating room for the second case, when the Chief of Surgery told me to wash them extra well because I was going to be assisting with the next patient.  As he walked out of the room without further explanation, I thought that he must had been joking. All I had done so far was stand up against the wall and try not to get in the way, how could I have shown any indication that I was ready to help him?
      However, I didn't want to look like an idiot if he was genuine, and thought it would be better to be fooled being too eager than too lazy, so I scrubbed my arms down and came into the room with them raised up near my shoulders like all the other surgeons were doing. Waiting for laughter from the others in the room, I was instead greeted by one nurse holding out a gown to put my arms through, and another waiting to tie me up in the back. It was exactly like they do in scrubs, except way cooler. 
     As soon as I got over how excited I was, I became nervous that I might actually have to do something.  These guys did realize that I had no practical medical experience right? 
     I ended up just holding open wounds and cutting the ends off the sutures, but it was still awesome sitting next to the Doctors, watching exactly what they were doing, and having them thank me for my help (in English) afterwards.  In only my third day there I was getting more hands on experience than I have ever had in the U.S. I don't know what this says about the safety precautions of German hospitals, but I am not complaining. And you better check in next week, because at this rate I will performing solo surgeries by then.  I even bribed both the surgeons with tickets to the game this weekend, so brain surgery before Christmas is not out of the question. Wish me luck this weekend because if I show an unsteady hand under pressure, I may be relegated back to the corner observations in the operating room!

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