One daze at a time...

By Raheny_Eye

Express check out

It looks like one of our "customers" discharged himself/herself/themselves/itself from the Repair Factory in a hurry, ditching the very recognisable hospital-blue blanket as he/she/they/it sped towards a nearby place where the strongest possible painkillers can be purchased and administered without prescription... 

This was however not the most memorable part of the day.. But it would not have been appropriate to photograph the most memorable part of the day: a 52 year old male's heart, perfectly still, ensconced in its 'protective' layer of yellow fat, having one (or several) of its valves expertly repaired by the nimble fingers of a very impressive cardiothoracic surgeon. 
When I got out of bed this morning I had no idea that a few hours later I would get to see an open heart surgery. 
I had arranged to meet one of the Perfusionists working with me on the heart lung machine project and asked him if I could actually see our spare machine, as getting up close and personal to the actual equipment speaks a lot more to me than glossy sales brochures or YouTube videos. 
When I met him half an hour later, he suggested that seeing the pump in use during an actual surgery might be even more telling. I was only too delighted to seize the chance to see the whole set up. It was absolutely fascinating. I didn't stay for the whole thing obviously but had a good 15 minutes in theatre asking all the questions that I had been meaning to ask (including why is human fat yellow). The surgeon was really nice (she knows that there are three shiny new heart lung machines coming her way) and asked me if I wanted to see the heart she was working on. She showed me the lines coming in (lovely carmine) and out of (dark dark almost-black red) the HLM and the valve she was then working on. 
It was beautiful and humbling to see that perfectly still heart, which as I type now should be beating again, in its new souped up version. 
I don't think I broke or disconnected anything when I fainted and fell forward on top of the patient. 

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