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Newsletter August 2022: Literary corner - The father sin

A note from the Chief Editor: We are pleased to initiate a new rubric, the Literary corner, in which we intend to publish short stories related to our profession and daily activity. The readers and ESAIC members are encouraged and invited to contribute to this new initiative.

Andrei Schwartz, MD

My patient, P.T., was a 70-yrs old man with grey hair and long feet, so long that it was difficult to accommodate them in a normal hospital bed. He was planned to pass a partial resection of the prostate, and I was assigned to anaesthetise him.

It was very quiet that afternoon in the urology clinic, and I found him alone in the ward. I examined him, also his chart, and finally, I explained the main points regarding the anaesthesia procedure.

-As you see, doctor, this would be the first operation in my life, I am happy that you find me fit for this, but I would like to know who would be my surgeon?

I thought for a moment, and then I said to him that I have no idea, but at the same time, I tried to find what was behind that question:

-Is that so important for you? In our hospital, all the specialists in urology are very good, with excellent results in this specific procedure you are planned to pass….

My patient moved his view to the window, then to the door, and once again back to me:

-I heard that one of them is Dr K.J. Is that right?

-Indeed, I answered on the spot. He is one of the best…..

-Yes, maybe, but…..

It was easy to understand that he, my patient, hesitated to share with me his thoughts, but eventually, he overcame his own feelings:

-I’ll tell you…..He is the son of my former commander in the army, an odious guy, a man who made our life miserable for years … I do not want to have any connection whatsoever with his son….

The next day, my patient, Mr P.T. was the second on the operating list. He was brought to the waiting room. I met him there and saw on his face clear signs of anxiety. He was restless, it seemed that he could not find his place on the stretcher, and his eyes moved all the time from one side to another as if looking for somebody or something.

-It is him, he told me. He visited me last night, and I was coward enough to refuse his services….Doctor, please take care of me; I do not want to die!

I tried to do my best, I reassured him about Dr K.J.’s abilities and expertise and injected 2 mg of midazolam in his open vein.

-One more thing, he told me before becoming somnolent. Please, make anything that I would not see his face during surgery!

The procedure was done under spinal, but I kept my patient relaxed and calm by injecting small i-v doses of midazolam during the intervention.

Mr P.T. woke up completely in the recovery room. He was hemodynamically stable, and his urine started to clear up in just a couple of hours.

The next day I was too busy to visit my patient, but he looked for me on the morning of his discharge from the hospital:

-Thanks a lot, doctor, for your help. I had no problem during surgery, and this is due to you…..And it seems that now I am healthy once again…. One more thing. I have no doubt that in the future if I would have any urological problem, my doctor will be Dr K.J. It is written in our books that sons do not have to pay for the sins of their fathers, isn’t it?!

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