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A random discussion on the attractions of the field of pathology led me to reminisce about a terrible experience, which is far from unique apparently, that I had on the OB service where I spent one particularly dreadful day retracting a pannus on a significantly obese pregnant woman for a C-section. My job was to hold the fold of fat that naturally wanted to cover the incisional site. It gave me "The Fat Retractin' Blues" and I wanted to know if anyone had any ideas for specific lyrics, or perhaps other terrible inspiring stories from clinical years.

Got me a sore arm.
Got me some greasy fingers.
Got me some sore wrists from the ole' retractin' stick.
The surgeon yellin' at me to keep myself still.
Sweat beadin' down my face.
Ain't eaten nothin' for 8 hours and a half.
Got me the fat-retractin' blues.

Anyone else got these blues?
I also had the Unnecessary Rectal Exam Blues, the Debridin' the Infected Diabetic Foot Blues, the 5am Surgical Rounds Blues, and the Psych Patient Just Spit in my Face Blues.


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yaah said:
Ain't eaten nothin' for 8 hours and a half.
Got me the fat-retractin' blues.
That sounds like a good thing in that situation.
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At least it was during a C-section. When you've been doing nothing but retracting malleables or Richardsons for 4-6 hours, then it REALLY starts to suck (and hurt :( ).


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The secret to retracting is just to hold the retractor while not actually applying any pulling pressure to it; just gradually rest your arm over the patient when the attending isn't looking. Also, I'd like to know why they haven't come up with an automatic retractor for those v. hysterectomies! Can't say that I really get too much out of my "educational" experience being a human retractor for 4 hrs when I can't even see anything that the surgeon is doing. :rolleyes: The weird part is that one of my classmates who was interested in surgery at the time tried to tell me how he liked being in the OR for that kind of stuff! I liked using the old "hide in the bathroom when it's time to scrub in" method for avoiding as much OR time as possible. There's also always going to the library to "read", and by "read", I mean nap.
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