A woman lies on the operating table. The medical officer and the intern are draping the patient while the scrub nurse readies her instrument tables.
An awkward smell surrounds us out of nowhere.
The nurse says, “The spinal is working,” to indicate that the patient “did it”. Poor patient hardly has the opportunity to defend herself.
I hear that phrase so often – “the-spinal-is-working” – that I become convinced it is synonymous with, “I farted, but let’s blame it on the patient who is doped up and too excited to meet her baby to notice.”
One night a spinal anaesthetic is done on a patient and as we settle her onto the operating table she let’s one rrrrip. A few moments of silence, then she guffaws. We laugh, she laughs. No smell this time.
Everybody settles in. I pick up my toothed forceps. “Testing…”
And then, “Cutting”.
The Spinal Works.