Ask and ye shall receive: now you can relish the wit and physique of Fifty Shades of Grey’s Anatomy by holding a paper copy in your exquisitely hot hands.
I know, I know. I should have timed this with the movie release and/or Valentine’s Day.
However, I’m basically in the ER for the next eight days (including tonight!), so let me know if you’d like a signed copy for a mere $10.
And, because I love you, here’s a free excerpt.
The first time I saw a patient’s breasts, I was supposed to practice my history-taking skills on a woman who’d recently had a heart attack. No physical exam required. I stepped up to her curtained bed and called, “Hello…”
The woman drew back the curtain. She had no top on, a washcloth in her hand, and a stainless steel bowl on the table in front of her. “I was in the middle of washing.”
“Oh. I’m sorry. I could come back. My name is Melissa Yuan, I’m a medical student, I was just going to take a history–”
“That’s okay. I don’t mind if you don’t mind.”
“Oh. Okay.” I figured this was something I should get used to, as a to-be doctor. I sat down and started asking her questions and taking notes. We had a checklist to follow, so it wasn’t too hard, and I got used to her uncovered breasts. “Do you have any past medical history?”
“No.” She shrugged. “Except that I had malaria three times.”
Even I knew that was unusual. I deviated from my form. “Why?”
“I lived in Africa for twenty years.”
“Okay.” No wonder she didn’t mind washing in front of me.
Sarah, the cardiology fellow who was supervising us, came up and joined me. Afterward, she told me that she was surprised to find the patient naked, and patients didn’t usually wash themselves in front of a doctor. “Okay,” I said. Basically, I was agreeable for just about everything. If she’d told me I should’ve conducted the interview while calling questions from the other side of the curtain, I would have said, Okay.
Now I’ve seen more than a few pairs. I should have a few funny stories, but I had to ponder for a while. You’d think boobs were naturally super droll. (Hey, I accidentally wrote drool. That, too.)
One of the nurses said that the old guys in chronic care were always drooling over hers, or at least grabbing for them and making lots of comments. She learned to wear a T-shirt under her scrubs so she could lean over to help them without causing a riot.
“It’s not fair that some of us are so blessed and some of us are…not,” said another nurse, on lunch break.
“You don’t want to have too much. My mother had such big ones that, when she was in hospital, we needed two people to wash her, one to wash and one to help hold them up!” said the secretary.
A female orderly chimed in, “That’s a problem for small women too. Once, I was washing a lady in a nursing home, lifting them up, and she said to me, ‘Dear, it doesn’t matter how small they are, they all fall down, don’t they?’”
Everyone laughed, but my laugh was tinged with pain. Not something to look forward to.
On my plastic surgery rotations, I saw a lot of breasts. The one I remember the best was the jubilant woman just before her breast reduction who said, “Do you know what size I am? HH. I had to order my bras specially from the United States. Well, no more. My only regret is that I didn’t do this sooner!”
On the flip side, I saw some breast augmentations, which are pretty simple, surgery-wise: slide those balloons in, make sure they’re in the right place, check them from all angles, and stitch ’em up. A nurse at the foot of the gurney commented about one of them, “They’re too big!”
The surgeon shrugged. “She picked the size.”
“They’re ridiculous! She looks like [insert name of a famous cartoon rodent with prominent ears]!”
We giggled, but the implants stayed.
Personally, elective augmentations (a.k.a. boob jobs) weren’t my favourite, because I’d rather save lives than cater to the beauty myth, but lots of the surgeons love aesthetic patients. They pay, they’re generally in great shape, they want to leave immediately, and they take care of themselves afterward. And actually, after a decade in the emerg, that does sound appealing.
I preferred the microsurgical breast reconstructions after mastectomies. Before my first week on plastic surgery, I’d never heard of flaps, but it made sense to use transform patient’s own muscle into replacement breast tissue. We’d either use the latissimus dorsi muscle or the transverse rectus abdominus. Now it’s kind of weird to think that, when you’re working on your abs and core muscles, you may actually be forming your future breasts.
Back in the emergency room, the male staff are always concerned about patients charging them with harassment, but once in a while, patients apparently invite it. One of our male nurses charged away from an acute care bed after a female patient pulled off her gown to reveal her naked chest, breathing, “Want to do. My. Electrocardiogram?”
“No, thanks!” he called, disappearing on the other side of the curtain.
Breasts. Sometimes droll. Sometimes drool. Sometimes monsterish.
Sounds about right.
Links to all forms here: http://melissayuaninnes.com/books/fifty-shades-of-greys-anatomy/