Monday Morning

Monday Morning

Another week has begun, and that means more promotional efforts for the books.  This morning, I’ve mailed out three free paperback copies of Dream Student and I’ve got two more to send out tomorrow, to the five winners of the book giveaway on Goodreads.

I’m going to be on two different internet radio shows.  One will be, I think, live, this Thursday evening.  The other one will air sometime after that, although the interview itself will also be on Thursday.

And of course writing continues on book #5.  Six chapters are finished (1 through 4, and 7 and 8, but 7 and 8 may become 8 and 9; there’s quite a bit that has to happen in the two unwritten chapters there, and I may have to extent it to three).

Here’s a quick bit from the just-finished chapter 4 – Sara finds herself in the operating room…

I feel like I’m back in medical school.  Dr. Phillips is standing behind me, letting me take the lead.  “I like to see family doctors keep their hand in,” he told me after we’d both scrubbed in.  “You don’t look old enough to have forgotten what to do in the OR.”  That’s kind of him to say, and I appreciate the vote of confidence, but I wasn’t counting on doing the entire procedure myself.  Once he stepped back, though, I didn’t feel like I had any choice.

My hands are steady as I make the first incision, starting at McBurney’s Point.  The appendix is right below that spot, about three inches to the right and an inch below the umbilicus.  As I cut, training takes over, and I forget who my patient is.  Everything fades from my mind except for what’s right in front of me, and the lessons and notes and charts and diagrams I spent countless hours studying.

I occasionally look back at Dr. Phillips, and more than once I wonder why he isn’t questioning me, asking about potential complications, interrogating me on why I made the incision this way and not that way, or why I chose the antibiotic I did rather than another and what danger signs I should be watching for.  It’s not until the procedure is nearly finished and I’m putting in the sutures to close up the incision that I truly remember who and where I am.  I’m not a student and I’m not back in University Hospital in Cleveland.  I’m a licensed, fully qualified doctor, working on a patient I’m responsible for.

“Strong work,” Dr. Phillips says when I’m done.  That’s a phrase I remember well from school; it’s just about the highest praise an attending physician could offer.  “You’d never know you’re not a surgeon.”  I feel myself straighten up, standing as tall as I can at those words.  I don’t even blush, because I know they’re true.

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