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Dover Post
  • Lost in Suburbia: Somebody to watch over knee

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  • “Hi, I’m Dr. Coleman,” said a guy in a surgical suit at the end of my hospital bed. “I’ll be performing your knee surgery.” “Great,” I replied. “I just have a couple of things I want to confirm with you,” he continued, looking at my chart. “OK.” “Your name is Tracy Beckerman.” “Yes.” “You’re 49 years old.” “Yes,” I agreed. “And we are operating on your left knee.” “Right.” “The right knee?” “No, left.” “You said right,” he argued. “No I didn’t.” He paused and looked at the chart. “Let’s try again.” “OK.” “The knee that we are doing the surgery on is your left knee,” he said slowly. “Right.” “It’s your right knee?” “No.” “You just said it was.” “Left knee,” I assured him. “Left?” “Right!” “Well, which one is it,” he asked. “Left or right?” “Left.” “Left!” “Right.” He sighed. “We’ll come back to that.” He checked his chart again. “OK, your anesthesiologist is Dr. Watt.” “Dr. Who?” I wondered. “Dr. Watt.” “What?” “Yes.” “Yes, what?” I asked. “Right.” “No, I mean, what’s his name?” “Dr. Watt.” “What?” “Yes.” We stared at each other. “He needs to know if you have any allergies,” he continued. “Who?” “Watt.” “What?” “Yes.” “No,” I replied. “Tell Dr. Whoever I have no allergies.” “Watt.” “What what?” “The anesthesiologist,” he said. “That’s his name.” “What’s his name?” “Yes,” he nodded. “OK, whatever.” I said. “Can we do the surgery now?” “Sure,” he said. “We will do the surgery on your left knee.” “Right.” Follow Tracy on Twitter at @TracyinSuburbia.

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