Sunday, May 25, 2014

Music in the OR

I don't know whether music was played in the OR for any of my surgeries. Many surgeons like music for all or part of the case. Sometimes, it can be too distracting for critical portions. But, one must be aware of the appropriateness of the music.

Years ago, when I was a resident, we were simply playing a radio. It was Halloween, so the music was macabre. I have long wondered how a patient felt going to sleep with such music. I thought that I certainly wouldn't want to hear such music as I was put to sleep.

More recently, for a dental procedure, I was asked what kind of music I liked. Of course, it was to be done with local, so it did matter to me as the patient. My tastes are quite eclectic, so I let them play Pandora with popular music. It turned out to be the ones my kids know by heart. It was good for me to get a chance to hear more of what they like.

When I am the surgeon, I have liked different genres for different procedures, "heavy metal for heavy metal" when I am doing instrumentation. For other cases, I tend to prefer other genres, classical, folk, classic rock, world, etc. A good friend likes Broadway show tunes for his cases. At times I prefer no music like when approaching or clipping an aneurysm, though I have allowed the residents to choose after the aneurysm has been secured.

Recently, a surgical colleague curated an art exhibition at a medical meeting. Scattered amongst the photographs, paintings and sculptures were pieces of sheet music from Pictures at an Exhibition by Mussorgsky. This seemed so apt for the setting. I only wish it could have been playing to set the mood of those looking at the art.

I do think music does set a mood. And mostly the mood in the OR should be calm and organized. But, sometimes, the tempo should increase, and music can  help with this, too. And, allowing the residents to choose will sometimes tell me a bit about them, as well as sometimes introducing me to a new artist.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Mother's Day

Today is Mother's Day. I returned from a class yesterday to find a bouquet of flowers that my children had picked for me sitting on the table. My son, who has struggled to deal with my illness, gave me a beautiful string art heart that he had made, together with a beautiful letter. My daughter had given me a self profile with bits about Central Asia, where she was born.

We went to a movie. Of my choosing! Wrote a short piece and am blogging again. And it has been a wonderful spring day to spend with the kids. A celebration of life.  And recently, all my checkups have been good, even though I still suffer with a complication of treatment. So, I am looking forward to my life, many years of it, to finish raising my children.

What more could a mother want?