The View From The Golden Dome

Views on the week's events plus some of mine.

Les Berman Weekly 9-21 Doctors. Hospitals. Procedures. Knees… and much more, of course.

Way back in prehistoric times, before my kids were born… actually in the 1800’s, a guy by the name of Louis Pasteur came up with some interesting ideas. And he got some of his ideas from a couple of doctors who, as early as 1847, had suggested to their fellow physicians that it would be a good idea to wash their hands between patient examinations or surgeries.


However, it was de rigeur at the time for physicians to demonstrate their prowess by using the same bloody frock cloaks with detritus of past operations and examinations. Now I’m sure that you are totally grossed out, and, at the same time, thankful that your ancestors survived the doctors. But it does get better.


So in the 1860’s, another doctor, Joseph Lister, began to experiment with the concept of cleaning instruments, and his hands, after surgeries. What a strange idea that was ! The disinfectant he used was also sprayed on the incisions. While he couldn’t quantify the success with his experiments, he did continue. And in 1866, a patient was brought to him after having being run over by a wagon wheel (it was attached to the wagon at the time). The badly broken leg would normally have resulted in death but Lister used the disinfectant during the surgery and the post operation phase. The boy survived, the leg healed, and the practice of medicine changed forever.

All because one British surgeon thought it would be a good idea to clean up his stuff before starting the next procedure. So, on behalf of all of us, I send a shout out to Joe !


This is important to me because a couple of weeks ago, I started the pre-op process at Cedars Sinai Medical Center. It was interesting, to say the least. I went in and encountered reception desk #1, where a very nice lady said that I had to register and to please follow her. And I did. Down the hall, around the corner to the first waiting room. When I was called a few minutes later, all of my information was entered into the computer, verified twice, and I was given a wrist band.


I was then sent to the next window, where my wrist band was checked again, and I was told that they were busy there so I could go to another office for the same procedure. They gave me printed instructions, perhaps because guys never ask for directions, and I went out the door, turned left, then right, up the elevator, past Starbucks (yup – right there in the hospital), down the hall, through the doors and then…. I was lost. Instructions were missing and room numbers had stopped. So back I went, found two ladies in white, who told me that the room I needed was behind the construction area. Like I should have known??? So next room. Waited and was called in for the first session of blood testing. My wrist band was checked twice. The needle went in and I dared to ask a question.


I said that I had to give a unit of blood for my upcoming surgery – and are you doing it here. No, the nice lady said. That’s a different place. And I said.. you mean they’re going to needle me again??!! Yes, the lady said. Wouldn’t it be more efficient to do it all at once, and spare me more needles. Yes, the lady said. But that’s not how we do it ! OK…..


And then I was done. Out the door, past the construction zone. Down the hall, past Starbucks down the elevator, down the first hall, past where I started and on to the next room. I was getting nervous because I had never been drained of my life force before. I said to the woman, after waiting for a while, that I was nervous, that I didn’t want to see people being drained of their life force, and I didn’t want to watch it happening to me ! And she thought I was kidding. My wrist band was checked three more times.


So the next lady leads me into a room with all these reclining couches and I was lucky – no one was being drained. Once again, I went through my nervousness with this delightful lady, who assured me, that I would be ok. I lay down. They removed my shoes (I asked for that ). And gave me a warm blanket. And then I said – Wait ! I have to do something… and proceeded to put on a sleep mask so I couldn’t possibly see anything. Ouch ! the needle was in and I was clenching my fist every 10 – 15 seconds. And then I heard these words being directed towards me. The lady said… you’re almost done, and when you’re finished, there are cookies in the next room. And I thought COOKIES !? If they had told me this at the outset, I think my nervousness would have disappeared. Cookies and juice ! Wow… just for being a good boy. Cookies !!! How amazing !!


All of this was in preparation for my knee replacement that happened this last Wednesday (this is being written in advance). Because I’m either still in the hospital, or in a drugged out pain killer state at home, you won’t know any more until next week. Of course, with all the pain meds, I may not know anything until next week either !

Have a better week !


Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

What?? Do you really think you need them this week, of all weeks?? Ok ok…


Now that I’m older here’s the rest of what I’ve discovered:

The only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth.

These days, I spend a lot of time thinking about the hereafter . . .I go
somewhere to get something, and then wonder what I’m “here after”.

Funny, I don’t remember being absent-minded.



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 Les Berman CMC
Money Specialist
NMLS ID 227675
Voice: 818.305.4695

October 8, 2013 - Posted by | business, general interest, humor, medicine | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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