Yes, really. You might not find it in your local pharmacy but there is such a thing. I promise. Go look it up. My wife had a sinus operation and she wore an external variation that looks like a white moustache to catch the inevitable discharge (sorry for those imaginative visuals). We ran out pretty quick and I had to sew up some homemade ones with light bandage and cotton wool. Mass production is not expected anytime soon.
Thanks to a superb specialist surgeon, decent medical aid and private hospital facilities the whole experience was pretty organised, if not painless for my wife. She had to have it though, its been about 25 years since she could breathe easily through her one nostril and there is only so much a pill or nose spray can do for structural sinus problems. Hopefully this op will bring some relief for her and get rid of that little steam train beside me in the bed some nights. Get your minds out of the gutter!
We have had a few visits to Mr General Anaesthetic in the last year. A scope here and preteen hernia there and the most pleasant surprise about all the hospital visits have been the anaesthetists (Americans call them anesthesiologists). More than a few nurses (and doctors) could benefit from whatever bedside manner training the anaesthetists get. They have been the first to visit before and after the procedures, easily the friendliest and approachable of everyone we have had to deal with and the most willing to respond to questions in a detailed yet understandable fashion. It really has been amazing and surprising to receive a call at home from the anaesthetist the following day – all just to find out how the patient is doing. Not their secretary or trainee gopher, or even the surgeon but the anaesthetist who put your loved one under with that simple phrase, ‘count back from ten’. Not sure what its like in the rest of the world, but its been very surprising to experience it here.
Here’s a thankful and appreciative toast to all good anaesthetists out there – if everyone you had to deal with in a hospital were like the ones we have had recently then hospitals might seems less like those horrible places you hope you never have to visit.
ps. In all honesty, there were a few nurses that deserve our thanks too, but unfortunately you only really remember the sour one who has been on a 36 hour shift changing bedpans and IVs and has long since lost any inclination to smile when she has to go find ice chips for you to suck. We understand and thank you anyway.