“Now you can’t walk away from the price you pay” Bruce Springsteen, The Price You Pay…..I was called in at 2:30 a.m. recently for an aortic dissection. Seems like no one ever dissects in the middle of the day. When Dr. Newsome walked into the room he looked at me and said, ” it seems like we’ve done a few of these over the years.” Indeed we have…these cases are generally long and difficult. There is a feeling you get at the beginning of the case, usually around the time when you first see the patient, when you realize that you are more than likely going to be there anywhere from 8 to 12 hours or longer. It’s kind of a sinking feeling, especially if you had something planned that you were hoping to do, but the feeling recedes and you go about your business doing what must be done. It is a wonderful thing to be part of doing something that prolongs someone’s life. We are also financially compensated for what we do. But it comes with a price. It is a very surrealistic feeling to be driving home on a sunny Sunday evening at 6:00 p.m. after being at the hospital since 3 a.m. People are out enjoying life, surfing, riding bikes, going out to eat, whatever else they might enjoy, and all you want to do is make it home and fall into your bed. Basically, you have given up a day of your life. Which, at this stage, is not an infinite supply. It takes a toll on your body also. You feel like you’ve been run over by a truck. Everything hurts, and it’s usually a couple of days before you start to feel like yourself again. That being said, I can’t really complain as the scrub tech for the case was the amazing Ann McCullough who seems to have twice the endurance and stamina of someone half her age. Plus I got to spend the day with Drs Stahl, Wang and Newsome as well as Danny and Chad….priceless…oh yeah, at the end of the day when everyone was leaving Danny congratulated Chad on doing such a great job and said he would take call with him anytime. Seems like a small thing but the smile on Chads face told me it meant a lot to him. Things like that are why Danny is such a great person to work with…..