There are days in the O.R. when I am almost old enough to be everybody’s mother. I try to look at this as a good thing. Here I am, the wise one. The one with experience.
Then, we start talking about music. Or movies. Or news events from years gone by.
Sometimes, we can keep up with each other.
Other times, not so much.
That’s when I remind myself of a conversation I had with an awesome anesthesiologist that happened a couple months ago.
Here’s how it went down . . .
This particular anesthesiologist is one of my favorites. He’s been around longer than me (read, he’s older than I am) and is super smart, very heartfelt, loves to talk about his family. Your basic great guy.
On that particular day, after doing three hours of surgery, my back was getting cranky and I was trying not to join suit.
We were walking down memory lane a bit, discussing some surgeons who have retired that we both know and enjoy. The retired docs were at least fifteen years our senior. But I was feeling like I was ready to catch up with them, as I twisted my neck to ease the tightness.
With a sigh, I said to my anesthesiologist, “Well, I guess I’m just getting old.”
His eyes got big and he let out a big laugh. “Old?! You?! You and I are not old. Not at all. We’re just Old School,” he replied with wisdom in his voice.
I looked at my surgical scrub over my mask. She and I were born the same year. If we hadn’t been in the middle of a case, we would’ve High Five’d each other. We were both grinning ear to ear under our masks.
“Hurray! We’re Old School!” I said with a new lilt in my voice.
Since that day, whenever I feel a bit seasoned, I remind myself (and, often, anyone else who will listen) that I’m Old School.
I’ll be ordering the custom license plate next!