NEW YORK, NY – As cardiothoracic surgeon Timothy Carter sews his patient’s sternum closed after successful repair of an ascending aortic aneurysm, he can’t help but wonder if he might have left his wallet in the patient’s chest cavity.
Oh man, where’s my wallet? thought Carter to himself, starting to worry a bit. Okay, okay, stay calm… Hmmm, I definitely didn’t leave my wallet in the ascending aorta since I just fixed that. Did I leave it in the descending aorta? I doubt it… I couldn’t have… Or could I? Man, I don’t know…
Anesthesiology Roberta White saw a few beads of sweat form on Carter’s forehead as he stared up for a few moments to gather himself.
“Is everything okay, Tim?” asked White. She momentarily put down her Sudoku pen to check in on her colleague.
“Uhhh… yeah… yeah… Yeah! Things are fine!” Carter reassured White, shaking his head to snap himself out of it. “Thanks for asking though.”
It feels like my wallet’s in my back pocket… right? Carter continued to ponder. Oh man, that’d be bad if I left it in there… He look down at his patient’s now closed sternum and rib cage.
Now that I think about, where’s my phone? Gosh, I hope I didn’t drop that too, Carter now began to mull. Ugh. Come on, Tim! Get back on track, man!