Jack’s Story While Being Stitched By Kate

November 9, 2006

He’s a smart fella:

KATE: You don’t seem afraid at all. I don’t understand that.

JACK: Well, fear’s sort of an odd thing. When I was in residency my first solo procedure was a spinal surgery on a 16 year old kid, a girl. And at the end, after 13 hours, I was closing her up and I, I accidentally ripped her dural sac, shredded the base of the spine where all the nerves come together, membrane as thin as tissue. And so it ripped open and the nerves just spilled out of her like angel hair pasta, spinal fluid flowing out of her and I: and the terror was just so crazy. So real. And I knew I had to deal with it.┬áSo I just made a choice. I’d let the fear in, let it take over, let it do its thing, but only for 5 seconds, that’s all I was going to give it. So I started to count, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Then it was gone. I went back to work, sewed her up and she was fine.

KATE: If that had been me, I think I would have run for the door.

JACK: No, I don’t think that’s true. You’re not running now.

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