If ever I felt like a doctor, it was the day I successfully intubated a whole human (technically 2) being(s) on my very own. It was obviously not your average scenario as Murphy would have it.
You see, Intubation is a tricky but very necessary skill to have. If you cannot intubate, patients will die and you will be held accountable.
The fine art of placing the thin plastic tube between the elusive vocal cords in the throat and directly into the lungs, to assume the very big duty of breathing and keeping this human being alive. It’s a marvelous feat and a scary one too.
The vocal cords in my opinion deserve a sonnet, a poem, a story, an ode and a lengthy book just on its glorious beauty. Searching and digging in a persons throat with harsh metal equipment probably swished in blood and mucous, using the so called laryngoscope to find these 2 delicate marble wings fluttering behind the epiglottis. Open and closed. Taunting you in the most beautiful paradoxical manner there is. Beyond the cords lie the lungs. All you see is the blackness of everything a person is.
The enigmatous cords slip away as you try and fumble to get the tube through the marble orifice. It slips upward and onward, rejecting your tube with a bounce. Attempt concluded. Humbled, you become. Theres no time to feel failure, because fear drowns your thoughts. “What if i can’t… The beeping cuts your thoughts short.
You continue bagging until the saturation monitor shows 100 percent. The prelude to round 2. You position the neck, hoping it’s not yet a corpse.
In you go once again. Sweat drips down your forehead, obscuring your view. You forge ahead. You spot the cords after what seems like an age of searching and you gently maneuver the tube into the darkness below the cords.
The moment of truth. Everyone around you strains their neck searching for the blue line on the saturation monitor. You cannot believe how a persons life (and yours) can hang in the balance of a simple number and a blue line.
You bag gently but vigorously. 67.. 68.. 65.. Doubt fills your mind.. 66.. 67.. 69.. Maybe not.. Maybe it’s in the oesophagus… 70… 69… But Maybe… 71… Maybe just maybe! 72.. 74.. 79.. 84.. Yes.. The tube is in!! 89.. 95.. 99.. 100… Your sweat is still pouring. But you can breathe a sigh of relief.
Now, securing the tube. If you don’t have enough practise, you can cause a major disaster and displacement. Gently maneuvering the strapping around the delicate tubing which you are holding on for dear life.
You stare proudly at the saturation monitor. 100 percent. You can’t contain your excitement, but you dont have to because out of the corner of your eye, keeping your excitement at bay, flashes an alarming blood pressure of 60/22. You get weak in your knees, and not the good kind (trust me!).