Friday, September 28, 2007

Falling Asleep in the CT Scanner

I read a short article on the Fox News website, “A cancer patient who was left alone in a CT scanner for hours after a technician apparently forget about her finally crawled out of the device, only to find herself locked in the closed clinic.”


“A physician who works at the practice and knew of the incident said it’s not the first time such a thing has happened.”

“People have been left in the office after hours, when something like that happens — it’s the same sort of thing,” said Dr. Steven Ketchel. “My guess is she was lying on the table, waiting and waiting and nobody told her she could go home.”

I’ve been inside CT and MRI scanners a couple of times; earlier this year I had the benefit of being under the influence of morphine and fell asleep easily right in the middle of the scanning process, that’s when they found out I had a gall bladder problem, not a heart attack. I’d have to wonder about the technician leaving since they are responsible for managing each phase of the scan, even with the recorded instructions built into the CT unit.

Several years ago I was at the chiropractor’s office and was on the table with the TENS unit buzzing away on my sore back with the lights off prior to receiving an adjustment. There was a built in timer to turn off the TENS unit and I was enjoying the quiet. A patient came in for some emergency help, having been involved in an automobile accident. The entire staff dropped everything to assist the poor fellow who was in considerable pain.

About an hour later one of the technicians remembered that I’d been left in there all that time awaiting my turn for an adjustment. The doctor performed her magic and didn’t charge me for the visit, embarrassed that a patient could have been ignored for such a long time; not bad for an hour of peace and quiet.

Yesterday I was working on three old “beaters”, change that to “fine automobiles” where it must have been a hundred and forty degrees or so inside while making ignition keys so these units could go to the auction. The used car manager’s desk was busy when I went to turn in my paperwork and hand over the keys so I got distracted, placing the tagged keys in my shirt pocket while making a duplicate key for one of the salesmen. I got my purchase orders from a secretary who was helping divert folks away from the manager’s desk and was glad to be finished.

I drove to my next job, several miles away, and made a door key for a fellow who showed me, pointing through the passenger side window where it had fallen off the key ring and landed on the floor just as the door closed and locked. I “read” the cuts on the key that was resting on the floor mat so I could generate one just like it to open the door, a really neat locksmith trick that impresses folks no end since they’re expecting a “Slim Jim” or other car opening tool. I reached into my pocket to write down the information, spaces and depths for each cut, prior to cutting the key; that’s when I snapped to the fact that I’d driven off the last job without turning over the keys I’d made for those three fine automobiles.

The drive back to the car dealership to hand them the keys I’d made earlier was humbling; recognizing that we all make mistakes is a reminder not to judge others too harshly.

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