Friday, February 09, 2007


The strains of the Carly Simon song "Anticipation" ran through my head as I watched the spinal fluid slowly, slowly drip from the spinal needle. I was doing a spinal tap on a baby and the slow moving fluid reminded me of the old Heinz ketchup - the slow ketchup - commercial where the ketchup gradually pours from the bottle while Carly Simon's song plays in the background.

It can be a little tricky when the spinal fluid takes so long to come out. You have two choices. You can take your time and wait for the fluid to come, but then the spinal tap takes seemingly forever to do, and the baby is stuck with a needle in her back for a long time. On the other hand, if you try to make it come out faster by turning or pushing in the needle, the fluid can either stop coming out or turn bloody, neither of which is desirable.

I decided to be patient and just wait. The baby didn't seem to mind - she had actually fallen asleep. To pass the time the nurses and I talked about the astronaut who drove from Houston to Florida to confront a possible romantic rival. You may have heard the story. That two members of this love triangle were astronauts was interesting enough, but the fact that the astronaut wore diapers from Houston to Florida so she wouldn't have to stop made it seem like a tale from the land of the bizarre. It turns out that astronauts wear diapers during takeoffs and landings, which makes sense, I guess, if you think about it - something I had never done before. I don't know about you, but when I see astronauts walking out to the shuttle I'll never think of them the same way again. I'll just be wondering if their diapers are clean.

We finally finished the spinal tap and I removed the needle from the baby's back. The baby, who had been so good during the procedure, now started crying, which seemed a little paradoxical. I looked around and could see no romantic rival to her; maybe she just needed her diaper changed.


Blogger Laura said...

now not only do i have a ong stuck in my head but an image too!

11:34 AM  
Blogger Dream Mom said...

I agree the diapers did make it sound bizarre. I just saw the Space Station 3D at the IMAX therater last week so the diaper thing made sense after seeing them try to eat and the food floating through space. You can add your own visuals and the diapers might be looking a little better.

11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dream Mom,

They only wear the diapers during take-off and re-entry, silly!

12:01 PM  
Blogger Dream Mom said...

Anon-I understood; I was just trying to be funny.

1:47 PM  
Anonymous Chris and Vic said...

I wanted to comment on waiting . . . the wisdom of waiting, and not imposing our gosh-awful pace on babies.

When I was oriented in the NICU a long time ago, before developmental care, we were taught to "get in and get out," of the isolettes so as not to let the babies get cold, with open port holes. We "flipped" babies over and back in our efforts to be quick. Now, with developmental care, we move deliberately slowly, like ND is saying---some babies stay asleep during cares or even during painful procedures.

Containing the kiddos as we do the cares, keeping them flexed and moving slowly---all these are the developmental principles (I work at one of the midwest NIDCAP training centers for developmental care---Heidi Als came to our center many years ago, to help inspire and train us). It is sooo pro-baby!
Chris and Vic

5:02 PM  
Blogger Surgeon in my dreams said...

and I was worried about the outline of my pad showing....snort-snort!!

You're so right NeoDoc, I'll think about that every time they are in the news now.

2:07 PM  
Blogger sexy said...







2:05 AM  

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