Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Virtual Surgery

My eight-year-old performed surgery today. She started with knee surgery on a man in his seventies, and then moved on to a hip replacement.

She let me watch the hip replacement. I was fascinated, since I work in a field that sees people recovering from joint surgeries all the time. She viewed the X-ray and made sure she had the right size parts for the job. Then she drew on the hip to mark the point of incision.

The next part is a little graphic, so the faint of heart should beware. She used a scalpel to make the incision, and used a zapper (clinical term) to cauterize the bleeding. She separated the fat layer with spreaders, then cut back the muscle tissue, being careful to avoid the sciatic nerve.

I could go on, but it gets complicated. I actually learned how they do hip replacements through an internet video game. The site is called EdHeads (http://www.edheads.org/) and is sponsored by Ohio State University Medical Center. Edheads is a non-profit organization, which creates unique, educational web experiences that are free to teachers, students and parents. They even give teachers lesson plans to work with.

The game my daughter found at school today was intended for 7th graders and older, mostly because it is at least as graphic as a cartoon version of surgery on The Learning Channel. Cutting through muscle and bone didn’t seem to phase her a bit. I have to admit, It was hard to look when she turned the lady’s leg to pop it in and out of joint.

My daughter has said she’s wanted to be a doctor since she was two years old, when her brother was born. We’ve encouraged her, and she has since mentioned wanting to be an artist, rock star, and a teacher, while practicing medicine. It might just happen. She has a strong desire to learn and help others. She’s always wanted to be an obstetrician up to this point, but maybe she’ll consider orthopedics now.

I cannot begin to imagine the possibilities in store for my children as they grow, learn, and explore. When they graduate college, there will be technology available that will solve problems we don’t even have yet. I pray for God’s blessings on their lives, that they reach their full potential, and use it to make a difference in the world.

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