Dave Brubeck, Jennifer Friedman, Sean Cole discussed on This American Life

This American Life


The woman was played by selina. Siddhu vibrated by kate. Arrington and therapist by jennifer friedman casting from harrison nesbitt in paddock. Wrote this play in at the third coast radio residency ragsdale in by the way in real life decided to have freiburg removed. She's doing fine at five on breaking my heart so For our last story about blood today we go right to the source. The machine that keeps blood pumping and flowing inside of us and somebody whose job it is to make sure. That machine works well producer. Sean cole talked to this. Man also watched them work a winning. If you are squeamish about people's insides the story has a lot of that. My favorite fun fact about blood is that it has a protein that's also found in eggs. Albumin something about that. Just strikes me as poetic the complex machine of the human body and a thing that eats for breakfast sharing the same ingredient. I learned about this fact from a heart surgeon. Dr john eliot dr e. About five years ago i drove up to yale. Newhaven hospital and talked with him about this one technique employs they'll deep hypothermic circulatory arrest aka the deep freeze often. He has to do such radical plumbing work on the heart and it's arteries that his team cools the patient's body down to sixty four degrees fahrenheit and then warms them back up again. afterwards he compares it in one way to making egg lemon soup. You don't want the egg to curdle and occurred when the cook is in a hurry. It has to simmer at a very low level in order not to curdle. Well that's because of the albumen and the egg and the bloodstream is full of albumin. So that if we warm. Too fast will basically yet scrambled eggs in the bloodstream. So gross that's catastrophic so warming takes one hour. We have to warm very slowly as long as our heating bath is no more than ten degrees warmer than the blood. The blood wall curdle. We won't get scrambled eggs. Dr ease an expert on this deep freeze method. He's been described as one of the best doctors in the country. A giant of cardiothoracic surgery when we met in two thousand fifteen. He'd been at yale for more than thirty years and done about seven thousand open heart operations at that point including maybe three hundred transplants. He dramatically lengthen. The lives of jazz musician. Dave brubeck and the writer robert ludlum longtime he did one major operation and then maybe when smaller procedure almost every weekday offered to let me watch him perform deep-freeze to watch him take a patient and literally suspend their animation. what cooling them down does. They're not dead but they show no signs of life anymore so that he could into their body disconnect a crucial oregon and fix it with his hands. It's like he's a master illusionist. Fooling death with this high stakes version of misdirection was like yeah. I was thinking the the sound of who opening a breast bone might be interesting for. I think that'd be the procedure. I observed was a three hour or grafton valve replacement and got to the. Or early about seven thirty in the morning on a thursday all bound up with a mask and scrub hat and the team was already prepping. The patient for sedation dr ian. I stood several yards away in the corner so he could go over the case with me. The patient had a arctic aneurysm. You may know by. Didn't the has the largest artery in the body and shaped candy. cane an aneurysm. Just means that part of it. The curved part at the top in this case had become swollen stretched like a balloon filling with air so the wall of it was too thin unlike many other diseases. It doesn't have any symptoms until it ruptures. The first symptom is usually rupture or death. That seems like it's more than a sympton. Yes it's a conclusion conclusion. Yeah that's very well stated. The patient was still awake at. This point is wide open. Listening to one of the anesthesiologist had a brown moustache. A beer gut looked nervous leaning toward afraid within minutes he was unconscious and they were painting. Naked body all over with an iodine based taped. His eyes shut then. They swaddled him completely in plastic and blue surgical sheets which made the whole thing feel much more impersonal. Doctor seems to care a lot about his patients. But this is what. I began to understand how automotive his work is managing the proper function of this motor with its valves and chambers in sparks. Propelling a person's blood. Finally they made the first incision. They're opening up now opening ephemeral artery. Down elvis a low blood in dockery was right in the sound of them. Song opened the breast bound. Was i guess. We can go with alarming. Then they inserted the chest separator like a reverse vice instead of squeezing things together it spreads them apart molly watched on a wall monitor the circulating nurse. Patty lafond came over and explained to me that they were slicing open. The pericardium is kind of protective sac. Around the heart. And you know it came with that extra bit of packaging and is that is that the liver no the big lark. That's the lung. Wow almost see it expand and contract with breath. She was right. I watched the lungs expand and contract with this placid rhythm that made me think of ocean waves rolling in and out it was earthly and it was familiar and then things got a lot more intense holy crap oli oli smokes boy treading tissue cutting tissue or been sort of like pushing the lung to the left. Whoa broken through to the heart. Which is feeding sort of jumping like a fish and his chest like an angry fish trying violently to escape. But even that's too terrestrial a description for what this looked like. It looked alien. Like creature in a sci fi movie with no familial relationship to humanity. It was startling. Almost frightening. And i will never forget it to think that same thing essentially is also inside of me and dr e and all of you and everyone but when you see it. He think that thing is not to be trusted. Just then dr. Es me. If i wanted to come up cop meant onto the stool. Just behind the blue drape that separates the sterile area where they were operating from the rest of the room. I was standing almost exactly above the patient's body looking down into it and being that close as felt like i was looking at something so fundamental and and i felt like this is not something. A regular schmuck. Let me is supposed to see like if your guts are exposed. And i'm there. It usually means something's gone really wrong. Realize that hearts for so big one thing. I tried to convey a different writings for the general public. Is the beauty of the body. The.

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