Visualize this: Your Intrepid Correspondent, lying in the Comfy Chair at the oral surgeon's office. I'm leaned back, neck hyperextended, and I'm just *barely* not tearing the arms off the chair because of the lidocaine injection. (Note to future doctors: the feeling of lidocaine being injected is not a "pinch". Quit using that word.)
Suddenly it strikes me that I have sixteen gazillion instruments in my mouth and I can't swallow. Worse, the spit is building up horribly at the back of my throat, but I have to keep my tongue out of the way, so I'm afraid that I'll choke.
And in swoops the assistant with the suction catheter. She was gentle, thorough, and seemed to suction me every time right *before* I needed it.
I am going to go over and over her technique in my head later, once it's not all swimmy, and try to improve my own suctioning skills. There really is a skill to it, and she was good. Very, very good.
2. Remind patients not to look at their own incision sites, especially when those sites are likely to look like somebody drove a coal-fired locomotive through a huge mass of charred Jello.
It's scary, and I knew what I was looking at, mostly. If I have to show a patient a horrible incision site, I am *so* gonna do it next when we have plenty of time and they have plenty of meds on board.
Now to figure out how in hell to brush my teeth. Hm.