Tuesday, November 25, 2008


In my inventorying duties, I sorted thousands of surgical sutures (the needle and thread that you use to sew up a patient) into grey plastic bins by a tiny number at the top of each packet. These were homeless sutures that had been taken out of boxes or that had fallen out or that were rescued from boxes that were falling apart. At best, a tedious enterprise. I spread them out over the living room floor in a carefully-constructed system so that each bins of sutures of the same type (silk, prolene, chromic catgut--my favorite) were touching and unlike sutures were not. This task satisfied my compulsive list-making sickness but reaffirmed that I have a difficult time with small repetitive tasks. We finally got them over to the office today, a somewhat anxious procedure for me as we had to put the topless bins in the car to be jostled around on the bad roads. Fortunately they all made it, and they were counted and stacked into neat rows and inventoried. Actual "packing" into the storeroom is pending, but I am triumphant as I write that, barring earthquake or civil unrest (both pretty unlikely), we have won the suture war. My war against the insects, however, is not going well ever since our d├ętente failed in early November. One step at a time.

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