poured out before bed
The reading room is warm and dark, the seductive murmur of low voices methodically dictating lulling me into a trance of shades of grey. I watch as foot after ankle after hip after spine after rib cage after skull flashes onto the monitor, listening intently as the musculoskeletal fellow marks both the unremarkable and the abnormal in mesmerizing monotone. I am fascinated by what I can see and learn just by observing (and sneaking in the odd question, not to mention taking notes for a later medscape search).
Suddenly, from across the hushed room comes a gasp. I hear the click of 20-odd dictaphones as all the radiologists in earshot wait for an announcement about “a good case.”*
“Now that’s a doozy of a two-sy!” the staff on the general radiology section exclaims. I peek about the cubicle corners to see him measuring a massive (massive) stool ball on a KUB,** shaking his head and whistling.
The collective dictaphone click recurs and the dictation hum begins again.
*Whenever there presents “a good case” – an image of any kind that is particularly rare, interesting, puzzling, or a rather severe example of any condition (except, perhaps, fecal impaction because – let’s face it – that’s just crap) – the radiologist reading it will exclaim and invite his colleagues over to intelligently “ooh and aah.”
*A KUB (kidney ureters bladder) is a type of abdominal X-ray.