47- Tasteless canteen food and a shock of reality.

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(James)

Taking a mouthful of the tasteless pasta I cringe. The food of the hospital refectory has always been unpleasant but since I started to eat Harry's meals regularly it became unbearable.

Dispirited, I raise my head and catch sight of Teddy standing with a tray on his hands while looking around for a free seat in the bustling hall. His eyes also locate me and, when I wave, he gives me a goofy big smile and starts to wander around the tables and chairs in my direction. Though I haven't been hearing about his extramarital adventures anymore, his personality is still as annoying as always.

"Hey." Teddy greats while placing his tray in front of me and taking a seat.

"Hey." I great back then force myself to gobble down another portion of the offensive grub on my plate. If I don't chew much, the taste is less noticeable.

Teddy takes a mouthful of his own food. – Are those beans? I mean, are they supposed to look like that? - After swallowing he asks "Do you remember Mrs. Clark? You made her preoperative evaluation."

Probing at my memory I try to recall but as preoperative evaluation for cardiac risk is something we have to do before most operations, including plastic surgery, the number of patients that pass by me before going to Teddy's scalpel is not little. Failing I say "Sorry, but no."

"Middle-aged, dyed blond hair, short." Teddy recites to stimulate my brain but I just shake my head because, honestly, that can describe a lot of people.

"Her husband is a banker twenty years older than her." He attempts once more.

This time there is a sparkle of recognition. After some mental work, I do know who he is talking about.

"Right." I nod. "How is she?"

"Deformed." Teddy says in a serious tone, then, seeing my startled and confused expression, explains "She insisted on filling the saline breast implants to 1400cc each and she is tiny."

"You put 1400cc in a woman with a small frame like that?" I can't prevent the displeasure from showing on my voice. One of the Hippocratic precepts is 'no-maleficence' towards the patient so even if it is her wish I can't really approve such extreme intervention.

"Not me. Robinson. You know he would do anything for money." Teddy doesn't seem pleased too. Despite his frivolous behavior, he has always been a responsible doctor.

Sighing I let go of the matter.

After all, it is true that she is most likely happy right now. Even if there is a high probability of future complications like chronic back pain, and the need for further restorative surgeries as the skin of her breasts stretches, she got what she wanted.

In the end, the only thing I can do is to not go against my morals in my own medical practice and let others act as they think they should.

While I am distracted reflecting, Teddy raises his fork and shaking it loosely asks "By the way, how are things with that boyfriend of yours?" It is so 'Teddy-like' to ask about my gay relationship in the middle of the overpopulated dinner hall that I don't even bother to get mad.

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