Sunday, December 21, 2008

ToP TeN FuN things to do in an Emergency room

1. Poke fun at the “clone/s”. They’re the wannabe’s. You know…I wannabe a doctor so please tell me your story so I can go and try and repeat what you said to the wannabe resident doctor who wants to be the attending doctor who wants to be the genuine article and the last person in the hospital food chain. They’re all genuine and work hard but I still enjoy the deer in the headlights look when you explain what is going on with your body.
2. See which size of the Kimberly-Clark Sterling Nitrile Powder-Free Exam Gloves (isn’t that a mouthful) fits. My size: Medium
3. Take a nap – Oh yeah, sure – About the time you’ve given up on expecting that they’ll come to your curtained cell and you close your eyes someone comes in to ask you an important question. It's difficult to answer with spittle in the corner of your mouth.
4. Stay quiet and listen to the “life trauma” going on around you.
5. Count the empty specimen jars in the bin on the wall. Ponder the number your bladder could fill, if full : - ).
6. Pick the dog hair, deposited by the three stooges at home, off your fleece shirt. Why the hell didn’t I notice I looked like a hairball this morning?
7. Start a hash list ( llll ) and keep track of the number of times Housekeeping is called to go and clean something up! I keep wondering what it is.
8. Sing to yourself. Be brave, and sing out loud because you might get some really good medication. My favorite tonight has been “Doctor, doctor give me the news – I got a bad case of lovin’ you”.
9. Read a magazine or book – You were smart enough to pack one, right?

Interesting (or NOT) thought about nurses. Traditionally nurses were always female, as were stewardesses. But when they hired males why did they get a new title? First the boys were called “steward” and then they all became flight attendants. Why the new designation? I mean why did someone think it so generic a noun (nurse) that when males joined the ranks it wasn’t worth changing! I’m thinking it was some committee of doctors who figured they deserved all the titles (Internist, Surgeon, and Dermatologist). Why wouldn’t everyone in their universe be referred to by some non-descriptive gelding driven adjective or noun?

They put a Greenfield Filter in my hubby’s leg. You Michigander’s are going to recognize this pun….Does this mean we get a free pass to the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village? Or is he going to go off like a bomb or bell – Bata boom, Bata, bing – when we visit? Do we get a prize? We were at Henry Ford Hospital after all.

10. You can collect a list of famous hospital lines:

  • This might hurt a little, feel cold, hot, pinch, sting.
  • Just a little poke.
  • Alright _____, I’ll be back to see how you’re doing…

”Hi my name is_____________, and I’m here to_____________.”

Really people, you’re nice and all and just doing your job but why don’t you just say, “HI, I’m your Phlebotomist” It’s not like I need to know the first name of everyone in the hospital Besides, I always think - What’s good for the goose is good for gander. So why isn’t the doctor coming in and introducing himself by his/her first name? Why stand on all of that formality after you ordered all the poking and prodding. And, IF you “gotta’ be all that” just give me your employee number, do your job, and move on. But then again, maybe if everyone used first names and came over for dinner once in awhile you’d think twice about how you actually treated them when they were in your “care”. What a concept, huh?

Actually my very favorite line as of last night is this: “Where does it hurt?” I heard countless people (attending physicians, senior physicians, nurses, aids, house physicians, (ad infinitum), ask the same people in other curtained cells this question over and over and over.

Answer: I have a chart the size of Texas and you’re the fifteenth person to ask me the same damn questions. Isn’t that chart important? You have to send the stinking thing with me to every department I go to. Nurses live in fear they’ll forget it. So, why don’t you pick it up and read for yourself where I hurt. Then, you and I can have a MEANINGFUL conversation. Pick it up and read it – I’ll still be here when you’re done.

Ah, four hours later…………………and Doogie Howser from Neurology comes in. WTF! I mean it too! This squirt of a kid is going to someday operate on someone’s nervous system and I’m sitting here making him nervous with my questions. Once he handed me back a piece of paper I wrote my questions on and said that the house doctor (Is that Doctor House? – Woo Hoo, now we’ll get some answers) would answer all of those. Uh OH! Let me repeat myself, WTF. Okay Doogie, then here is something you can do for me. “Go fetch me the genuine article because I need someone old enough to have the keys to the cookie jar if you’re not allowed to answer the questions yet.” Do you think I got the deer in the headlights look then? Can you just see him slinking away? Tough – suck it up. If you can’t play by my rules then get out of my sandbox with your scalpel. I only do cute on Tuesdays – Saturday’s are tough.

Let’s see, I think I’m losing my sense of humor, nope, still in tact. It’s a tad on the sardonic side but alive and ticking. I've been wondering if I am channeling George Carlin. Maybe I can create a line of hospital beads. Hmmmmmm, lets make some preliminary sketches. Perhaps I’ll show you those sometime.

At about hour six things really got interesting. I started to wander, and it makes the clones even more nervous. I looked at the people in the other cells and nodded my head. We were all about the same age, give or take a decade. I kept imagining an uprising of the middle- aged captives.

I think I'll introduce you to my cell mates. There had beenf two across from us who used the same bed. Both of them were vomiters. One by illness and the other via an overdose of drugs – they gave him charcoal in a tube. I don’t think he had to worry about the drugs. His mother looked like I’d look in that situation. Kitty corner was interesting. The clones kept going into this one guy’s room and doing the repetitive question thing. Once, when the king of the clones was in the cell he asked the poor man when it was he drank last. The man looked up at them and seemed puzzled. He answered that he drank that morning. The clone had to rephrase the question. Point for homeless drunk guy! On the other side was a moaner, then a whiner, and there was a screamer down the hall. I think the clones had their hands full – we were definitely winning. I began to tire of the game and decided I wanted to take my sandbox shovels and go home.

I actually amuse pretty easily. I’m an only child and can play endlessly with absolutely zip. I love airports and big lobbies. They’re interesting and full of people buzzing about. We, us and our collectivve cellmates, were stagnating and starting to smell (I know the drunk did because he couldn’t make it to the bathroom and used a bed pan - Oh Lord help me). “Yo, brother from another mother, been here an hour without a visit”. Hello out there? (I heard an echo – where’d they go?). Oh for Pete’s sake. And then I saw it. They called in reinforcements and they were briefing them too. The clone shift changed and in came the new recruits. They came to the curtained cells and it started all over. “Hi, my name is Doctor First Year Student. I bet you’re ready to get discharged.” Now that was the freakin’ understatement of the year!

My friends know that at this point I would consider this cheerful new face the first victim in a competition of wits I was not about to lose. Send in all the fresh replacements you want. Think fried green tomatoes – “Face it girls. I’m older and I have more insurance!” I thrust the questions into Dr. First Year’s face. “Be glad to, but first you’re going to have to have to answer some questions.” It was high noon at the OK Corral. He began to read them. I was confused (for a millisecond!). He began to read them aloud and answer them. Cool Beans First Year. Then he made the fatal volley, “I’ll go get your discharge papers.” Nope!! Whoa, hold on there Tonto. Your Lone Ranger here needs an answer to question number one. “Stop right there!”I shrieked. “Yes, Madam, is there something else I can do?” Stupid, stupid boy! “Ah huh, you missed a question,” I raised a brow and looked over my glasses. Slowly he turned around, cleared his throat, and read it aloud. Deer in the headlights – prey for the middle aged – boy toy doctor. “Yes, that’s it – go ahead – answer that one.”

“I can’t”, he said. I knew that (I thought quietly). You see, at that point I just wanted to make him say it out loud. Admit that he, his colleagues, and minions could not figure out why my DH’s ankle and leg were swollen. It’s like a game of chess. You strategize, play the game, and go in for the kill – CHECKMATE!

It wasn’t a wasted day. I already knew the answer to the question. Exhausting, but not wasted. What I do know for sure is that whatever caused his tootsies to swell was NOT life threatening. We had the test results to prove it. All things considered, on our 12 week roller coaster ride, this was not the worst day. No new blood clot, no infection. “See your family doctor and don’t forget your follow up with your Neurosurgeon.” I let him have that one.

Eight Hours – Fifteen Minutes.


Janel said...

Oh, honey, I wish I could give you a hug! Sounds like you could use one. This has progressed from an ordeal into the realm of surreal.

Speaking from personal experience, blood gushing from the hub's head makes the clones move faster.

And yes, I think your hubby gets a lifetime pass to Greenfield Village. Just scan his leg and away you go!


susanlambert said...

Wish I'd been there with you. Really.
Maybe we could have laughed until we cried... laughed until we had to sit on the floor. Because you have the best sense of humor even in rotten situations.
Then we would have ate chocolate. Good chocolate from the vending machines.

angelinabeadalina said...

Hugs and a few choice smartass remarks about Doogie Howsers playing grownup from me, too :) That first year baby might actually turn into a decent doc someday-- if he could utter "I don't know," then there's hope!

Sharon Driscoll said...

Thanks Guys I really needed the support. We're going to get's just a step at a time. I guess that's kind of figuratively and literally at the moment. You're going to make me cry......mb

rosebud101 said...

Sharon, Hang in there! ((((HUGS))))