Monday, December 24, 2018

....and to all, a good night

Christmas rerun while I wait for my Christmas Eve Chinese food.  

It all started on Christmas night.

It was pretty quiet; we were hanging out in the waiting room watching a very boring movie and chatting when I noticed that the ancient, chipped Nativity set on the small table next to me seemed somehow incomplete.

"Hey", I said to nobody in particular, " did this Nativity come with a Baby Jesus?".

Ellen sat bolt upright. "What?! You gotta be kidding me. I put that out myself! Maybe it fell on the floor?"

We searched around, but it was nowhere to be found. "It's really gone! Who would do that? Who would steal the Baby Jesus? Who would be that low?", said Ellen.

"Well, maybe someone just took it for a joke; you know, like those lawn ornament thingies?", suggested Mary.

"You mean garden gnomes; people would pose them in vacation spots and took pictures? Then they sent the people pictures of their gnomes on vacation?", I said.

"Yes, just like that. Maybe someone took Jesus on vacation", offered Mary.

“Why not?" I said, "to quote my daughter K: 'I like to think of Jesus as wearin’ a Tuxedo T-shirt, ‘cause it says,‘I want to be formal, but I’m here to party too.’"

"That is just terrible. I'm very upset about this", said Ellen in a huff.

I just think it is kind of ironic that someone took the very symbol of one of the most holy days of the Christian calendar from a religious hospital. But that wasn't the end of it, which brings me around to the Christmas decoration sweep over the weekend. Not only was the Baby Jesus MIA, but so was the Mary figurine.

Now Ellen is nearly apoplectic.

"Oh, more crime; what kind of person steals pieces of a Nativity scene. REALLY! People will stop at nothing these days, it is so sad."

“Dear Tiny Jesus, in your golden fleece diapers, with your curled-up, balled-up little fists pawin’ at the air…”

But wait! There's more. During the Christmas cleanup it was discovered that the nativity scene was also missing a farm animal.

Where has Donkey gone? Is he on vacation as well?

Donkey: Oh, man! Where do I begin? First there was the time the farmer traded me for some magic beans. I ain't never gotten over that. Then this fool went off and had a party, and they all starting trying to pin a tail on me. Then they all got drunk, and started hitting me with sticks, yelling "PiñataPiñata!" What the hell is a piñata, anyway?

This news nearly puts poor Ellen over the edge until Chris from the lab offered an explanation.

"Oh, that. The head broke off, so since I couldn't find the head, I threw the rest of it away".

It is with some effort that I restrain myself from any comments regarding the business end of a donkey. And we have not as yet received any vacation photos, just saying.

Still, I was a little surprised at the lack of quality of the entire sorry set anyway, it should have been long retired. No manger, just a bunch of wise men, a donkey and the holy family sitting on a TV table in the waiting room. Not even in a place of honor.

When I actually put up a nativity set in my house when my kids were small, it went on top of the piano (which I also no longer have). It was the highlight of the Christmas decorating routine, with my kids placing the figures in various positions which were rearranged on a daily basis.

You may recall that my mother was scandalized when the baby Jesus was found to occupy a position on top of the manger when I was a kid, however, that was normal for my family. Often, the scene was embellished with one of the many dozens of Fisher-Price doll people, as well as Match Box cars, Transformers, plastic toy soldiers, boats, china animals, and a fence from one of the 50-pack plastic farm animal sets, many of which also joined the fun. The 3 wise men were plenty crowded; it was quite a party in there. My mother just shook her head.

My daughter drew the line at the plastic He-Man and other Masters of the Universe that my son J would add. "That's not 'propriate", she would say.

"He's guarding Jesus", J would explain.

Usually, though, at the end of the day Jesus was on the roof, but He-Man was at his post protecting him, and all was right with the world.

Next year I'm gonna bring in that He-Man in case Jesus returns. Just sayin'.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Well, ok...

That last post was so I could add one more than last year.

But I just wanted to add to my post of a couple of days ago in which my family member experienced the joys of the season in the ER.  She has been admitted to the hospital and doing pretty well.  The family looks to me to be critical, but she has been receiving excellent care.

On the way in to the hospital a couple of days later to visit I encountered a locked door.  I'm not all that familiar with the hospital anymore.  It has been over 40 years since I knew my way around, and it has changed drastically.

Along with the locked door, I encountered a confused older woman with a cane who inquired as to where the main entrance might be.

(I assume I must have some kind of light radiating from me that indicates I am a health care professional and stand at the ready to render assistance).

"I think it's up the hill there", I pointed.  "I came in this door the other day".

"Well, it took me a long time to get here, I'm not going to be able to get up that hill", she looked mildly distressed, glancing around and waiting for someone to save her.

Sigh.  "I'm going to try this door right down this ramp.  I'll come down with you, then check to see it there door is open".

We walked down the incline, and I deposited her on a bench, huffing.  As I clearly saw people walking out the door, I called back to inquire if she wanted me to get her a wheelchair.

"Yes, if you can get someone to push it".

Sigh.  That would be me.

I settled her into the wheelchair and we entered the building.  There was no reception area, only a bank of elevators.   I asked her which floor she would be visiting on.

She looked blank.  "I don't know".

Sigh.  Sigh.  I espied a telephone on a table nearby, and pushed her next to it.  "OK, pick up that phone, dial "o", and ask, the operator will direct you".

Brief conversation ensued.  "X Building, 9th floor", she said with satisfaction, clearly in no rush to find someone other than myself to take her there.  Good thing I was headed to the same building, except I was only going to the 7th.  But first she had to drop the stack of papers she was carrying.  She wasn't going to pick it up.  I couldn't leave it.

So,  I took her in the wheelchair up the elevator  to the 9th.  "I am ok from here", she said as I neared a wheelchair stall around the corner from the nurses station.  "Thank you, and I'll be sure to pay it forward"

"I'm sure someone will be very grateful, have a nice day".

Later, as I was headed to my car in the parking lot, another older, confused appearing woman stopped me.  "Do you know where the main entrance is?"

Sigh.  Sigh.  Sigh.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

All is calm

A family member had an ER experience.  Although she had a medical issue,  her room was located in the area where they house the psych patients.  5 security guards in the immediate vicinity.  Text to Mr. EDNurseasauras:

“Guy 2 beds down is talking about how he rat poisoned his family’s thanksgiving dinner, not enough to kill them.  Just to let them know that he could.  A few minutes ago they were each claiming to be a nurse.  Further clarified, one of them was a CNA a few years ago.  The other one has spent a lot of time in mental health institutions, which he considers fully qualifies as nursing education.”

Sigh.  Just another day at the office.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

...and now for something completely different.

One of my favorite security guards accompanied me to my car.  After being accosted in the parking lot late at night last year, the older guys always ask me if I want an escort.  As I was parked in East Bum, I accepted.

Steve was having a laugh at one of the nasty frequent flyer drunks.  He was being his usual nasty, liquor-fueled courageous self, standing at the door of his room, making demands, hurling curses.  After being repeatedly told to get back into the room by Steve (and since the rest of us were completely ignoring him) he pulled down his pants and exposed himself.

"There you go!  How do you like that?  Huh?  Huh?  Take that!"  He waggled his hips pointedly for good measure.

Everyone within earshot froze in place and stared....for about 4 seconds.  Then life went merrily on, as usual.  Nothing to see here.

The police were called.

"What do you want to do with him?", the officer asked.

Steve: "I wanted to tell him to just put him in a trebuchet and fucking launch him across the city".

Me: "Fetchez la vache!!"*

*you either get that quote and are laughing your butt off, or you don't.  

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Saving fil

One of my favorite PA's is Fil.  It rhymes with Phil.  He's a good guy, careful, doesn't get rattled.  He's very funny in a dry, Sonoran Desert kind of way.  He is also one of the few providers who not only reads ALL the notes, but scrutinizes the medications and past medical history.  He sees me heading out to triage, and rubs his hands in gleeful anticipation.  Well, for him gleeful is a silent nod or raising his eyebrows.

"How's the storm out there?"  Meaning the waiting room.  "What kind of trouble are we getting into today?"

I do all I can to get a reaction out of Fil.  It makes my day.  

Fil appreciates when my triage contains nothing but a rambling quote.

Fil: "So I enjoyed your triage note.  I think you were trying to say she was crazy".

Me: "Yep".

I had a patient who is well known for her bat-shit craziness and over the top hysterics.  In the dead of winter, she managed to get a fish hook stuck in her thumb.

She, as usual, plunged into hysterics, begging the registration clerk to see a doctor  right away because of the horrible pain and serious nature of her injury.

Apparently her cat jumped up on the table while she was sorting and organizing her fishing gear.  Fluffy absconded with a triple hook lure, the hook embedded in the patient's hand when she tried to take it away.

I kept the triage note brief, eschewing punctuation.

"Fishing lure embedded in thumb while trying to catch a cat"

Coffee spewed.  Mission accomplished.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

I just know

Auntie is my fav charge nurse on the 3-11 shift.  I've known her for years, we work well together.  She says really great things about me on my annual evaluation.

 Auntie usually has something to say if I show my face for part of any other shift other than evenings. "I need you on my shift, you aren't going to work days now are you?  I think we have a contract", she jokes....kind of.

I always reassure her that it is a special case, a swap for kid's school play, doctor's appointment, whatever.

I agreed to work an unprecedented 7-3 shift in its entirety for one of the junior older nurses (meaning about 10 years younger than me).  For a rarely offered TNCC class.

Actual text exchange with Auntie after she perused the schedule for the following week:

"I see a D next to your name on the 10th.  I believe that goes against our contract" Frowny face emoji)

"I'm working for LA so she could do TNCC.  I did much soul searching, agreed to do it, and hoped you wouldn't see it" (laughing so hard I'm crying emoji)

"lol I'm watching you" (monocle emoji x 5).

Oh, I know you are.