Friday, February 10, 2012

My Life in the ER: Musical Edition

Scene 1: S is walking to work in the afternoon and feeling great after spending the morning at the gym.

S: Oh, what a bright and lovely afternoon- I could break into song! The air is brisk, the sun is shining, nothing can bring me dowwwn. :musical interlude as she walks into ER:

Scene 2: Crowded ER treatment area

S: Oh my what a busy day it is,
oh my what a busy day.
The patients load is rather high and
The drunks are piled up that-a-way...

That man has a mesh bag on his head,
he must have tried to spit.
(Mesh bag head man: dramatic snore)
Those others also have been restrained,
just beware they also might spit.
(Drunk chorus: growls)

(change of key)
But I cannot complain- I'm not sitting,
and changes afoot are a-plenty.
I've got a pager now, and it rings a bell (riiing)
whenever my nurses need meeeeeeee-----

(change back into key)
Oh my Mr. Mesh bag man just woke,
oh my he just woke up now,
he's screaming that he needs to pee,
but no empty rooms I can see.

Mr Mesh bag head man (solo): I can't wait, I can't wait! I'll kill you all just wait!
Tech chorus: We have no room- just a sec- be patient and you'll go-
Mr. Mesh bag head man: I will wait, but just a sec- you need to take these off--
Tech chorus: You can pee with one hand, we won't release you-
Mr. Mesh bag head man: I can't ****ing take my pants off- you dirty *****sss-
Tech chorus: Then you will wait, Mr. MBHM, security is a-coming-
Mr. Mesh bag head man: I hate *****es!
Security: I'll help you sir, what do you need?
Mr. Mesh bag head man: Thank God!
Security: How can I help?
Mr. Mesh bag head man: I would like to be releaaased- I can't pull my pants dooown.
Security: I can help with the pants, but I won't hold it for you. (wink)

End Scene.

Scene 3: Ambulance bay

(scuffle ensues)

Nursing staff chorus (softly)
Oh my is that hot mess coming here,
Oh dear, she's rolling our way.
She's thrashing, yelling, cursing lots,
and a mesh bag is over her head.

Ms. Drunk Pregnant woman looks defiantly around and opens her mouth: AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

(she continues)

New resident chorus:
What is that?
What could that be?
It is so hard
to believe THAT is a she.

Yet she must be,
though who would want
to impregnate
somebody like that.

Let me out! Let me out!
You *****es let me out!
You are all ****ing retarded
and I want to get out.

What the ****, let me out!
what you n***** lookin' at?
Just shut the ****ing up
and let me ****out.

Bemused Very Tanned Drunk Guy:
Who you callin' a n****?

Ms. Drunk Pregnant Woman:
What the ****, shut your face,
who do you think you are,
when I get the ****ing out
of these restraints, I'll make you pay!

Mentally retarded patient in room 3: Gyahhhhhhhhhhh?

Doctor solo: Take her out as she so desires! To the ambulance bay she shall wander- until she can control her terrible mouth, she can get her ultrasound yonder. I believe I shall exercise my power, for your pleasure and your thanks, please make haste and open up- the most crude of all drunk tanks.
Nursing staff chorus: And be careful, she spits!

Scene 4: Treatment area
(from afar, synchronized trio
Tanned Drunk Man, Mesh Bag man and drunk chorus join in: AAAAAAAAAAHIIIIIIIYAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

repeat x200)

S: Oh my it has been a crazy day,
Oh my, I can't wait to go home-
I've got a candy bar waiting for me-
the sweetness will keep me warm!

Final Song:
When you go to the ER, guest,
be sure to bring ear plugs,
for though the chorus is plenty boist'rous,
you will still want to squash them like slugs.

The tale of the ER drunks must end,
for my morning is swiftly passing,
I must return to work again,
and therefore this passage is ending.

Normal Patient Chorus: Hey nurse, hey nurse, hey nurse! This place might be craaaaaayzeeeee.... But it is better than tvvvvvvvvv
Nursing Staff Chorus: It is, after all, the full moon, full moon, full moon moon.
Manager Solo: And in the eeeeend- patient satisfaction is our frieeend. Can you please stay, my favorite tech, to help patients find their way--- bring them upstairs and sign out laaaate?

S: I suppose... I ... caaaaaaannnnn.
(squeaky stretcher wheels fade into distance)
End Scene.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Family Problems

An 18 year old man was rushed into my trauma room- a bullet had gone into his back. As the physicians were crowded around, arguing with each other about the best course of action, he said quietly to me at his side, I feel it right here. There was no exit wound- there was a bullet still inside.

I put a hand over his and felt the sharp point of the bullet barely protruding from his right chest/abdomen.  "Hey, he says he feels it right over here." The doctors looked up and started moving the ultrasound probe near the bullet.

"Hey, I'm really uncomfortable, can I lie on my side?" Absolutely not, the doctors replied. And the young boy laid sulkily in the chaos, feeling unheard.  "It's because the bullet went so close to your spine. If you move, you might be paralyzed," I whispered in his ear. He nodded. He understood.

"Where were you when this happened?"
"At my grandmother's funeral."
Shot at a funeral... Really??
I had seen the new tattoo on his young neck- RIP Grandma- "Is that the tattoo on your neck?"
"No, it's the other one. And I don't want to talk about it."

Things were moving so quickly because he had to be transferred to the operating room immediately, but I couldn't help but feel for the young man- so young, with so many family problems, a bullet in his chest and nobody able to answer his basic questions.


Dumb Idea

"Why did you do it, sir?"
"Well, when you get a little bit drunk, have you ever thought maybe I'll just jump out of a window?"
"Actually, no, sir, I have never thought that."

My patient had jumped out of a second story window "just to scare (his) brothers".  Still intoxicated, he babbled happily about the party and what had gone on before he jumped.

"Oh, by the way, I can't feel or move my right leg- can you help me fix that?"

Sure, Mr. Jumper, will do. Just know that your actions have warranted that you can have no visitors, a sitter, and a lot of pain/surgery in the days to come.