Saturday, November 26, 2005

I'm So Vain, I Probably Think This Blog Is About Me

I wonder if anyone has informed the American College of Cardiology that Bayer Aspirin does not affect the heart! Boy, what a relief that must have been in 1928. And don't forget to demand it!


I finished a twelve-hour shift in the wee hours of this morning. Everybody who has ever worked in an ER knows that the day after Thanksgiving is unadulterated hell. Friday was no exception. It reminded me of a story about Joe Montana who, near the end of his football career, took a particularly hard hit. As he lay on the turf he looked up and told the guy who sacked him, "I'm too old for this s***!"

I believe I shall take that as my personal motto.

I'll chalk up a few post-shift aches and pains to age. I'm mean, I'm not in my twenties anymore, my thirties are but a memory and while I'm still on the sunny side of fifty I thought I was holding up pretty good. Anyway, I come home, grab the computer and lay on the floor catching up on some blog reading. After about an hour or so, I decided I had better get to bed before dawn.

I couldn't get off the floor.

Every bone in my body ached , my spinal cord was my personal torture rack, my biceps devolved into a gelatinous mass and while I know I came home with my quadriceps, they seemed to have disappeared. Thank god I was able to use a table for support or I'd still be lying there.

When did I turn into such a wimp?


Nothing will humble you faster or make your stomach sink lower than a med error.

I made one last night. I hadn't made one for many years but you never forget that sickly, nauseated feeling in the pit of your gut when you realize you screwed up. I didn't even realize I had made an error until I saw the written order.

Beware the verbal order! What I heard is not what the doc said (I heard a different dosage) and he didn't hear my repeat as I rushed to the med room.

The patient is fine and the doctor was totally cool (as ER docs usually are).

I'll probably be a bit queasy for awhile.....


While thinking of blog topics the other day, I was considering writing about my worst experiences with doctors. I'm talking about in-your-face-screaming fits. I'm talking sarcastic, arrogant jerks. And then I realized that:
  1. All these episodes happened over twenty years ago.
  2. All the doctors were men. Old men.
  3. All of the doctors were men who had gone to medical school in the 1940s and I'm sure, to them, female nurses were one step above bottom feeders.
And none of them happened in the ER.

I was stunned at how I could recall, today, my anger and frustration at not being able to stand up for myself; the humiliation and injustice of getting screamed at in front of other doctors and of holding myself together until I could make it to the break room to cry. It was as if had just happened yesterday instead of twenty years in the past. As if I was 22-years-old again.

It's funny. My body may be falling apart but there is a lot to be said for the self-esteem and maturity that come with age. Boy, would I love to give those jerk doctors a piece of my mind.

Nah. I think it's time to let it go.

For good.


At 11/26/2005 05:15:00 PM, Blogger Dr. Deborah Serani said...

So great that your traumatic experiences were YEARS ago when men were clods and less in touch with their sensitive sides!


At 11/26/2005 11:36:00 PM, Blogger Jo said...

I'm an aide-almost-nurse and I've already been yelled at by an older male doc.
A couple months ago, I had taken over my unit's desk to transcribe orders for the nurses while also working the floor (2 places at once!) Our unit clerk was sick. One of the private specialists sat down across from me and started reeming me about an MRI that wasn't done.
I found the chart with the order and it refreshed my memory, I looked at him and said "The MRI wasn't done because the patient has metal hardware in his back from a previous back surgery, and you haven't answered your pages about it since this am when you wrote this order."
He said nothing in response and was really nice to me at our next meeting.
Our young interns & residents are way nicer.

At 11/28/2005 06:45:00 PM, Blogger Third Degree Nurse said...

You are such an inspiration. I am lucky to have a good rapport with all the docs I've worked alongside so far. Not too sure about those hematologists from the lab who wouldn't wait for my patient's meds, though.

Hang in there; I am barely on the sunny side of 50 myself and I'm just getting started. I won't be doing ER nursing, though. Y'all are tougher than me.


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