Suggested by pixelpi and Jo, today the topic is
My Very Own ER Experiences
I've actually had more ER visits than these, but they weren't terribly exciting. I missed a big chunk of my ninth grade year because of a temperamental appendix that turned out to be something completely different, I've had more than one serious dog bite, I pulled a sliding closet door off of the track and onto my poor little foot...the list goes on. I'm sure my mother will remember things I've totally forgotten. I don't think I was terribly accident prone as a kid, but I guess I was accident prone enough.
But in the interest of keeping things lively, the three I'm picking are a good cross section of my life. One embarrassing, one stupid and one having to do with a kid. Ladies and gentlemen...this is my life.
#1. The embarrassing one. When I was in college the first time, I was a waitress. I was working full time and going to school full time and my social life was...full. I was exhausted most of the time, but was too stupid to cut back on anything. When I caught the really nasty viral bug that was going around, it never occurred to me to call in sick for my ten hour Friday night shift, since that's where the tips were. And it certainly never occurred to me to turn down the coffee cup full of kamikaze the lecherous bartender gave me to "help me feel better".
I was about three hours into the shift when I keeled over and bought myself the only ambulance ride of my entire life. I made quite a sight being taken out of a full cocktail lounge on a gurney, maroon dirndl uniform all askew. And while I can't absolutely prove it, I'm pretty sure that in an old hospital chart in Pasadena, California I have the words Alcohol On Breath on file. And the fact that the virus laid me out for over three weeks didn't make me any less humiliated.
#2. The stupid one. I had been married two months, and one of the wedding gifts was a wonderful set of carbon steel knives. One morning, in my usual start of the day fog, I was feeding my Amazon parrot before I raced off to work. I was in a hurry to fill his fruit dish and I somehow managed to cut through a jicama toward myself and through my left hand. The knife went into the fleshy area between my thumb and index finger all the way to the bone, where it stopped, leaving my thumb pretty much blowing in the breeze.
This episode really is a blog post all its own, but it can be summed up this way: four hours of microsurgery, almost two hundred stitches, two days in the hospital and the inability of my entire family to keep a straight face whenever they hear the word "jicama". Or "carbon steel knives" for that matter. In ER terms, this was the first (and only) time the triage nurse has ever jumped up as I walked through the door and taken me back immediately, leaving a trail of blood in my wake.
(I still get a lot of mileage out of this story at work. My hand never hurt until after the surgery, not even the tiniest bit. The surgeon explained to me that hands usually don't hurt after massive trauma because there are so many nerve endings that the endorphins fly out of the gate pronto. I always ask people who have hurt their hands and the answer is almost always the same: no pain at all. It's really interesting).
#3. The one having to do with a kid. I was in my last semester of nursing school and one of our final assignments was, of all the ridiculous things, to observe for a day at a day care center. My best bud and I had signed up for the same day and I ended up driving in with her since my car was in the shop. It had been drilled into our heads that this was not something that could be rescheduled or not completed. (Nursing school is all about mental games that leave you slightly traumatized and not a little feeble minded).
While we were having our lunch halfway through the day, I checked my phone and found a message from the school nurse. This is how NOT to leave a message for a parent: RC, this is the nurse at Surfer Dude's school. He's had an accident. CALL ME. My next message was from the FG whom she had called next, saying they were on the way to the hospital but that Surfer Dude was (mostly) okay. And the third message (also from the FG) was that he had a broken clavicle from showing off and turning somersaults on concrete during reading circle.
And I couldn't get there. I was stuck in a stupid day care center, without a car, while nursing students from another school took care of my baby in the ER where I would eventually work. By the time I got home, he was already in bed, knocked out from the percocet. It absolutely and totally sucked and I hated every minute of it.
Well, there you have it. Now it's your turn. We want to hear your ER stories. Pretty please?
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Suggested by pixelpi and Jo, today the topic is