Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Random Ruminations

Thanks to the holidays, I've not been at work much the last week or so. Our census is low enough that us full-timers get waved off for a shift at a time.

So this will be not so much about work.

Two requests for favors, first:

1. Who's using the new Blogger Beta, and how's it working for you? I'm not keeping up with the Blogger group on Google, so I'm looking elsewhere for advice and experiences.

2. Who's fairly fluent in German? I have an old Mercedes Selekta typewriter with the instruction manual, but the manual's all in a German I can't decipher. I'm curious to find out what it says. The pictures alone are great.

*** *** *** *** ***

Yes, I collect typewriters. I found a Corona model 3 yesterday at the Big Junk Barn, cheaply priced, so I snapped it up. The collection started with the Smith-Corona portable (1926) that my grandfather used in his business and expanded with a post-war Remington manual. That Remington doesn't look like much, but any burglar I hit on the head with it would be sad and sorry indeed. There must've been a glut of steel on the market in the late 1940's, 'cause this thing is built like...well, like a solid-steel manual typewriter.

A couple of years ago, when I should've been hunting for a desk, I found the Mercedes. I'm not sure how common they are in the US, though I've found a few eBay listings in French and German for them. It's quite a nifty little machine--the keyboard, rather than having "QWERTYUIOP" as the top line, has "QWERTZUIOP", with the Y where the Z normally is on an English keyboard. There's also an umlaut key, like a shift key on an English keyboard, and an eszett key. Plus, the nifty instruction manual, which features a nice-looking if heavily marcelled woman.

And then there's the new Corona. It's six inches high and eight wide at the front, and widens enough to accept a typical 8 1/2" sheet of paper over the roller. It's cute! It's bitty! I can't figure out where the locking mechanism is for the carriage! I'm going to need a whole new set of shelves to display these bastards soon!

*** *** *** *** ***

There's a doctor at work we've nicknamed "Stat Daddy". This is because he writes every order--*every* order, even those for, say, magnesium citrate or a Fleet's enema, as a stat order. Which makes it tricky to decipher what he actually wants. Did the patient perf a bowel? Are they having seizures? Is the doc just an asshole?

So, the other week, I get an order for "Dulcolax suppository PR x1 stat."


"Doctor Stat Daddy," I approached him, "Does the patient really need this suppository stat?"

"Well, he's cramping, and he says he's really uncomfortable," replied Stat Daddy.

What Stat Daddy didn't know was what I knew: that the patient was bowel-obsessed and had been taking literal handfuls of laxatives, stool softeners, and GI stimulants for four days. He was having pretty-much-constant diarrhea with the attendant gut cramping that six Sennokot pills three times a day will give you. Oh, that and I found an empty bottle of Milk of Magnesia, the super-value size, in his trash.

You could say we had issues there.

So I pointed out as gently as possible to Stat Daddy both the ins and outs the patient had had, as well as the previous nurses' charting, in which it was revealed in neat handwriting that said nurse had discovered the patient's laxative dependency.


No, I did not give the Dulcolax suppository.

*** *** *** *** ***

In other news, That Damned Cat has temporarily abandoned peeing on the rug for an equally annoying, if less smelly behavior: now that the days are getting short and she knows it'll be cold soon, she's taking up the exact geographic center of the bed every night. I'm doing yoga in my sleep to avoid crushing her head.

*** *** *** *** ***

Speaking of crushing heads, as well as doing fun things with them, I saw my first Liberace-ized patient two weeks ago. This guy was in his seventies and, I kid you not, had had so much plastic surgery that his eyes wouldn't close completely when he slept. That, and he'd had what I suspect was one of those Teflon implants in his upper lip, which meant he talked like Mushmouth from the old Fat Albert cartoon.

Note to the general public: If you're in for surgery to revise the scars from your previous plastic surgeries, you've had too much surgery.

1 comment:

Eileen said...

Hi Jo,
I know this like mega years late - but did you ever get the German manual translated?
I'm a translator, German-English, if you're still interested.
Love your blog - reading it backwards! I assume you can contact me via my g.account?