Thursday, July 01, 2010

A Conversation With Jo's Sainted Mother*. And other things.

My Sainted Mother called the other night, to update me on her trip (with my Beloved Father) to somewhere north of Seattle, for their fiftieth wedding anniversary.

She also mentioned their trip to Alaska, during which they saw some longtime friends and met the friend's son.

Now, then: Sainted Mom has never once expressed any concern over her spinster daughter's love life, or lack thereof. Therefore, it was a little weird to hear her talk about this guy.

"He's a genius," she said, "a carpenter, who does beautiful work. He built the front door of the house, and it's gorgeous. Plus, he just got out of a long-term relationship."

Then she delivered what I'm sure she thought would be the chef d'oeuvre, the coup d'amour, the end-all and be-all recommendation for this unseen person with a Russian name:

"He bonded with one of the chickens before they were slaughtered during the fall" she revealed. "So he saved it. It was the first one to come running when he threw bugs to them. Now this chicken comes when he's called, and rides to work with Son in his pickup truck, and sits with him all day, and goes to lunch with him. He's really formed a relationship with this chicken."

"Mom." I said, "Are you trying to set me up with a chicken-wielding Alaskan carpenter? I mean, really?"

"Oh, no," she protested, "He's really boring. I mean, aside from the chicken thing."

I said, "Great. Now he's boring? And with a chicken? No matter the depths of your desperation, mine have not gone that low."

I told this story to the kids at work, and one of them pointed out what was, to her, the principal problem with this story: that the guy in question was a zillion miles away, in Alaska. I responded that the principal problem was actually the chicken.

*Mom, you know I tease because I love.

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

The monitors are fixed. The doors are fixed. The computers work, and all of them have been assigned to a printer. The plumbing once again works as well as plumbing at Sunnydale General has ever worked, and the call schedule is getting straightened out.

The trouble with being both Manglement and Working Nurse is that my brain doesn't function well in either sphere. Even as I'm doing a stroke-scale assessment, I'm worrying over whether we have enough batteries for the flashlights and enough paper for the monitors. As I'm dealing with the central supply people's requests for a new inventory list, I'm wondering about my patient with the weird growth in his cerebellum. It's distracting all the way around.

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

Some people question why I don't work at one of the myriad very small hospitals that are between here and Sunnydale General. The following story illustrates why:

A patient with a four-year history of weird rashes, joint pain, mouth ulcers, and unexplained fevers shows up. The patient's been told recently that a seizure she had after having The Worst Headache of Her Life was due to withdrawal from pain medication (one Norco every eight hours for no more than two weeks) and discharged from Teeny-Weeny Hospital's ED without so much as a non-contrast CT.

Turns out she has lupus, no matter what Dr. House says, and has had a brain bleed. This is why I don't work at Teeny-Weeny Hospital, or its fifty-five bed sister facility, Eensy-Weensy Health Care Center.

Anybody who shows up in an ED in a post-ictal state, complaining of the worst headache they've ever had, with focal deficits, needs to be scanned. It's really very simple.

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

It's been a rainy week here in Littleton. Bigtown has also gotten its share of precipitation, thanks to Hurricaine/Tropical Storm/Depression Alex. As a result, the skies of Bigtown and Littleton alike have had some unusual visitors.

We don't often get pelicans too far away from Lake Giganto, but this week I've seen several. They fly over the highway, looking like prehistoric critters, and land to take their bearings in the open spaces near where I live. They're incredibly clumsy on the ground, but I don't think there's a prettier bird in the air.

The clouds have also been gorgeous. Driving north from Bigtown these days involves going through some really, really heavy rain, but once you get close to Littleton, the clouds start breaking in a particularly Seussian way, with shafts of late sunlight hitting the ground. Living in the middle of the state means that the stuff that hits the Gulf moves up here in bands, and the terrain is such that you can actually see the storms move across the sky in strips. It's amazing.

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

The cats are well. Max is consistently and vaguely damp. It's raining again, and I am off to bed.


woolywoman said...

Lord save us all from the itty bitty hospital. A few months ago, my best friend was acting weird after dinner. I dug in her purse, found her meter, and discovered that her blood sugar was 499 ( or more- this brand of meter reads 499 for anything that high or higher.) So, I took her in to Saint Itty Bitty, the one nearest the house. Where they gave her TWO UNITS of insulin and discharged her. No labs. Back in the car, drove to Giant Teaching Hospital where she was admitted. Never going to Saint Itty Bitty again.

messymimi said...

Aren't mothers wonderful? Spend years and years making you nuts, then spend years and years complaining because you are.

I agree, stay away from the tiny hospitals.

shrimplate said...

Big hospitals can be pretty fucked-up, too. But I work in one.

Anonymous said...

Mom." I said, "Are you trying to set me up with a chicken-wielding Alaskan carpenter? I mean, really?"

Make me laugh.
Too funny!!!!!!!!!!!!!