Thursday, June 21, 2012

In which Auntie Jo lays down the law.

I love my job I love my job I love my job I love my job.


People: Please research the symptoms of whatever disease or disorder you're going to try to mimic. Most physical troubles, including neurological ones, have a certain expected set of symptoms. Even conversion disorder has an expected course: while the physical manifestations of psychological stress might be weird and unexpected and unexplainable by other means, they're consistent.

A stutter that goes away with opiates is not a disease. It's an attempt to get drugs.

Likewise, there's a name for what you're doing: it's "abasia-astasia," and it means "No, she won't fall over and hurt herself; she'll only fall if I'm there to catch her or she's near something soft."

And frankly? If your weakness is distractable to the point that you yourself cannot remember which side you're weak on, I will call bullshit on your shenanigans and send you out the door tout suite.

I don't just have the population of Greater Sunnydale to thank for this; I have the combined Great Minds at Holy Kamole's emergency department. Therefore, I have some law to lay on them:

If you call and ask me to accept a stroke patient, you'd sure as shootin' better have done an NIH stroke assessment on that patient and be able to tell me his score. If you haven't, I'll tell you to call me back once you've assessed the patient, then hang up the phone gently.

Same deal if you call me with a patient who has a constellation of symptoms and you don't know his history. Same deal if you call me and say, "Well, we're not really sure what's going on, but we'd like to send him over to your NCCU."

Same fucking deal, dear doctors, if you call with a ninety-year-old, demented patient who has a temp of 38.2, whose labs show that he's dehydrated and has a UTI, and who is experiencing the same symptoms he had when he had his stroke two years ago. Incidentally, he's therapeutic on coumadin.

And, just as a reminder, if I accept this patient because I want to put a stop to your whining, but specify that he is to go to the regular neurology floor, do not under any circumstances then tell the bed board that I'd cleared him for a bed in the NCCU. The Wrath of Jo will be visited, not upon your grandchildren's grandchildren, but upon you, comprehensively and cheerfully.

This is because, as might be expected in a critical care unit, I actually have sick people to take care of. I got one on a Cardene drip, one with the most labile blood pressure I've ever seen, good Lord what is she doing going from 220 systolic to 77, maybe an abdominal binder would help, and one who is, sadly, getting ready to go home to Jesus due to a combination of factors, not least of which is an infection with some bacterium that only two people have ever gotten before. I got problems, in other words, because I got patients with problems.

Joe-Bob looking for a hit of dilly is not a problem. At least, he's not *my* problem. He's *your* problem. If you try to make him my problem, you'll have another problem, and probably a whole set of problems of varying, interesting types, right after that.

Thank you, as Katniss said, for your consideration.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

This is what happens when I try to live like a normal person. . .

Neighbor Beth is here. She's wiping down the kitchen as I slowly, slooowly type this, for reasons which will become clear in a minute.

Those of you who follow me on Facebook will know that I had a cheerful afternoon of productve semi-drunkeness with Neighbor Beth (who is Not Good With Blood). After the prosecco had worn off, and with a liter of water and tea under my belt, I mandolined my right ring finger.

There was a sudden spray of blood. Then there was a heartfelt "Oh, SHIT" from me, as I realized that the suddenly-numb sensation in my right paw was due to my having halfway cut off my right ring finger. I tried everything: direct pressure, flour, glue: nothing worked for longer than I care to think about. Poor Beth, who hates her own blood and has a tenuous relationship with other people's blood, mopped up mine for the 40 minutes it took for shit to stop happenin'.

I'm more than a little annoyed that this happened while I was sober. Beth is more than a little annoyed that she had to scrub blood off my spice shelves. AND I had to throw away a perfectly good, blood-soaked tea towel.

None of the zucchini was affected, though. Which is good: we have a Pickle Party coming up in two weeks.

I kind of wish I'd accepted Beth's offer of another bottle of wine. My finger hurts.

Good Frogs. Has it been that long?

I see I haven't posted since the middle of last month. My apologies.

I've been working a lot, which means new stories for you! but I'm also between keyboards at the moment.

More later this week, I promise. Nothing horrible has happened; I've just been busy.