Sunday, August 13, 2006

I said something wrong

Those of us who work in healthcare have a tendency to be almost as superstitious as baseball players. One rule is never to say the Q-word (that's quiet, for those of you not in the know.) Well, last night I felt like crap when I went to work and I only had two patients, so the night was going okay other than having one of them curse, yell, throw a water pitcher and threaten to call his lawyer and leave the hospital immediately because he felt maligned and lied to.

About four a.m. I said, "Is it too early to say that this weekend has been much better than the last three?" My colleagues assured me that it was most emphatically not okay to say until 6:45. About then a Mexican-American woman came running into the emergency room with a limp baby in her arms: "He's not breathing!" she cried. The baby turned out to be just fine, but we admitted him for observation.

Now, we don't have a pediatric ward at my hospital & I love babies, but not as patients. This was clearly my punishment for enjoying the pace of the night for even a moment. I had been sitting discussing religion and philosophy with Wheat Grass Lady off and on for hours. She couldn't quite understand how I could so easily give up my views on Jesus-is-the-only-way, and she didn't really get my idea that all religions and spiritualities could be sharing god either.

I scurried into the belly of the hospital to find a crib. I guess they used to run a zoo here. The cage is a bit larger than the average crib, with chrome bars all around going up about a yard. It had obviously not been used in quite a while. The dust we got off the thing was repulsive. Fortunately, we had no need for it, as baby is used to sleeping with mom and dad anyway and was quite comfortable in a regular bed with dad.

By then it was morning and my sometimes friendly nemesis, the German nurse Krankschwester was there demanding report. She usually yells and screams about every little thing that is a bit untidy or out of place, but today she was agreeable. I gave her the report and came home and went to sleep.

R. Connors

No comments: