Monday, February 20, 2006

ohsweetgeebus wassat SMELL?

I am still shaking my head violently, sneezing and trying to blow the gawdawful SMELL out of my sinuses. I seriously need to consider a lawsuit against a patient's husband for Olfactory Assault. Rectum? He damn near KILLED 'em!

Sweet patient. RANK husband. SERIOUSLY rank. I mean it. In addition to BEING an asshole, he SMELLED like one. Well, actually he smelled WORSE than just ONE. Oh sweet Geebus, I don't know where to begin. I can only hope to paint you the picture of what was my own private HELL. Thankfully, it only overwhelmed 8 of my 12 hours on duty.

This happened over 2 weeks ago, so you KNOW it was bad if I am STILL experiencing it. I was taking care of a new mom and baby. On her last night in the hospital, her husband (who'd stayed home for 2 previous nights with a cold) decided to spend the night in his wife's hospital room.

He was a big guy; tall, wide and rather pear-shaped (which looks really strange on a dude). He was arrogant, demanding and just a pain. in. my. ass. I tried my best to make sure he was comfortable, even getting a twin sized cot for him to use. Hot beverages. Cold beverages. Ice packs for his neck. Heating pad for his back. Extra pillows. Extra blankets. Adjusting the thermostat. I was a regular fucking Concierge. I have no problem providing for my patients, and their spouses to some degree. But when their level of assholiness reaches HIS, I am THROUGH. The worst was yet to come, however.

Being their first baby, they had a lot of learning needs. All of the things I'd spent time teaching her now needed repeating to HIM because he didn't seem to believe it when it came out of HER mouth. Oh joy. Oh rapture. I did NOT get into the nursing profession to fix marital issues in 48 short hours. I wasn't wearing my clerical collar that night either.

He was finally all settled on his cot, and I stepped out of the room to grab some breast pumping supplies. He knew I was coming right back. I opened their door, stepped in and closed the door behind me. And then it bludgeoned me furiously about the head and upper body.

Ass gas. Swamp gas. Sewer gas from HELL. ohsweetgeebus. It was as if he had inhaled and I was vacuumed deep up into his colon. I HAD to have been. There was no other logical explanation for that level of stink. It was un-Godly. I have NEVER smelled anything so vile in my entire life. Ever. Not near a rendering factory, not at a sewage treatment plant. I was quickly losing consciousness and my ability to see. How in the FUCK can I stay in this room, smiling, talking, breathing in & out and acting like I don't notice that his emissions are surely that of a diseased cancerous cow? They both acted like nothing had happened although their new baby's eyes were bugged out like that scene in Arnold Schwartzenegger's movie "Total Recall" when he & Melina are out in Mars' non-atmosphere without masks and oxygen.

"It" took on a life of its own--permeating my very soul. I was sure that "It" lingered on my clothing. He might as well have wiped his ass with me, "It" was that bad. I was in that room for what seemed an eternity. It was actually only 4 or 5 minutes. As I stepped out of their room, I made sure to not inhale my breaths in gulps outside of their door. Good thing, too.

The green cloud rolled under the closed door and wafted into the hallway like a fog machine at a concert. I ended up having to go up and down the halls with air freshener, stopping at their room to aim an extra blast toward the bottom of their door. However, my hell was only just beginning.

Mama walked down the hall to shower and the Swamp Creature decided to leave their door open to air out that room. Did he bother to crack the window at all? Noooooooo. Did he think to perhaps HOLD "It" IN? Noooooooooooooooo. Patients began calling the nurses station as well as my cell phone (we carry hospital-issued phones while working)to ask about "It."

How can I delicately explain exactly what they smell? I certainly don't want to lie and tell them that it is the sewer system. They would badmouth us to their friends & we'd lose business. I REALLY want to embarrass that arrogant Sharer of the Ass Air from Hell and point toward their room, but his wife is a sweetie.

My co-workers thought I was exaggerating until they smelled it and didn't even have to walk down my HALL. Our unit is T-shaped, with the offending hall as the long part of the "T." The Swamp Creature was actually wayyyyyyyy at the BOTTOM of the "T"--at the FAR END of that hall.

Later that night, I asked one of my co-workers to take a baby from the nursery & into mom's room to nurse. We were so busy that I didn't even think to warn her that she was entering "It's" room. This was several hours past the initial assault; how much Ass Air could he still have anyway? Apparently, "enough."

She came back into the nursery with her hands covering her nose & mouth, walked up to me and quietly said, "Remember this: Paybacks are HELL." I apologized profusely.

The resident doctors make their rounds between 6 & 7am. One of the residents was preparing to go into "It's" room. I debriefed her and then offered her some Vick's Vapo Rub for her nostrils. She took me up on it. A few minutes later, she came out of that room, eyes practically bugging out. "What WAS that???" she asked. We agreed that it was OtherWorldly.

Even writing about it, after all this time, makes my mouth water in that "ohgeebusIhavetopuke" way.

Ahhhh, all in a day's work in the life of a nurse.

Monday, February 13, 2006

I'm Back

OK, bitches. Enough of my softer side.

Gather roun', chirren & I will tell you a tale about Shirley, a nurse I used to work with waaaaay back. Being who she was, I am guessing she probably died in the 90's of various untreatable STD's or was murdered by someone she played but I can't be sure.

Shirley was pretty, although quite large. Her IQ was questionable but, politics being what they were in the 70's & 80's, she was able to graduate as an LPN from a questionably accredited nursing program, no longer in business. She had very little common sense but a lifelong store of Old Wive's Tales which she was more than willing to impart to our young, impressionable, indigent pregnant patients.

She was an admitted racist and suspicious of "crackers." I think I was the only white person she had ever liked, as she told me she thought I was more of a sistah than a honky. But she was a chameleon, so I don't truly know if she actually LIKED me or was just playin'. Whatever though, we had a lot of fun together at work. She was funny as hell to listen to, that's for sure. She was about 10 years older than me.

I am a very down to earth person, and can get along with anybody. I don't hide things, so WYSIWYG. If I am happy, you'll know it. If I am pissed, you'll know it. Anyway, she didn't have the greatest nursing judgment. As a charge nurse, I really had to cover my ass when I worked with her. If there was a corner to be cut, she'd cut it. If there was a task she could postpone, she'd postpone it.

One of our pregnant patients, who was admitted to our high risk unit for premature labor, was a manicurist by trade. I could smell nail polish down the hall one afternoon. I followed the scent into her room to discover that Shirley was getting a manicure and watching her "stories" on TV. The patient was also very obviously in labor, grimacing and rocking in her bed as she worked on filing Shirley's nails. Shirley was either oblivious to the signs and symptoms or didn't care because her manicure wasn't yet finished. I ended up having to actually TELL Shirley to get up & get a fetal monitor as I assessed the patient. Thankfully, we were able to stop her labor with medication. But I had to reprimand Shirley.

"What were you THINKING?" I asked her.
"She tole me dey wazzin' dat bad, so I let her keep on workin'" Shirley replied.

I couldn't argue with THAT now, could I??? Duhhhhh.

A few months later, a bunch of the nurses decided to diet together, weighing in to keep us honest. We'd walk the hospital grounds only when there were a shitload of us working, since our hospital campus wasn't exactly safe. And we certainly didn't want to walk the lower level corridors because they weren't any more safe than the hazards outdoors. The housekeeping dudes would shoot dice & play cards while getting high in the lower level locker rooms. It was overlooked by our chickenshit hospital security guards, who I am CONVINCED would be the first to hide under a desk if any of us were threatened.

Although I think it was unintentional, the staff was divided on weekends. There was a black weekend and a white weekend. I joined the black weekend because it was REAL and I didn't have to deal with the tightasses who worked the white weekend. We'd joke that us niggahs had to stick together. We got along great and worked well together. We were really tight.

So, on our black weekend, we'd planned a dieter's potluck breakfast. Shirley brought a grocery sack full of waffles. The smell was wonderful wafting out of our staff lounge. I walked in to see that she had the entire contents of 1 box of waffles on her plate. A stack of 12 waffles, smothered in butter & syrup.

"Yo, Shirl. What's up with all the waffles?"
"It's mah brekkfest. Only 120 calories!"
"Um, Shirl, there's 120 calories in 1 SERVING, NOT in one BOX!"
"Dayum, I wondered how come I could eat so menny uv em!"

We both just laughed like hell, but she finished that whole fuckin' plate of waffles anyway. Black weekend had ultimately said "FUCK that diet!"

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Pity the Poor, Sweet Children

I don't know whether to laugh or cry, so instead I'll blog and perhaps there will be laughter amongst the tears.

I admitted a patient with her new baby last night. Sweet little baby, docile mom. They were accompanied by her Momma and the Baby Daddy. It became immediately clear that they were no typical family.

As we wheeled New Mom into the room, her fat ass Momma tried to cane her way past us to hobble into the bed FIRST. We had to cajole her out of it by reminding her that it was her DAUGHTER who'd just had the baby, not HER. Reluctantly, she got up & New Mom got in. Baby Daddy was busy stacking all of their worldly possessions in the corner. NEXT to the wardrobe cabinet. He didn't KNOW that it was a closet.

As New Mom got settled into bed, I examined that sweet little baby who looked up at me with the most intelligent eyes. I was softly talking to him, as I do all the babies when I realized that otherwise the room was silent. I didn't hear any of the usual banter that occurs when the new families get settled in as I assess the baby. Utter silence behind me.

I finish with the baby and turn my attention to the trio. They are all staring at me. One blinks. Another. And another. It is eerie, I tell you. Not a single word is spoken by any of them. I start to explain what they can expect from us during the rest of my shift. I ask them if they want me to leave the baby with them, or if I should take him for his bath (it is 4am).

Silence. Blink. Blink. Blink. I swear I could hear crickets, like in those old Bud-Wei-Ser commercials.

I took him to the nursery for his bath and then had time to sit and review her medical history, as I do with all of my patients. This is where I find out that New Mom is mentally challenged. She's mid-20's and has had 2 other children who were taken away from her. She is homeless most of the time, along with Baby Daddy.

Her Momma doesn't look right either. She has a simple look and half-smile plastered on her face and asks repetitive questions, mostly about where SHE is gonna sleep. Her girth is spilling over the chair and she rests her hands on top of the cane standing between her legs. Her housing situation is also unstable. It was reported to me that she slept through the entire labor & delivery on a bed in the labor room. Missed it all. While in the same ROOM.

Baby Daddy is repetitively shaking his head and pulling at things he perceives are in his hair. He has that odd look of someone who was dropped on his head more than once as a baby. I surmise that New Mom and Baby Daddy met in a group home or something like that. He is 30 years older than she is.

As I bathe that sweet little baby boy, I wonder to myself what kind of life he is gonna have. Things do not bode well for him. His immediate family is comprised of simpletons. His own intellect in unknown. It's unlikely he'll ever know his older brothers. The best I can hope for this sweet, innocent perfect-thusfar baby boy is that he'll be adopted by a loving family.

And I can still hear the crickets down the hall...

My Life is Desinerating

Not really. I just needed a sentence in which I could use that "word."

Somebody actually USED that word on TV. What she MEANT was "disintegrating." I almost pissed my pants. Almost.

Just like when a guy thought that his ex-girlfriend was "self-superficial." I think he might have meant to say that she was selfish and superficial.

I dunno, but I think that all these self-superficial peeps are causing the desineration of the English language.


Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Holy Yram Mother fo Dog

I fucking HATE word verification. How is a slydexic bitch like me supposed to get them right on the first try?

Goddamn spammers who necessitated that shullbit!