Saturday, February 04, 2012

stuff, and things


Scene: A room in the ICU. Present are a patient suffering from Hepatitis B-related liver failure and agitation which put him at risk for falling out of bed and/or pulling out assorted important tubes; me, to prevent said patient from falling out of bed or pulling out important tubes; the patient's wife of 30 years and his sister. A cardiologist enters the room with three med students in tow. They are there to discuss the patient's irregular heart rhythm that occurred earlier in the day. The cardiologist explains that the dangerous rhythm was a result of being so sick; the patient did not have anything wrong with his heart. The cardiologist then begins examining the patient.

One of the med students decides this is a good time to ask the family, to whom he has not even introduced himself, a question. "Are you aware that he [patient] has Hepatitis B?" The wife says that, yes, they are aware. "Do you know the reason he got it?"

Now, anyone in the medical profession knows that there are basically two ways to get Hepatitis B: IV drug use and sex with someone infected. Anyone in the medical profession also knows that it has absolutely nothing to do with cardiology. And that the family's knowledge of a patient's sordid past is pretty irrelevant when the patient is knocking on heaven's proverbial door.

"Yep, we know the reason," she said.

"And what is that reason?" he asked.


"ASD;LFJAOU2P99EUP9," I thought.

"That's not up for discussion," she said.


I almost wish she had said something like, "Oh, well a few years back he fucked a prostitute and shot heroin with a needle he found on the sidewalk," just to make the med student uncomfortable.

I kind of want to vomit when people post photos of their Yogi Tea teabag tags, because they are so moved by the inspirational phrases written on them. The second incidence of this popped onto my News Feed yesterday, and my first response was to post my disgruntledness in a Status Update. But then I realized the offenders could read what I sad, and that would be mean. So I'm posting it here, instead!

I just started my last semester of nursing school! I am taking four classes:

1. Adolescent Depression, which will involve me, ME, going into a 9th grade classroom and, like, teaching them stuff. I have never taught in front of a classroom before. If I get through it without fainting or having my fly down the whole time, I will consider it a success. Stay tuned.

2. Public Health, which involves some pretty excruciating three-hour lectures and two days a week working at an awesome organization that serves the low-income and homeless mentally ill adults of Baltimore. Highlight so far: my classmate's very sweet patient told us he was happy the organization was helping him because, among other improvements, he was no longer "assaulting people with [his] bowels."

3. Transitions, where we talk about professionalism and hospital hierarchies and licensure issues and I'm falling asleep just writing about it. But for which I am spending the second half of the semester working in an Emergency Department in Beijing, China, which brings me to my last class...

4. Medical Mandarin. Apparently, learning Mandarin is not necessary and extraordinarily difficult, and the hospital I'll be working in is English-speaking. But, in order to speak Mandarin you have to smile and sing and shout and grunt like you've just been punched in the stomach, which is pretty darn fun.

The format of this blog post has been borrowed from Mimi Smartypants, because she continues to pretty much be the best (see: the part in this post about buying clothing), and because I am too lazy for transitions (the writing device, not the class...err...).

1 comment:

Andrew DF said...

Mmm.... Viral load.