Archive for the 'Nurse' Category

Sanctioned Imbeciles Botch My Appendectomy 6 — Preempted Recovery

Wednesday, June 6th, 2007

Read Part 5
My appendix had burst, resulting in toxic shock syndrome; I’d barely sidestepped death. As far as I’m concerned, the incompetent fuckwits that wildly misjudged my symptoms shoulder responsibility for this avoidable disaster. After I’d snapped out of my unresponsive state, “they” moved my extremely ill ass to another part of the ICU in the hope that my condition would stabilize.

Eventually my condition stabilized to the extent that the enthusiastic interns ordered me schlepped to a standard room. I’d just returned from a sort of metaphysical anteroom separating life from death and felt supremely weak and nauseated, exactly like when I’d woken from the stroke-induced coma years earlier. Catholics managed the hospital that treated me and, like the Jews that oversaw the warehouse imposed their religion—they believed the only religion OK’d by the cosmic big gun himself—on helpless captives. An in-house TV channel (to which a robotic nurse automatically tuned upon my arrival) broadcast mass from the hospital’s chapel every morning. The rest of the time it featured the static single camera shot of the unmanned dimly lit altar. Though my new surroundings symbolized a vague semblance of normalcy, hallucinations reminded me of my tenuous health. I interpreted the fixed scene as a foreign art film; then as the commercial for a fall line-up on Fox that boasted reruns of The Monkees, created with a nod to the 1950 movie Abbott & Costello in the Foreign Legion. more »

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Sanctioned Imbeciles Botch My Appendectomy 5 — Dire Aftermath

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

Read Part 4
When I woke I had no idea of my whereabouts or what had happened—last I remember, the state still held me captive in the warehouse. Now I lay prostrate on a hospital bed flanked by other, recently vacated beds in an area that seemed the hybrid of a waiting room and an intensive care unit. The first indication of seriousness came from my mother’s presence. Though my parents lived 260 miles from the warehouse, she hovered over me and gently explained that I was a patient in some hospital; “they” had removed my appendix nine days ago and encountered complications that pummeled me into an unresponsive state.

My appendix had burst, resulting in toxic shock syndrome; I’d barely sidestepped death. As far as I’m concerned, the incompetent mouth-breathers that wildly misjudged my symptoms shoulder responsibility for this avoidable disaster. At the time I assumed only tampons caused toxic shock syndrome, and then just occasionally. I couldn’t ask my doctor any questions; apparently he didn’t consider me worthy of a visit. I completely understand—complicity with involuntary manslaughter would compel me to make myself scarce too. more »

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Sanctioned Imbeciles Botch My Appendectomy 4 — Reckless Opinion

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

Read Part 3
I laid on a gurney in the ER for close to an hour. In all that time, no doctor bothered to examine me. Finally some faceless drone wheeled me out of the ER and upstairs to a room, where an astonishingly irresponsible strategy unfolded.

A fitful sleep overtook me as soon as the drone shuffled out of the room. I can’t remember for certain, but I likely passed out from the pain. Twenty minutes later a diminutive grandmotherly nurse woke me. She assumed that I must be tired from the day’s “excitement” and kicked off a litany of questions by asking when I last “made a poopy.” After struggling to focus and softly grunt answers, I managed to describe my horrific pain and emphasize the probable cause. She chuckled and insisted that my “ouchie” couldn’t be that bad, “We pro’ly jus’ gotsa little tummy ache.” She went on to explain that the “doctor-man” —whose name I’d never heard previously—had ordered her to give me an enema*. According to her, he’d wait to find out if a geyser erupting into my rectum doused the pain before he acted further. more »

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Sanctioned Imbeciles Botch My Appendectomy 3 — Painful Jaunt

Wednesday, May 16th, 2007

Read Part 2
My condition became obvious. I conceded to myself that I had no choice but to surrender my life to snooty half-witted dickslaps and their lickspittles. When I informed the charge nurse of the recent development and asked her to phone an ambulance, she seemed delighted. She spent the next half-minute gloating that she’d been correct in her scripted assumption, then scolded that she’d have to finish “passing out meds” before she could tend to me. Only my acute distress kept an angry reaction in check.

The dolt who helmed the ambulance didn’t see fit to flip on the siren. He asked his female partner:

“What’s his problem, again?”

“Stomach pains.”

He sighed. “I’ve dealt with people like him before—probably just has gas. I guess we’re not in a hurry.” more »

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Sanctioned Imbeciles Botch My Appendectomy 2 — Escalating Distress

Wednesday, May 9th, 2007

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Suddenly the events of the past nine days bombarded me: dimwitted ambulance drivers, fuck-stupid nurses, arrogant butcher doctors, grotesque hallucinations (and I found out later, Last Rites).

The first thing I learned at the warehouse: Never ask other residents how they’re doing. If you politely ask, say, a co-worker about their health or mood, they usually answer “fine” and that’s that. Inmates at the warehouse responded to such casual inquiry by grousing about their aches, pains, and recent hospital stays; they described in detail the frequency and quality of their bowel movements, the ungratefulness of their children, and ultimately the hardships of securing government handouts. Chirpy do-gooders who took pity i.e. felt superior to elderly and lonely residents reinforced this irritating behavior under the guise of encouraging self-expression. I resolved never to pick up the habit of whining.

Several years into my stay, relentless nausea enveloped me. I couldn’t put my finger on the cause, chalked it up to stress and shitty food. I didn’t complain to the charge nurse but daily guzzled multiple doses of Mylanta (which seemed to me watered down). After a few days, the charge nurse predictably suggested that I go to the hospital. The staff strived to avoid both work and lawsuits—such circumvention took precedence over properly caring for people—and often sent healthy residents to the hospital for minutiae like a garden-variety upset stomach or heartburn. more »

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Sanctioned Imbeciles Botch My Appendectomy 1 — Rude Awakening

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007

The American health care system is a leading cause of death in the United States—some pundits assert: the leading cause. Don’t believe me? Look it up.

When I woke I had no idea what had happened or of my whereabouts—last I remember, the state still held me captive in the warehouse. Now I lay prostrate on a hospital bed flanked by other, recently vacated beds in an area that seemed the hybrid of a waiting room and an intensive care unit. The first indication of seriousness came from my mother’s presence. Though my parents lived 260 miles away from the warehouse, she hovered over me and gently explained that I was a patient in some hospital; “they” had removed my appendix nine days ago and encountered complications that pummeled me into an unresponsive state. more »

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I’m Forced To Support The Arts

Wednesday, April 25th, 2007

When I came out of the coma I lie strapped to a gurney in the intensive care unit of an urban hospital, literally unable to move or speak. I possessed a vague instinctual understanding of my condition and surroundings, but my perceptions were filtered through a haze of dream-like subjectivity. Any grounded impressions flickered in and out like the light from a bulb being screwed into a live socket.

Nurses casually conferred with one another regarding my situation as if I weren’t lying in the same room. When one of them bothered to speak directly to me, they cooed baby talk point blank at my face (I could tell which of them didn’t brush their teeth). Invariably a nurse “familiar” with my case would shake her head, smugly snort and advise the one trying to communicate with me: “Don’t bother. He can’t understand anyway.” (They always spat the pronoun “he.”) more »

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The Curse of Mabel

Wednesday, April 11th, 2007

Mabel packed an ass the size of a small continent. Her gargantuan derriere and beer-barrel legs appeared wildly mismatched to her plump but normally proportioned upper body. The warehouse administration employed Mabel as head nurse. (There’s a joke in there somewhere.) While the stubby angle of mercy pushed a cart filled with medicines and dressings from room to room, she didn’t walk so much as laboriously waddle. When she pulled a graveyard shift, she routinely interrupted the slumber of residents in order to tend to their medical demands. Of course some residents needed round-the-clock care, but clearly not everybody required frequent attention. Shortly after I arrived at the warehouse Mabel woke me at 4:00 am for some reason—I don’t remember why, so the reason couldn’t have been too stellar. more »

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My Testicularly Challenged Doctor

Wednesday, January 10th, 2007

Questionably skilled but consummately arrogant MD’s descended on the warehouse every couple weeks to examine residents. They depended on the charge nurse behaving like a shameless lickspittle, scampering behind them and juggling charts while they made their rounds. When the duo entered a room, the nurse informed the preoccupied doctor of the occupant’s condition and its progress or deterioration. (There’s nothing quite as pathetic as a wide-eyed simpleton striving to gain the confidence of an uninterested taskmaster.) While the nurse groveled in the background and scribbled notes, the doctor examined the resident and intermittently deadpanned statistics and generic comments. They both usually ignored questions posed by the resident. more »

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Welcome — Part 2

Wednesday, December 6th, 2006

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Because most licensed doctors recognize a dead patient as a potential lawsuit, they initially performed a tracheotomy on me. I remember during my time in the ICU when I wore a string like a choker around my neck. (I’m sure there was more to it, but at the time it seemed just a string.) An either overzealous or incompetent nurse had tied the string too tightly and it mercilessly dug into the nape of my neck—I host the permanent furrows that prove I’m not whining like a drama queen. I literally couldn’t make a sound, much less complain. more »

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