26 February 2006

You Can't Cure Stupid

That's right folks, unfortunately there's no pill or shot to fix that problem. It's really a shame too, cause if there was I could cure about 95% of the patients that I encounter in the ER. Seriously if they would let me put down Stupid or Stupid Parents as a diagnosis, it would be SO much easier. Otherwise, I have to try and come up with an actual diagnosis for their so called ailments. Now, I've always been aware that there are a fair amount of stupid people walking around out there (and scary as this may be most of them are driving too!). Goodness knows I dealt with quite a few in the 5 years I spent working at Chick-fil-a, but there seriously seems to be some force out there that actually draws them to the ER. And I'm not including the people here who do stupid things that result in injuries that land them in the ER, at least most of the time they really do need to be there. I have decided that patients should receive a shot of truth serum when they register so that by the time they get back to be seen, I can get the real story out of them. I mean, it would be great if patients would just say "hey, I'm just here cause I'm out of my pain meds and I'd really like some more", rather than coming up with bogus complaints that I have to evaluate, which wastes my time and normally lots of money. Either way I'm probably not going to give them exactly what they want, but at least it occurs a lot faster the first way. The other group of folks with so called illnesses that I wish would just tell me the real reason they are there, is the ones who just need a work note. I mean that I can provide. If they would let me leave a stack of work excuses signed at the front door, I could take care of a lot of people with out even seeing them. Now I realize what I'm proposing isn't exactly legal, but it sure would be more efficent. If only the insurance companies would go for it. A girl can still dream though!

16 February 2006

It's a Flip-Flop February

I realize that I devoted my last posting to ranting about the weather, but i just have to rant about it again today. Once again I found myself wearing short sleeves and flip flops today. While I enjoy the sunshine and the blue sky and the warm weather puts me in a really good mood, I'm just not ready for it to be this warm. I mean, I just bought a sweater this weekend and I'd like to wear at least once this "winter". When I left the Y at 8:30pm it was still 68 outside!!!!!! It's pure madness I tell you. And oh yeah, on Sunday it's supposed to be 39. (The picture is from my cruise this fall to Cozumel, thought it was appropriate with the recent warm snap.)

15 February 2006

Name That Season

What is up with the weather these days? I mean it's February for goodness sakes and today I had on short sleeves and flip-flops! Now, I love wearing my flip-flops and would wear them year round if I wasn't worried about my toes freezing off, but this is a little ridiculous. On the other hand, this weekend I was wearing a sweater, my winter coat, gloves, and a scarf. And it snowed!!!!! It's pure madness. It's impossible to figure out what to wear. I wish it would just make up it's mind and pick a freaking season! It's not that I mind the snow or the warmth, but weather like this is the perfect recipe for people to get sick which means they all come to the ER, which means more work for me.
During the crazy winter weather this weekend, I did get the chance to enjoy exploring some of dowtown Chattanooga with my dear friends Valerie and Leah who came to visit me so all in all it was a good weekend.

01 February 2006

A Night in the ER- from the other side

Monday started out just like any other day as I headed to work around 1:30 after driving back from spending the weekend in the big JC. I arrived at the ER ready to start what I knew would be a fun filled 12 hours. For a Monday, it was surprisingly calm for the first few hours, that was until 5:00 hit and everyone showed up at once. About this time, I started experiencing some back spasms and a slight pain in my right lower abdomen. I tried to ignore this and assumed it was just cramps or the result of not sleeping in my own bed all weekend. Well, ignoring the pain worked pretty well for several hours, but the pain continued to get steadily worse. When it got the point around 10 pm where I couldn't stand upright because it hurt so bad, one of the nurses insisted that I needed to be checked out and made me go lie down in one of the rooms and have the doctor look at me. Well, after Dr. Fain came and pressed on my right lower quadrant, causing me to almost come off the table, I decided I would let them work me up to see what was going on. For those of you who know me well, you realize that I had to be in extreme pain to agree to this. So of course blood work and an IV are required, which I warned the nurse would probably not be an easy task as I am not known for being an easy stick and since my hands where purple and I was dehydrated I knew it would be even harder. 2 nurses and 7 attempts later, I finally had a very small IV established in my R hand. So now that I have the IV in and it's time to draw blood, which of course the IV won't do. So rather than risking blowing the IV by messing with it, the nurse decided to draw blood from the vein in my ankle- lots of fun let me tell you. At this point, I'm still hurting pretty bad and now feeling like a pin cushion, that was until I received the wonderful drug Toradol through my IV. This is one of those meds that while it is a good pain med, patients often don't want or will tell you they are allergic to because it isn't a narcotic. I however thought it was wonderful, but since about the only thing I ever take is Advil or Aleve I guess my system isn't use to much. The big question at this point was whether it was my appendix, an ovarian cyst, or a kidney stone. Dr. Fain was obviously concerned most about my appendix. Well, my urine came back with lots of blood, and a CT comfirmed that it was a kidney stone. The CT also showed that my R kidney was swollen due to the stone blocking the out flow. And-something to look forward to in the future- I have multiple kidney stones still in both of my kidneys. Can't wait for those to cause a problem! I passed the stone a little while later and went home around 3 am to get some sleep so I could do it all over the next day. So that was my exciting monday evening in Park Ridge East ER. I hope not to repeat this anytime in the near future!