Happy Holidays from Trauma Central, Anywhere, USA
edited: Thursday, November 27, 2003
By anne cunningham
Posted: Thursday, November 27, 2003
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... Quit punching your brother in the head!
Colors on the street; Red, white, and blue; People shuffling their feet; People sleeping in their shoes ... transcribing in the free world.
Albeit vicariously, I am on my umpteenth straight day of emergency room/emergency admit trauma rotation. I am a medical transcriptionist, have been for 17+ years. The last many years, I have performed my job, from home in my stocking feet, working for facilities throughout the country.
I am lucky in my lot.
It is not so much the same for those I listen to every day of the week, words I hear and must put to the page verbatim. I cannot change the outcomes. I cannot play around with each story. It happens as it happens and I am here to document.
It's a bloody job, but someone has to do it in the name of patient care and continuity of medical histories.
This time of year, things are especially "bloody," and sometimes just bloody ridiculous.
On a "normal" day there are burst appendices, women in labor, lacerated fingers and broken toes, the more than occasional shooting and upteen-million traffic violations leading to the masses being brought in on back boards with cervical spine precautions. Congested hearts fail, taxed lungs seize a final time, brains short out and people, more often than I like, simply bleed out. That's a normal day.
There have been special days when I've had my hand in (so to speak) on separating Siamese twins, relatively tricky brain surgeries, rebuilding of vascular systems, openly reducing and internally fixating many a broken bone, and (twice-removed) placing the tiny stitches that reapproximate something a patient feared could never be fixed.
Factor in the holidays and the real games begin.
Though I cannot name names, spout locations and must always protect the confidentiality of my "patients," I will offer these tidbits of advice as the holiday season gets in full swing:
***Please, let's all stop hurting ourselves ***
-If your stomach has been stapled, don't eat that third piece of cake.
-Quit punching your brother in the head!
-Beware your seafood allergies.
-Take your psychotropic medications every day.
-Drink less and maybe you wouldn't have a crescent laceration above your eye and a chipped commode.
-Take your blood pressure medications, check your blood sugar and keep your heart at rest.
-Do not T-bone the next door neighbor with your new SUV.
-Put that gun down!!!!
-Wear your glasses when you read and drive.
-When you go horseback riding, biking, skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling or ride any motorized off-road or water craft ... PLEASE WEAR A HELMET!
-Wash your hands after you piss.
-If your baby is due soon, please tell me you had prenatal care and you are taking your vitamins. -
-Wear a condom or suffer the consequence.
-Sleep with your own wife, husband, girlfriend, boyfriend.
-Stop hitting the kids.
-Quit shaking your babies.
-Do not bring your great-grandmother in for a headache because you need the Vicodin. Take 12-steps in another direction.
-Cover your mouth when you cough.
-Take that bowl of peanuts away from that two-year-old who is running with a tinker toy in their mouth.
-Designate a driver.
-Love the one you are with.
I wish you all a happy and healthy holiday season, in whatever forms and spiritual natures that you celebrate.
... I'm heading back into the "trenches" where ER is nothing like the TV show, never so carefully plotted as all that. My coffee is perked and I have, as Radar would say on M*A*S*H ... "CHOPPERS ... INCOMING."
(However, I am simultaneously cooking the Thanksgiving feast so I'll probably be in the ER with injuries related to juggling pumpkin torte, a half-thawed turkey and a keyboard!)
..originally pub. 2001/slightly reworked.
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|Reviewed by Gerald Grimmett (in memory of) (Reader)
|God, that's great!
|Reviewed by *********** ********** (Reader)
My Mum worked in Casualty for many years…some of the things she seen would make her pale for days…..and I swear she smoked more.
There is one case that she can’t forget…a lady who’s husband had taken their little girl off to the side of the road for a toilet stop… a big truck came past and swept them both away. (he was on tablets to stay awake…and fell asleep..trying to beat time)
When they brought the Mother in she was so much in shock……she requested a huge cooked breakfast as she said she was starving..Mum said..the woman was still lucky then…..she hadn’t realised what had happened…..it was so terrible her mind refused to believe it.
Nurses deserve our utter respect and admiration.
A very well written piece……ty, Dani
|Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner
your wield your humor like a finely honed scalpel--cut straight to the funny bone--BRAVA, well done
(((HUGS))) and love,
|Reviewed by Michael Rayel
|Insightful piece! I particularly like your comment on confidentiality.|
|Reviewed by aneeta sundararaj
|LOL ... this is great. Thanks.|
|Reviewed by Darlene Caban
|Happy Thanksgiving from a 585 (Chronic Renal Failure-- on dialysis). :)|
|Reviewed by Kate Clifford
|Happy Thanksgiving :-) Those of the medical field are truly the unsung hero's! Thank you for the advice and an insight into your life. Nothing is like TV in real life is it? Sad there are those that would agrue me on that.|