Monday, July 16, 2012

Code Bleu

Hospitals are weird.

I mean, they're weird for the patients, sure. But they've gotta be weirder for medical personnel. You've got the minute by minute drama of ER crossed with Chicago Hope crossed with Saint Elsewhere (but not Grey's Anatomy. Never Grey's Anatomy). Every patient is important, every patient is a life to save!!! 

You've also got the hourly, mind-numbing drudgery of a service job. Waiting for "customers." Working strange hours. Coffee and gossip and that whiny guy in room 1223 who won't stop asking for diet coke (who is totally not me). Everyone is a drain on your time, with similar gripes and similar conditions, and the faces probably blur together. Or maybe they don't and I'm ascribing barista apathy to a whole class of people I know nothing about.

But if half of their patients are like me--not emergency cases per say, just...under observation--and the other half are living, breathing crises, the night shift must be hours of monotony punctuated with bursts of frenzied activity, and that sounds rather like your average shift at Moondollars. Not that the nurses give any indication of minding this when they check on me. Affability and cheer abounds; they do much better than I did during my late shifts. I feel terrible calling them every time I have to go to the bathroom.

One of them just bought me barbecued chips. From a vending machine, because all they had were plain. I could write poetry about that woman, an angel in blue cotton.

The weirdness does extend to my experience. I'm stuck in bed sporting more wires on my head than Robin Williams, while in another room a group of (probably snarky) techs literally watch my brain. I'm also on camera in case of waking or sleeping seizures, which makes every itch below my waist a contorted journey beneath the blanket so a roomful of medical professionals doesn't catch me scratching the itches I should've prepped for with a bottle of Gold Bond.

Not that I can really complain. In a complex full of the sick and the dying, I ate Belgian waffles this morning and watched this show about some guy badly breaking for 3 hours. I've caught up on reading, I've done situps in bed. Tomorrow, I'm thinking crosswords.

My god.
Logically, my stamp involves candied bacon. Because Jessica knows me. She knows me well.

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