Friday, June 25, 2010

News You Can Use

Oscar the bionic cat.

Hat tip to Chris Tucker:GOP Delenda Est! over in The Crack Den. Like he says: Science Works.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Have a Heart, Not a Kidney

A sign put up by a Florida urologist who apparently has a problem treating people because of how they vote. Story here.

Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL), the congressman who represents the district of the Florida doctor discriminating against Obama voters, said, “Maybe he thinks the Hippocratic Oath says, ‘Do no good.’ If this is the face of the right-wing in America, it’s the face of cruelty.”

Cruelty indeed.

I suppose this is where I once again proclaim my Constitutional right as a nurse to refuse to defibrillate Republicans. I just won't do it. I don't give code drugs or do compressions, either. I'll record, and if it's my patient I will facilitate communication with the doctors and staff at the bedside, minimally. But I just don't see the point. I don't defibrillate clams, either.

I walk away and check other patients. They are always ignored during codes, anyway. Well, not if I'm around and the decaying cardiac rhythm belongs to a Republican.

If you cannot tell whether or not this is snark, please refer to the article about the Florida urologist. Do you think he was snarking?

Oh, and by the way, fuck you, doctor.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


Helen Keller was a radical feminist and socialist. She was a founding member of the American Civil Liberties Union. She was not polite and grated hard against the conventions of the day which would keep women out of the public sphere. I like her.

She said "It is hard to interest those who have everything in those who have nothing."

Our current batch of bile-filled corporate talking-heads would hate the likes of her. She would be reviled and ridiculed by Limbaugh, for example, and Hannity would feature her on his show only to interrupt her and badger her. O'Reilly would do the same and then try to probe into her sex life.

But you know what? She could handle it. She had to deal with worse. People who didn't even think that women should be allowed to appear in public; certainly not to speak outside the home.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Cloud of Blackbirds

The person you are dating is a vampire. Hilarity ensues.

If you ever forget how many cats you have, simply open a can of tuna. Then count them.

I was hanging some IV antibiotics for a patient and I overheard the family members talking. One lady was telling a younger male visitor that Jesus was coming soon and recommending that the man get close to God before this occurs. "I'll be glad to get by God if he allows me to smoke weed," said the young man. They then agreed that Jesus was a stoner. The young man claimed that there are neuroreceptors in the brain that are specific to THC bonding, and he suggested that The Creator made it this way.

The patient himself had suffered a hemorrhagic stroke. One pupil was fixed and he had a facial droop. That was nothing really. During a trans-esophageal echocardiogram he had sustained a perforated esophagus. Later he developed a collapsed lung which required chest tubes. His swallowing was impaired so he was fed through a tube. He was unable to walk or even sit up on his own. Yet the family held to an unshakable faith that he was going to get better.

That's probably not going to happen. He's probably going to go through a series of infectious processes and eventually die of pneumonia or something. I've seen it happen a thousand times before.

I gave that patient everything I had. I gave the family everything I had, too. They loved me. But the patient is still going to suffer a prolonged, very expensive, and miserable death. It's too bad.

A miracle could occur, but it would not be that the patient amazingly recovers. The miracle would be that the family members get some sense about them and see what is really going on. I doubt that is going to happen.

I knock myself out trying, anyways. That's what nurses do. I do not judge. I just work.

Statistics show that mothers earn less and less money with each child that they have. This is part of what we here in America call "family values."

Phoenix is a "horse town." If you have enough room on your property, even if you live smack in the middle of the city, you can have livestock. We were jogging along Central Avenue today and ran by a house that had a goat in the yard. Is Philadelphia like this?

Whoever first said that "necessity is the mother of invention" got it precisely backwards. First things are invented, then everyone has to have it and cannot live without it.

"You cannot make a silk purse out of a sow's ear." My spouse just said that. I am listening in on their phone conversation. My dream for some time now has been to open an internet cafe called "The Pig's Ear." We would serve tasty and nutritious snacks and beverages and feature live jazz on the weekends. Like a 19th-century lyceum, we would also feature guest lecturers on important topics of the day.

Can you love that which is unseen?

Friday, June 04, 2010

A Dole of Doves

I drove by the pawn shop on 12th Street on my way home. There was a woman with a baby carriage outside the late-night window. Now, every time I think my life sucks, I think of her and her baby.

The patient was one of those all-day drinkers. He'd start from the moment he woke up in the morning. Of course he had problems during his hospitalization. He went crazy, really. Delusional. His son called and angrily accused us of not providing his father with enough alcohol. (We were giving him two beers with each meal, including breakfast, plus enough Ativan and Haldol to knock out a herd of rhinos.) "You're not giving him enough alcohol." That is now officially the most co-dependent thing I have ever heard in my entire life.

I have discovered a new kind of cuisine called "crudo." (Restaurant link here.) It's essentially Italian sushimi. Raw fish treated with sea salt, lemon juice, and a bit of olive oil. Dee-lish! But (here it comes) I have a friend who has studied parasitology... And we recently worked with a patient from southeast Asia who had acquired a really nasty lung-eating parasite from consuming raw crabmeat. Dead lung tissue surgically removed. That's actually two "buts."

I know that there are different levels, ranks so to speak, among doctors. Neurosurgeons, for example, seem to have more status than hospitalists. Yet they all treat one another as members of the same elite club and they are polite and deferential to one another's thoughts. Not so with nurses. I sometimes get the feeling from nurses in other departments that they think me and my coworkers are stupid or something. Nurses do not play well together. I do what I can to change this but I am only one person.

I have a Siamese cat with a very long snout. The longest I have ever seen on a house-cat. Yet I have never actually taken the time to measure it and compare this finding with other cat snouts. He also has no upper teeth. I know this because one day I thought "I wonder what it's like in my cat's mouth?" and I acted upon this.

There are many seriously bad things happening in the world. I sometimes occupy myself with smaller concerns, things I can actually address. Not unlike Candide working in the garden, if you will allow me to make the comparison.