Who links to me? X-ray Rocks: April 2008

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Dr. Happy

As I exit the elevator, the stench of fresh diarrhea and diesel fumes hits me like a wall. There is an ambulance, pumping out thick, oily fumes, idling in the ER garage.

I park my portable machine in a corner and watch the paramedics unload a stretcher, from the back of the yellow striped ambulance. There is a paramedic, on each end of the stretcher, and an EMT, seven months pregnant, perched on a little rail above the wheels.

The EMT continues chest compressions on the half naked man strapped to the stretcher. The two paramedics, in navy blue jumpsuits, wheel them, as a unit, into the emergency room. Four or five nurses flock around the stretcher and start calling out orders to each other.
A nurse yells at the patient, “Frank? Frank you’re in the emergency room. Frank? Can you open your eyes for me?”
I catch a glimpse of the patient over her pink scrub covered shoulders.

The patient is a middle aged man with thin balding hair, his bare chest covered with monitoring leads. He has a jiggling belly that wriggles, like a laughing baby, with each chest compression that the, now sweating, EMT presses into his chest.
Sweat runs down the EMT’s face and her ponytail starts to fall apart. Faded dirty blue jeans cover the patient's lower half and a worn brown leather billfold peeks out from behind his hip. One dirt clogged boot is abandoned in the middle of the floor. The other boot leaks black soil onto a bedside table's sterile silver surface.
I pick the boot up from the floor and put it next to its mate.

A compassionate nurse takes over chest compressions from the EMT.
They have an AMBU in place and another nurse takes charge of the man’s breathing.

Dr. Happy, the on-call doctor, arrives in the ER.
Dr. Happy isn't his real name.
It's an alias for a real doctor's nickname.
Patients find Dr. Happy's given last name unpronounceable.
He is from Africa by way of Russia.
When he speaks, patients look confused and then turn to the nurse, who translates Dr. Happy babble into Mid-western English.

Dr. Happy rushes into the trauma room and starts gesturing wildly and yelling out undecipherable orders and questions.
He is never calm during an emergency. He is never calm, period.
One nurse, Martha, who can usually understand his accent, starts translating the orders and answering his questions.
The patient had IV’s in both arms and Dr. Happy ordered the nurses to administer some drugs.
While they were busy with that he gestured at my corner of the trauma room and yelling, “S-ay! S-ay!”
I took that to mean x-ray and punched my machine into the fray.
The enormous elephant body of the portable x-ray machine made the over crowded room claustrophobic.
Gently edging toward the patient, to avoid any spare feet in my path, I lined up my positioning for the x-ray.
Before I can shoot it, Dr. Happy changes his mind.
“No! No! Ab irst! Ab irst!” he shouts.

The lab tech, Steve, moves forward and steps in front of me.
Dr. Happy starts running around the body grabbing the man’s arms and pinching them.
He shouts something and then runs down to the man’s legs and starts pulling on the patient’s jeans.
Steve and I looked at each other and shrug. Now what?
The nurses ignore Dr. Happy’s antics and continued compressing the patient’s chest and squeezing air into the patient’s lungs.

Martha translates.
She turns to Steve and motions toward the supine man, “He doesn’t have a pulse, so I don’t think you can use the arms. Your welcome to try, but Dr. Happy’s going to look for a femoral vein for you.”
Dr. Happy shouts a question and Martha asks, “Do you have a really big syringe?”
Steve digs around in the basket of needles and tubes he carrys, pulling the biggest one out and handing it to Martha.

Dr. Happy has, by this time, given up trying to pull the blue jeans off the patients flaccid limbs.
He jabs frantically at the fabric with a pair of blunt nosed scissors.
Finally, tearing the fabric away and sniping off the man’s white underwear.
Except for his socks, the patient was now entirely naked.
“Col ip! Col ip!” Dr. Happy shouts at Martha.

She dashes to a cupboard and returns with a small one inch by one inch alcohol wipe.
Dr. Happy swabs at the man’s groin and then shouts again, “Un or!”.
Martha hands him another wipe, followed by an extremely long thin needle.
Dr. Happy feels around in the man’s crotch and starts mumbling.
Martha translates, “He can’t find the femoral vein either. Oh, now he thinks he found it, but it might be the femoral artery. He’s not sure. No, that’s definitely the artery. No, it’s the vein. He’s sure it’s the vein. OK get ready, he’s going to try it.”

Steve steps forward, with his vials ready to collect blood.
Dr. Happy stops for a moment, poised above the patient’s crotch, and then he jabs the needle into the skin.
A long thin fountain of blood arcs from the white tube attached to the needle.
The blood arcs through the air, hits Steve’s chest and paints a thin red strip down to his knees.
Martha said, “That was the artery.”
Everyone, except Steve, who needs new scrubs, laughs.
Dr. Happy shrugs and smiles, “Oh, el. Is til bud.”
He gives Steve a large sample of blood and then removes the needle.
Every time the nurse compresses the patient’s chest a thin squirt of blood shoots out.
Dr. Happy motions to a nurse standing near the patient’s feet.
She compresses, with a white square of cotton, the offending artery.

Now it's my turn.
I push the portable machine closer to the body and unfold its giraffe neck. I point the small box, its head, at the patient and move up to the patient’s chest.
He is still on a yellow plastic backboard.
The nurses lift the backboard up. I estimate the location of the man’s lungs and shove my white plastic portable grid and cassette underneath the backboard.
The man’s cold, clammy, sweat covered arm brushes against my arm.

The extra nurses and Dr. Happy leave the room.
The nurse performing compressions pauses and the nurse with the AMBU fills the patient’s lungs.
I spread out my lead apron to cover us both, take my x-ray and pull the grid from beneath the man’s body.
I push my machine rapidly out of the room and back to my department where I develop the film.
Everything is digital.
Shove the cassette into its dock in the processor.

I return to the ER to show Dr. Happy the x-ray image.
He is running around trying to find the man's name.
A policeman stands, in the middle of the ER, dumbfounded at Dr. Happy’s antics.
The lieutenant watches Dr. Happy with his eyes, while quietly explaining to Martha that the man’s family knew he was in the Emergency Room.

The police notified the family twenty minutes ago, when the man hit the ER door.
The lieutenant called them again, five minutes ago, they told him they would come to the hospital when they were good and ready.
And his name isn’t Frank it’s William.
I step into the trauma room.

Dr. Happy bounces into the room.
Anyone object to him ‘calling it’?
They could understand this, with or without Martha.
Everyone shakes their sweaty heads.
Nobody objections.

“OK” he announces. “Time o det sex fiftin.”
Time of death six fifteen.
The nurses sigh with relief and step away from the body, rolling the stress out of their tired shoulders.
On her way out of the room, one of the nurses pats the body on the shoulder, “Sorry, Frank”, she says “We tried.”

Ha! Gotcha!

Look who I caught in the act! Bad Catty!

The seat will be left down from now on. Ick.

I can't be mad at such a cute face!

Knock Knock

I had some visitors to my backdoor today, looking for raisin donations.
Aren't they cute?

This is the flock of five minus Lavender.
She's STILL broody!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Gardening Square

I love, love, love square foot gardening! It's so simple and it makes perfect sense. I'm turning my entire backyard into a square foot garden. So far I have 6 beds with 5 more in progress (I'm not that great at carpentry).


I have 4 3x3 beds, 2 3x2 potato bed/bins and 1 8x2 trellis bed.

The trellis bed is for tomatos. I have indeterminate varieties. They like to grow crazy all over the place, but with the trellis I (hopefully) can keep them under control.


I bought my tomato plants from Territorial Seeds. They let you buy single plants at a time (as opposed to other catalogs that make you buy at least three), so you can try a bunch of different varieties without an out of control garden.


Next year I'll ask to have my plants delivered in early May, instead of late April, because one of the plants arrived frosted and wilted.
As you can see in the picture to the right. The tomato on the far left looks a little dead.

They also had aphids!!! I'm NOT happy about that, because they spread to all my other seedlings. But a quick spray of neem and they're dead green pin heads.
The picture to the right is a pepper plant post neem spray. The little white dots are the dead aphids. Take that plant suckers!

I hope to build another 2 trellis boxes for my melons. I'm trying a bunch of crazy Asian melons and one from Iraq. I bought the seeds from Bakers Creek Heirloom Seeds.
The lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, kale and cauliflower seedlings that I planted out last week did not appreciate the 5 inches of snow that fell on Saturday. They are dead. Dead. Dead. It's OK, I have about a hundred more. I'm growing the broccoli, lettuce, ect. for my pet chickens. Broccoli is $2.00 a bunch at the grocery store and they can eat a bunch in about....um....60 seconds.
The chickies are loving the grass and weeds, that I'm pulling up from my garden. I weed for a few minutes every day and feed them the weeds. Then they lay me some delicious, nutritious eggs!
I'm starting to love weeding.
I'll try to take some pics of my garden soon.

Monday, April 28, 2008

New Boy

I hope my first day at work isn't like this.

Still it's really funny!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Leo Letter

Leonardo DiCaprio sent me a letter!

Like many girls, who were 13 when Titanic came out, I had a crush on Leo. Sigh. I think my friends and I saw the movie, like, totally 20 times.
I know- not a record.
Wasn't there some girl who saw it 75 times?

Anyway, back to my letter from Leo.
Just like me, Leo includes a photo of himself in his personal correspondence. He also, just like me, asks for money to save the polar bears.
I like to end my letters like this (maybe Leo should take notes), "Thanks again for the cookies, Grandma, they are so tasty. Please remember to send some money to the polar bears and remember them in your prayers. They recently lost their home to global warming. Much love!"

Monday, April 21, 2008

Wal Marty

This is about one of my mother's handicapped clients.
She would die of mortification if she knew I was writing this.

My mother(Katsmom) took 2 of her handicapped clients to Wal-mart. It was their reward for behaving (not swearing, taking their meds, and not punching anyone). J. is mostly nonverbal (except for swear words) and very violent. Sam is quiet and pretty nice most of the time. Sam and J pick out cough drops and white socks for their reward. They get up to the check out. Like most Wal-marts, there are 2 check outs open and 50 people waiting in line.
After 10 min. they are 1 person away from checking out. Sam puts his cough drops on the belt and then turns to my mother(who is trying to apologize to the nice check out lady--when J. called you a f-ing titty-ho--he meant to say 'Hello, how are you today?')

Sam: Katsmom?
Katsmom: Yes, Sam. What is it? No J. do not punch that little boy!
Sam: If I tell you something will you get mad?
Katsmom: What Sam? I won't get mad.
Sam: I'm afraid you'll get mad.
Katsmom: No, I won't get mad.
Sam: Are you sure?
Katsmom: Yes! What is it!
Sam: I had to go to the bathroom.
Katsmom: Well, can you wait a second? We're almost checked out. No! J. come back here!
Sam: No, Katsmom, I had to go. I had to. You're not mad are you?
Katsmom: What? What do you mean?
She looks down, checks his crotch for a wet stain. Her eyes travel down to the floor, to a small pile of poop that is spilling out of Sam's pant leg. Sam moves his leg and the pile of poop grows, spills over his shoe and then continues piling out of his pant leg. There is now a softball sized pile of poop on the floor and 20 people watching from the line behind my mother. The clerk gives her a handful of paper towels and my mother picks up the poop and deposits it in a handy wastepaper basket.
Then she takes her clients and runs out of the store.
She refuses to shop there ever again.

My question after this story was, "How could he do that? Wouldn't the poop get stuck in his underwear?"
I guess he wears loose boxers.

Oriann Tation

I had orientation today for my new job. From 8am to 4pm. Now I'm at work(old job) until 11pm.
Man, I'd forgotten about how boring and repetitive all that orientation junk is!
The exciting highlights of the day:

  • To find the elevators look for a picture of red poppies.
  • If you don't find said poppy picture you will be lost forever!
  • If you want police and security to come running dial 666 for assistance.
  • Sugarcane skewered shrimp with couscous for lunch (fancy pantsy!)
  • Prescription vending machine by the ER .

I know I will get lost all the time for the first 6 months. New job(NJ) hospital is soooo big. Everything is brand new and every hallway looks exactly the same. It's scary and super shiny at the same time. At old job(OJ) I know everyone by their first name. There are over 1,000 employees at NJ! Yikes!

I'm scared, but........I can't wait to start!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Dear Patient

Dear Patient,

I know we don't all have the same personal space requirements.
If, however, I can tell that you started out your day with a pot of coffee and half a pack of Marlboros YOU ARE STANDING TOO CLOSE TO ME!!
Please get out of my face.
Thank you.

P.S. Your chin pores need cleaning out.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I'm Bad

Kilt shortage in the Scottish Regiment!

"the regiment's five thousand soldiers have only three hundred and twenty kilts between them ( if this is indeed true every fifteen soldiers are sharing one kilt)."

This woman is to blame.
For shame! Making soldiers run around naked.
Where is that sign up sheet for the trip to Scotland?

No Gloria!

My mom manages a group home for adult mentally handicapped men.
She has one client that she takes to work 3 times a week.
My mom stays with him during the day while he works, because 1. he is very violent and 2. he has diabetes and epilepsy.

This client, J., "works" in a factory-like building. The work is provided by a government program. J's job is to push pieces of paper into a shredder. He does about 200 to 300 lbs. of paper a day. My mother sits beside him and hands him the paper.

Some of the other clients sort boxes of nuts and bolts.
Most of the clients fall asleep, wake up to eat lunch, and then fall asleep again.
Sometimes they are violent or disruptive. Then the staff brings out a mat and physically holds the violent client down on a mat. They use special holds to incapacitate the client.

One handicapped woman, "S.", talks to her hand all day long.
Her hand is named Gloria.
And Gloria is very bad.
Very, very bad.
Some of the things Gloria the hand says are x-rated, but this is a cleaned up version of S. and Gloria her hand's conversation.

S. talks in a normal voice and when she does her hand's voice it is very high and squeaky.

S: "Gloria, you are being very bad. We need to get to work."
G: "No! No! I won't work you can't make me!"
S. "Yes, Gloria, you need to work. You are very bad."
G: "Ha, ha, ha!" (Gloria knocks a box of bolts on the floor.)"
S. "Oh, no Gloria! You are so bad! I need to smack you! Do you want me to smack you?"
G. "I don't care you @#*&^! You go to ^%$#!"
S. "Gloria! No! Bad girl.
S. hits Gloria (her right hand) with her left hand.
Then Gloria (her right hand) hits S. across the face.

S. hits herself so hard that her eyes start to water and she leaves a huge red mark across her face.

My mom says she's glad she doesn't have to work with the really crazy ones like S. and her hand Gloria.

Cough Cough

This is what happens when you say, "Sick? I never get sick."
Ha. Ha.
I am sick. I have a fever and a cough. When I swallow, my spit bumps down a rough, fiery throat. It hurts. This is the worst sore throat I have ever had. And I think I just lacerated my liver coughing. Maybe I have strep.
I feel terrible.

But I'm at work!

Everyone is mad at me, because I'm quiting and in 2 weeks they'll have to work my shifts.
I've never called in sick.
Who would work for me?

Monday, April 14, 2008

April 15th

I finally did my taxes last night.
Procrastination is my best friend!
It's so depressing.
I've managed to give all my money away to the government again.
They take 1/3 of my wages and this year I get $87.00 back from the state.
My mother says I should have a baby.
Single mothers/heads of houshold get loads of money back.
Hmmmm.....I think she was kidding. ???
The good thing is that my money's building roads and stuff.
OK- Highway 12 is now mine.
I bought it.
If you want to drive on it you have to pay me.
Buahahahha! (evil laughter)

No Way!

I got the job!
They called me on Sat. to offer me the position!
And they want me to start in 2 weeks!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Gathering

The Scottish Heritage community is going crazy over The Gathering. As in THE GATHERING. It's like The Rapture, but more work.

I guess, from the 40 or so fliers I've received, that every scottish person in the whole world must attend. We're all supposed to go to Scotland and do stuff....?

I'm sure it would be an amazing, fun trip and I would love to go (that's why I'm making fun of all the lucky people who can go), but it would cost an arm and a leg!

The dollar isn't too healthy.

And I'm very, very cheap. No. Very thrifty.

Paul Douglas

WCCO fired Paul Douglas!

He was the only reason I watched their stupid channel!

You could trust his forecasts. If he said it would snow 10 inches. Then it would snow 10 inches!

Well, now I can watch something else at 10 and not sit through boring news chat waiting for the weather report. Maybe I'll watch Scrubs instead.

I couldn't find a video of his forecasts, but.....

He's also in one of my favorite songs by Unknown Prophets- Summer Heat

Sorry -very bad video quality.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Eyes Up

We do a lot of pre-MRI screening x-rays.
Our protocol for any metal grinders or metal workers are 2 waters views. One with the eyes looking up and one with the eyes looking down.

You have to wonder about the person who discovered that MRI's and metal don't mix.

"Mr. Jones in a few seconds we'll start your MRI."
"Argh, my eyes! I'm blind!"

Tech writes in notebook: Note to self---pre-screen pt.s for metal in eyes. Metal+MRI=Bad!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Creamy McDee's

I like this post about McDonalds and vomiting.

Maybe having a stranger pour things into your coffee isn't such a great idea.

What's Up

What's up with me:

I had an interview last Tues. It went OK. The position I really wanted is already filled, so... I'll have to see what happens.

I did a billion-zillion feet x-rays on Sat.
It's nice outside people! No ice, no snow. Why are you falling down?

I read 6 books on Sat

I made a lemon pound cake.

I went to the new tea shop in town with my mother.
I had a crumpet with clotted cream and strawberry jam.
My mom had a clootie dumpling, which is a boiled Scottish pudding/cake.
We also had tea, of course!

I went to the dentist. I have to go back again next week.

The price of gas went up 25 cents. I live in a gas price hike island. 30 miles in any direction and the gas price falls from $3.41 to $2.98. What's up with that!

I watched another Dr. Who movie.

I'm working my way through the 2nd season. I took a break after the 1st season, because I couldn't imagine a new person playing Dr. Who. Christopher Eccleston was soooo perfect. How can David Tennant even compare?

Yup, that was my week.