Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Back to the Dreaded Community Hospital

Actually I've been working here all December, but it didn't start to really irritate me until yesterday. I returned to Houston from visiting my cutie-patootie nephew in Dallas to work a 8p-8a overnight shift. Not a great way to start, but I got a nice snooze in the car.

The shift started fine. I like the people I was working with, and their medicine isn't crazy. But then the 21 years of constipation began for Ron, and Berkley and I got reminded why - generally speaking - humans are scum.

Between the two of us, we took care of two young women barely into their teens who had been raped by some pissant of a man. One of the girls attacked this asshole as he raped her friend and they both escaped.

And you know what? One of the girls' mothers didn't show up for three hours 'cause she was 'busy'. What the fuck? No wonder this girl was wandering around the streets of Houston - and not the best part of Houston at that - at 11pm.

But anyway, that kind of stuff is somewhat out of the ordinary, at least for the pediatric side of this hospital. The 21 years of constipation, however, aren't.

Question - if you have had abdominal pain (due to constipation that you already know about) for ten years, why come to my ER at 3am? On a Sunday night? What's, say, five more hours? You know, when you can visit your regular doctor? And if you had two children - one with seven years of constipation, one with four years of constipation - would you come to the ER at 5:30 am?

If it's my kid the answer is hell no! The best part was none of the patients wanted the one thing that would make their pain go away, at least until the next build-up of stool. So they all left in as much pain as when they showed up. Great use of resources.

Here's another one for you:

If my child has a temper tantrum, do I
a) slap him upside the head
b) take away his TV privledges
c) put him in time out (provided he is over three years old with one minute of time out per year of age)
d) call 911?

That's right - the answer is d! (A true story - someone really did call 911 for a temper tantrum. Sheesh.)

Well, I gotta go. I've got a 15 year old to see with... abdominal pain!

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