Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I'm getting hypoxic, here.....

It was one of those nights. We've all had them. 25+ patients in the ER and only one needed to be there. He was on Bi-Pap (it's a breathing machine, Mom) because he couldn't breathe too well on his own, what with all the cigarette smoke clogging his damn lungs, and all. So he needed to be there, but it was his own stupid fault. The rest of the group was a combination of drug seekers, retarded parents, (Tylenol and Motrin, people! You can buy it over the counter for a reason!) and non-emergent "emergencies". (And why exactly did you need to come in at 2 o'clock in the morning with a cold that you've had for 3 days?)

After about 5 hours of this, I was getting cranky. (I know, I know, "Say it isn't SO!") I got a warm blanket for the anxiety attack getting a full cardiac workup in Room 4, a glass of water for the whiplash from an MVA 2 days ago (with full negative workup on the day of the accident) in Room 10 (yes, I've had it, yes, it hurts, no, you don't need to go to the ER twice for it), a set of disposable scrubs complete with those cute little feetie socks with the treads on the bottom for the drunk who peed all over herself in room 16, and some peanut butter and graham crackers for the 5 year-old kid of the lady in Room 20, who thought it would be a good idea to drag the poor thing down to the ER in the middle of the night to try and increase her chances of getting her Lortab script refilled. (It doesn't make us feel more sympathy for you, dear. It makes us want to beat you for depriving your kid of the sleep she needs.) And I did it all with a smile. Well, a grimace that could pass for a smile if not examined too closely. You know, a non-threatening baring of the teeth. A smile-ish.

Then I got a portable oxygen tank and a non-rebreather, sat down at the nurses' station, turned it on, put it on, and leaned back and closed my eyes. About 2 minutes later, I was aware of a strange feeling; kinda like I was being watched. I opened my eyes and there were about 10 people all around me with very concerned looks on their faces. The charge nurse said, "MonkeyGirl, what's up? Are you OK?" I said, "Not really, I'm getting kinda hypoxic, I think." She said ,"Why, what's wrong?" By this time there was a crowd of cranky nurses (and a mildly cranky ER doc) trying to swallow their crankiness for me, to help me in my hour of need. I felt all warm and fuzzy inside as I lifted up my mask and said, "Because these freaks that are filling our beds are STEALING MY OXYGEN!!!!!"

Needless to say, we were in better moods for a little bit after that. Except for the charge nurse. She doesn't always appreciate my sense of humor.

8 comments:

Mom said...

I have a friend...she's pretty nuts too...who had to quit working with children because she said, "they're sucking the energy out of me!" Maybe you have the same problem.

ERnursey said...

Mom doesn't know how right she is.

Ambulance Driver said...

>>I felt all warm and fuzzy inside as I lifted up my mask and said, "Because these freaks that are filling our beds are STEALING MY OXYGEN!!!!!"<<

ROFLMAO...sounds like something I would have said.

I sometimes refer to them as "Job Satisfaction Succubi."

Anonymous said...

I'm loving your blog, but your use of the word "retarded" is offensive to those of us with actual mentally retarded family members. Another word would have been just fine here.

MonkeyGirl said...

I'm sorry you find it offensive. No offense was intended.

TDubRN said...

I wish we worked together--we could use someone with a sense of humour.

Ereshkigal said...

Too funny!

And not all of us with mentally challenged family and/or friends find it offensive. Anything that you do will offend someone somewhere. Be yourself and try not to offend someone who will cause you physical harm. ;)

Jim said...

Please understand that I mean nothing but good regard and empathy for you when I merrily steal that line :)