Special Sauce

A mish-mash of twisted thoughts from a fevered ego. Updated when the spirit moves me, contents vary and may have settled during shipping. Do not open towards eyes. Caution: Ingestion of Special Sauce may cause hair loss, halitosis, and a burning sensation while urinating.


Just saying...

Dear HealthAssurance folks,

For the past 2.5 years that I've had your insurance, I've been taking my birth control pills the same exact way; skip the inactive pills for 2 packs, take 'em on the 3rd. No matter what my OB-GYN writes, you still give me hassles every single time I want to get a refill. You're driving me insane.

If you'd prefer, I'll take the pills in the usual way, but you'll have to pay for prophylactic migraine meds again, which is a hell of a lot more expensive than just filling the damn BC when I ask for it. It's not like you can get high from BC pills, and there's not a high street value on something you can get for free down at planned parenthood.

In short, I've been taking these pills for years, even before our relationship started, HealthAssurance. I haven't died or OD'd yet...


(And yes, I know, they go by their formula, but going round for round with these people every 2.5 months is irritating the hell out of me.)


I Am Insane.

I bought a bicycle tonight.

The reasoning is twofold. (potentially threefold) Reason 1: I need to lose some ass. Reason 2: P is a huuuuuuuuge bike guy. Bikes constantly. I? Not so big a fan. I don't do hills, walking or zooming down them at 900 miles per hour, with rocks/limbs/obstacles flying at me. No. BUT, I do like going on the rail trails with him, so maybe we can do that together... and potentially 3: I live downtown, but rarely go out- parking's a joke, and if it's that close (but not quite close enough to really comfortably walk to) why not ride a bike? So...

Now I need to helmet and lock shop.

Insane, I tell you.

Word to the Wise

If you have a family member in the hospital and you happen to be a drug addict, try not to do anything excessively stupid. Because even if you think you're being clever, we are far smarter than you are.

Case in point: (Which has been obfuscated somewhat.) If your dad's in the hospital and on a ventillator, chances are, the drugs they're getting in their IV are somewhat necessary to their comfort/survival. When a bag of "vitamin A" has been hung in their room, and you ask "Oh,what is that? Is it like drug X? Because I know my dad takes drug X all the time. Yeah." and then, mysteriously, about an hour and a half later the bag of "vitamin a" is completely bone dry (when it should have lasted far, far longer) we're going to make sure the pump's not wacko, and the pharmacist wasn't smoking crack when he filled the bag... then we're going to figure out that it's you. (Especially when you're passed out in the waiting room downstairs.)

Further backstory there, but isn't quite relevant- suffice to say, they determined that what most likely happened is girl wonder unspiked the IV bag, squeezed a large amount of the bag's contents either into her mouth or her beverage, and proceeded to get happy, at her dad's expense. What a twunt.

(And dad was OK, though we ended up moving his bed from the far reaches to directly in front of the nurse's station, so someone's pretty much always staring into the room)


What a Weekend.

First up, a shout out to the lovely folks at Starbucks R&D. The new Mocha Mint Chip Frappuccino is incredible. Of course, the barista neglected to mention that aside from tasting like "a blenderized thin mint" it also included a healthy dose of liquid crack. Those damn things are addictive. (Though at 4.00 a pop, I'll stick to dunkin's iced coffee for my crack fix.)

What did I do this Memorial Day weekend? Aside from thanking veterans...

Gave blood on Saturday. I think they should give out buttons that say "I'm not on drugs, if I were, I'd be thinner." As it is, our blood bank doesn't even give out "I gave blood" stickers, which would have gone a loooong way toward explaining the ginormous bruise on my right arm. The nurse tried twice to get my vein, clamped the tubing, and let someone else try twice. Unfortunately, that someone else didn't unclamp the tubing, so instead of allowing blood to flow into the tubing, it flowed into my arm. Hot. Mercifully, they got it on the first try on my left arm. They're not lettin' O+ get away...

Made beer-can chicken on Saturday night. Say what you will, it does make some tasty-ass chicken, especially when made with some "ancient bay" seasoning (which is what old bay turns into when it's been in someone's cupboard for at least a decade.)

Sunday we smoked a giant piece of pork in the smoker. And I learned another important lesson. Jerk paste is like bryllcreme. A little dab'll do ya. The pork was great, but waaaaaaaaay spicy. I also spent a loooot of time in the Hammock Chair, reading. Made it through "Another Thing to Fall" by Laura Lippman (whose Baltimore novels are most awesome indeed), "Thunderstruck" by Erik Larson (who is like a lighter-hearted, more murder-obsessed Simon Winchester), and part of the way through "Bonk" by the inimitable Mary Roach. (If you haven't read "Stiff" go do it now, I can wait.) That was the highlight of the weekend. Sitting outside, reading and napping under the tree.

Hope you had an equally enjoyable weekend. I've got to go try to combat my Starcrack craving.


Short Takes

If you're feeling "tired", and you're in your car in the driveway, do us a favor eh? Go INSIDE to lie down. Lying down on your front yard, when the temps are in the high 40s is going to result in a pretty severe case of hypothermia. I don't think you've got a mile long driveway, so just make that little bit of effort, mhmkay?

While we're at it. Taking a handful of tylenol because you fought with your girlfriend is lame. Asking if said girlfriend can sleep in your hospital room with you, because you "don't want to be alone" is even lamer.

Also, I don't care if you're 85 and a decorated WWII vet. I'm proud of you, and glad that you felt the call to serve your country. It doesn't give you the excuse to act like an asshole. PS- you're still getting a bath.

If you top 350 pounds, are noncompliant with your meds/doctor visits, and present to the ER with chest pain caused by playing a popular hooker-killin' video game, you fail. And yes, we are going to laugh when we read your H&P. Besides, what is a grown-ass man doing playing video games in the middle of the morning?

Observation: There is a direct relationship between being a total jerkwad who rings their call bell every 15 seconds for something frivolous, and being in isolation for something nasty. (Side note: I am not washing/waxing/buffing your vajeener 80 times a night because "it buuuurrrrns" or "that nurse put the wrong cream on and it burrrrnnnnsssss.")

Observation 2: There is a direct relationship between how much someone hates their skilled nursing facility and how frequently they make up BS reasons to be admitted to the hospital from such. (Ma'am. You're feeling short of breath because you're HOLDING YOUR FREAKING BREATH. I can't help it that your doctor falls for this crap several times a week, but he's a moron.)


Something else...

I wanted to get this off my chest too.

We had a guy on our unit for a while. He came to us in bad shape, coded one morning, and found his equilibrium at the worse end of the scale. Not bad enough to go to the ICU, but bad enough. His family insisted on the works. They came in to visit fairly frequently while he was on the ventilator, pretty much completely unresponsive.

I guess the docs said that he was not going to ever get any better, and the family decided to withdraw support. And they left (if they even came in at all for this). They "refuse(d) to see him that way."

I come on shift, hear this in report, and decide to do his end of the hall first, there was only one patient on that end with him. I wanted to at least spend a little time in there with him, even if he was on what we called "comfort measures". (No vitals, no poking and prodding, just do what you can to make them comfortable.) I walked in, and he was already very obviously gone. I was saddened, and frustrated all at once. Nobody in a hospital should ever die alone. Especially not someone with a family capable of visiting. I got his nurse, and she notified the family. No. They still weren't coming in. We got him ready, and I just kept apologizing to him in my head. I wish I would have been there a little earlier so he wouldn't have been alone.

I realize that families deal with things in their own way, but the "not wanting to see him that way" just gets me. He had tubes, wires, and gadgets hooked up to every orifice and extremity, for weeks and that was OK, but take them away, and he suddenly is too painful to behold? If anything, he regained his dignity and became more like the man they knew before once all the gear had been removed.

He just shouldn't have died alone.

Huh? It's May?

Three finals down. One more to go. I? Am one happy camper. I've got an entire summer off, vacation in NC in June, and I am not as destitute as I thought I'd be. (Although you jackasses at PHEAA can suck it, for cutting state grants for the coming school year.)

Clinicals start in August, and with them comes the attendant BS money grabs by the school uniform place, the place that wants us to buy our "business casual uniform" (Either it's business casual or it's a uniform. Frankly, I think I'm grown up enough that I can figure out that belly shirts, whale tails, and spandex are not appropriate business attire, nor are they appropriate for my body type. Sheesh.)

I plan on doing a whole lot of jack for at least a week or two. (And if by "jack" I mean, working a half a jillion hours to train myself for a new, non-butt-wiping job, then yes... carry on.)

Speaking of non-butt-wiping jobs... (and their inherent need to exist) one of the short termers called in sick for her last weekend on the job (Geeeeee, really?) and my assignment Saturday consisted of teh following.

Pt 1. Hueueueueueuegely fat. Got pissed at me for not checking her husband's blood sugar, even though A. he's not a patient, B. if he's that brittle of a diabetic, he should have his own shit with him. His response to my offer of crackers/peanut butter/juice if he felt his sugar was too low "Oh, if I pass out, I'll just blame the hospital." Farker.

Pt 2. In isolation for MRSA. Demented LOL, who mercifully thought I was OK and didn't try to beat me up.

Pt 3. Also in isolation for MRSA (there's a theme), was going batshit insane a day or two ago, but left me alone for the most part.

Pt 4. HUEUEUEUEUEUEUEUEUEUEGLY fat, with rotting, bleeding sores up under her gut flap. Screamed like a banshee when we cleaned/dressed them. I went home Friday with the smell of those wounds stuck in my nostrils. (God Bless the ER Staff who cathed her for us. They should get gold spelunking helmets.)

Pt 5. The world's most annoying trach patient. If TWMATP does not get ativan exactly when first demanded, TWMATP will ring incessantly, rattle the bed, bang the remote against the bed, and generally work themselves up. Then they will complain because they can't breathe (while holding their breath.) They're also in isolation, refuse to use the bedpan, and the doc, in his infinite wisdom, took out their cath. We're in there every 20 seconds because TWMATP pees the bed constantly. (And we know that sitting in urine's really healthy...)

Pt 6. HUEUEUUEUEUEUEUGELY fat. Pooping clots of blood that more closely resemble a placenta than anything that should be coming out of an anus. At least she rolled well.

Pt 7. Confused old guy. Also in isolation. Kept trying to pull the oxygen sensor off his forehead. Why it was on his forehead, I have no idea, but it kept us both amused.

Pt 8. Mild-mannered, bi-pap patient. Family was swell, and easy to deal with.

Pt 9. Walkie talkie that I only went in to see to grab vitals for. She was a dream, and balanced out the other folks out.

1. If you are topping 350 pounds, lets get something straight. I. AM NOT. FEEDING YOU. You are obviously capable of moving food from point A into your head-hole. You don't need me to do it for you. Don't tell me you can't move your arms, because I see you talking on the phone every 15 seconds...

2. I know that testing everyone for MRSA when they're admitted to our unit sounds like a totally smart idea. But if we're going to throw everydamnbody into isolation, could you at least be sure to bump up our supply of isolation gowns?

3. If you're going to give 2 week's notice, you only work weekends, and you have a sporadic (at best) attendance history, lets just do ourselves all a favor, and pretend you quit on the spot. Don't give us false hope that you'd grow a pair and actually show up when you're scheduled. P.S. I hope you have to pay 3 semesters of tuition reimbursement back, beeyatch.

That is all.