Work- that is the main subject for this entry. Oh, what the days have brought! 10 working days to be exact. Lets start the tales off with a bang! I thought I was going to have to press the code blue button today... seriously. I was co-treating a patient when she decided to pass out and stop breathing. And by stop breathing I mean face go pale, then turn blue, no air moving -anywhere. The good news is that I could think clearly throughout it- no panic, but I wasn't sure the best way to handle the situation. (This I am sure is to be the beginning of emergencies and I relieved to know that I am clear headed during the moment.) After Maggie and I hefted her back onto the bed she FINALLY started to breathe again and regained consciousness. Yikes- Alls well that ends well. My back is complaining that it isn't used to this kind of "activity". As I get stronger it will get better. I, so far, really enjoy the shock trauma ICU. It is a little overwhelming but that means I won't get bored. It was hard to first hear/then see a family's reaction as a host of doctors somberly walked out of a room after losing someone. Life is already seeming much more fragile. Please wear a helmet, your seat belt, and look both ways before crossing a street- oh and don't get married to a man who will later think its a good idea to stab you 15 times later on in life. Then there was the co-treat where the patient decided to slip her hips off the edge of the bed and the two of us grab her hips and lay her head on the bed ending up in a very precarious bridge position supported solely by us. Not really the smallest of women. Thank goodness for the nurse who saved the day. Just so it is known, these were Maggie's treatments and I was there "helping". Being new I may not have tried as bold of treatments. I now understand what yellow skin from liver failure looks like. When they say yellow, they mean crayola box yellow. Amazing- I also recommend avoiding alcoholism.
But...the best story happened after work. Wednesday I was walking to the Trax station when there was a commotion I couldn't see what was going on. By the time I got there I only saw a bus driver walking along the rails looking for something which turned out to be a women's sunglasses. When they were found and returned to the woman I noticed she had blood on her pants. I looked at her and asked if she was alright. During which she explained she had just left the hospital and was given a medication making her a little dizzy, causing her to fall. But stated emphatically she was fine. Well apparently she feel off the platform and hit her head below!! As I am talking to her I notice blood start dripping/running down her neck. HELLO! You are NOT OK. As I take a closer look her hair is matted with blood- not good. I call out to the bus driver that she is not ok and needed help- asked anyone nearby at the station if they had a Kleenex or something and upon getting a Kleenex promptly used my right hand with it to apply compression to her head. I braced with my left hand to keep her head steady. Then her eyes closed! I just said- hello! hello! Can you open your eyes?! Fortunately she responded and a lovely conversation ensued. I learned her name is Karen and that she lives alone with her two dogs- they are two different breeds a Lahasa and a Shih Tzu. After which she said "so I have lotsa shit at my house" and howled with laughter. Sorry for the language, but it was really pretty funny. She works for the University Hospital and couldn't remember what she did- at that point she asked if she hit her head really hard because she was having difficulty thinking. As I am wondering what is taking the ambulance so long, my legs are going a little numb and she is frequently declaring she is fine and can just go home. I am left trying to explain why that is not going to happen without alarming her. Quite the reoccurring conversation. Typical head trauma! If you know much about head traumas you know how "head trauma" explains it all. I tried to shield as much of the potential seriousness of the situation because I wanted to avoid shock. Finally- the ambulance and fire truck showed up as I am squatting there holding the woman's head. They stand around for a minute asking questions until finally one of them asks me if I would like him to take over holding on. Hmmm... no-I enjoy my legs shaking and having bloody hands. YES! After which I was taken to the back of the ambulance to wash the blood off my hands. They gave me these certain wipes to wipe off my hands- these wipes are SERIOUS wipes. To be worn with gloves and are what we use to disinfect ANYTHING at the hospital. I may have mutated children one day because of it but, I'd rather wipe off with those than the potential consequence of the blood on my hands. I made my way back to the platform because I still needed to get on the train and stood aside and watched as they put a c-collar on her and started to get ready to transfer her to the spine board. Then she caught my eye and repeatedly mouthed thank you. That was kind of her to think of me at that moment. The paramedic who helped me wash my hands came up and informed me her blood tests came back clear, no blood borne pathogens so I could have peace of mind. Also very thoughtful. Too bad he had a ring on =) he was cute. Anya would have been in 7th heaven to have been surrounded by men in uniform like that. And then my train was there (I only missed one throughout the whole ordeal) and all there was for me to do was get on and watch them put her on the stretcher as the train pulled away.
And so it has begun... an entirely new adventure. I enjoy the broader interactions with people- it takes an army to run the hospital. I have not missed my last job for one minute yet, but my years in orthopedics has come in handy already for a variety of instances. It is fun to turn around and see my brother walking by. Watch out 2 McOmbers let lose with licenses in the hospital! I also really enjoy the nurturing side- finding the thing that creates a smile, or eases the pain a little, and finding what makes them see that I see them as a human- not a job or a diagnosis. Hopefully they will remember that more than the pain I caused by making them move. Last but surely not least, I really look forward to starting my 7 on 7 off schedule. I think that is going to be the best thing ever!