Thursday, December 28, 2006

Nurse: The mighty protector! Even dragons whimper before us.

That Nurse At Your Bedside

Welcome to our hospital
We’re renowned by advertising,
Come into our heart center
You’ll find the care surprising,
The nurses, a cohesive bunch
Have slaved for many years,
Studied hard and honed their skills
To minimize your fears.

Each one a patient advocate
Each one your only friend,
When life and death are racing
Towards a painful end,
Experienced in hand to hand combat
Experts in knowing what’s next,
On the lookout for unforeseen danger
Like doctors who don’t read the text.

So honor your bedside companion
Your survival is no fickle of fate,
Forget all the doctors and interns
Your nurse knows if death has a date,
Regardless of your final destination
Of your body or even your soul,
Remember that nurse at your bedside
Is the ultimate one in control.

Fibril_late; 3/95

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Fads of phobia's, egads! Sounds like a 1990's thing.

Disorderly Conduct

Every day I think I hear
About some other kind of fear,
A phobia for every man
Is the 1990’s plan.

The industry of fear ablation
Enables this neurotic nation,
While the victims gladly pay the fees
For a multitude of therapies.

Practitioners claim a cure for all
And a voice mail number you can call,
With testimonials abundant
A second opinion would be redundant.

An animal guide or spirit master
Can help you solve the problem faster,
It’s the best thing going, take my word
There’s no messy cage with a spirit bird.

To summarize, I will agree
There is a place for therapy,
Though I think it represents a fad
About the treatment everyone has had.

Fibril_late; 2/95

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Amidst chaos and disaster, a simple story of love.

Linguistic Angel

Tragedy, horror, oh tragedy
Where is the foreign translator,
This patient is babbling furiously
And I am beginning to hate her,
She's decompensating, her heart is in failure
And she won't let us take off her clothes,
Diuretics have made her incontinent;
I'm by her side, holding my nose.

A pretty young lady, a linguist
Enters this scene of disaster,
She says a few words to the patient
Who responds in her language much faster,
She states, "All I have is a fever"
As she clutches her urine drenched pants,
The linguist is gasping for breath
As I assume a formidable stance,
With the help of another brave nurse
We approach clothed in full body plastic,
Our mission: to apply bladder drainage
Before the old lady gets spastic.

With the mission accomplished, I turn
To the linguist now on the floor,
The air must be fresher down there
Because she's doing the crawl, towards the door,
Before I can halt her departure
She has gone, without leaving her name,
I've been saved by this angel of language
And now my poor heart is aflame.

I called upon translator services
To discover the name of the lass,
But no one could match the description
Was it just an effect of the gas?
Some toxic ammonia illusion
My senses all out of control,
No, no, I just can not accept it
That girl had a body and soul.

Now I wander the miles of hallways
My purpose is clearly spectacular,
To find her and tell her I love her
That angelic girl of vernacular.

Fibril_late; 2/95

Friday, December 22, 2006

The ethical dilemma of this day and age; allowing people to make their own decision when to die. Nurses hate getting stuck in the middle, because we hold ourselves to be patient advocates, and if the patient wishes to die, the wishes of the healthcare team should not interfere.

To Be A Dead Man

I want to be a dead man
I do, why can't you see,
Withdraw my life support
And let the angels come to me,
I thought I'd made it clear
About the treatment I desired,
If I only had the clout
I'd have my doctors fired.

I want to be a dead man
My organs all are shot,
My wife died seven years ago
And children, I have not,
I have no living relatives
To squander my estate,
And now I'm being tortured by
Some medical miracle fate.

I want to be a dead man
Gosh darn it, let me die,
Every night and day
I'm filled with pain
And still you question why,
The Medical Ethics Committee
Came by and wagged their tongues,
They refused to turn me off
Because I still have working lungs,
But I could see the dollar signs
Trail their footsteps on the floor,
As those unethical medical morons
Went marching out the door.

We fawn in all our glory
About this modern age of science,
With ten thousand types of medicines
And each year a new appliance,
To banish all the beasties
That plague the human race,
Because we’re so afraid of meeting
Our mortality, face to face.

Well, some of us are ready
To walk the paths of death,
Prepared to make the journey
And cease the physical breath,
It’s as natural as the passage
Of a day into its’ night,
And it’s morally unethical
To deny this basic right.

Fibril_late; 2/95

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Here's a follow-up to a post a few days ago, about the language challenged rail diver.

Over The Rail

Out of bed again
He’s way to big, I’m afraid,
When the sun comes up in the morning
He makes a lot of shade.

Over the rail he goes
Down to the floor on his butt,
His legs too weak to lift
His ponderous, bulging gut.

May the god of workman’s comp
Bestow on me a gift,
I need a miracle from heaven
A nuclear powered lift.

His surgery is in the morning
Should he survive the night,
He just might die before then
If he takes another flight.

This choice of work is dangerous
Sometimes it makes me gulp,
If this blimp collapsed upon me
I’d be reduced to pulp.

Fibril_late; 2/95

Monday, December 18, 2006

This one was written by another nurse friend. It looks at the often, snooty way that doctors talk down to us nurse-peons. Oh, how good it feels to turn it back on them.

Bluer Than Blue

The Doctor’s looked up
And one of them sighed,
As the Code-team ran in
To see who had died,
But the patient was sitting
In the chair as he fed,
His leads in one hand
Quite clearly, not dead,
He said, “I am sorry
I turned off the alarm,
The cords wouldn’t reach
And I thought it no harm”.

Yes, the Code I had called
Was bluer than blue,
And I hate to admit it
But I wish it were you,
I stood there embarrassed
As the Doctor just sat,
He said, “Don’t you know sinus rhythm
From a rhythm that’s flat,
Would it help if I drew
Some P-waves and such,
To show you the difference
Or would that be too much”?
And he laid it on thicker
Through each smile and smirk,
I already felt
Like a number one jerk.

I can not remember
The last words that he said,
Because the patient slumped over
And looked very dead,
Not a breath, not a pulse
So I gave a quick shock,
As he came back to life
I just looked at the Doc,
I gave him a smile
And nodded my head,
Then I winked at the Doctor
“Intuition”, I said.

Steve H./ 4/'95

Friday, December 15, 2006

Heard in the news a month ago; some famous guy died. The story related that he had gone under the knife for not just one or two, but 3 cardiac bypass surgeries! It reminded me of this poem I wrote in 1995.

In Love With Your Disease

It is morally unethical
To waste our money on these sinners,
The ones that abuse the cigarettes
The alcohol and high fat dinners,
Revasculated bodies, we saved them
And what for?
They’ll resume their usual habits
When they exit out our door.

We ought to offer just one trip
On the luxury surgical cruise,
Forgiveness for their sinful ways
Why, everyone pays their dues,
But should they come back crying
And begging, “Doctor, please”,
We’ll send them packing, “Sorry, pal
But you’re in love with your disease”.

Fibril_late; 4/95

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Just yesterday while listening to NPR, I heard a medical researcher, discussing at length the detriments of lack of sleep, on the overworked Residents and Interns, who commonly work 2 thirty hour days, each week while in training.
Over 10 years ago, I did my own research and discovered PVS; the Persistent Vegetative State.

Persistent Vegetative State

There’s an all pervasive condition
Rampant in medicine today,
It crosses all sociological boundaries
I’m concerned that it’s here to stay,
Overt in the overworked intern
To become concealed at a much later date,
Abbreviated as P.V.S.
The persistent vegetative state.

There’s a glazing of the eyes
When information must be extracted,
The mind just a jumble of synapses
The thought waves hopelessly impacted,
No cure has yet been discovered
To treat this unfortunate bunch,
Though, there’s a cottage industry developing;
They make a great planter, at lunch.

Fibril_late; 4/95

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

More complications in the teaching setting. Every year, rethinking old ideas, with fancy new formulas and tools. It's enough to drive you bonkers!

Fancy Formulas

Each year the vascular hobbyists
Play with a brand new device,
In the name of research and development
The golden boys pay any price,
To maintain a national ranking
And thereby attract research dollars,
The University plays right along
Granting the wish of the scholars.

Down in the battle scarred wards
The nurses are screaming, “Unfair”!
Inundated by this years’ new formulas
They hardly have time to give care,
The vascular intern on rounds
Is demanding the latest results,
Suddenly, I see an analogy
Between science and paganism cults.

They rely on their own special language
And a feeling of limitless power,
They’ll demand your utmost attention
To listen to them for an hour,
Traditionally, the charismatic leader
Is regaled as a genius by his clan,
And just like the doctor in charge here
The megalomaniac is a man.

What does one do in this setting?
Wear garlic and carry a spike,
If an intern should get in your way
Hold your papers and scream, “Take a hike”!
Because sooner or later he’ll learn
The valuable facts he must know,
That no matter how fancy the formula
A nurse is a friend or a foe.

The equations of shunt and elastance
Heat transfer, compliance and Fick,
Creatinine clearance and anion gaps
Are enough to make anyone sick,
Hemodynamic parameters
With cerebral perfusion indices;
If you don’t know your way in these waters
You just might be the one causing crises.

Fibril_late; 4/95

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

We've all the read the news accounts about people who have had the "wrong" part removed, such that now, they still have to have the "bad" part removed, that was intended for amputation in the first place. Just imagine the lawsuit!

Undefined Compensation

Amputated the wrong leg
Cut off the wrong breast,
If life is a lesson
Then this is a test,
We'll proceed with forgiveness
As we march to the court,
They took off the good parts
And now they're selling us short.

Removed the wrong hand
Took out the wrong eye,
You might call this living
But we want to die,
We'll proceed with forgiveness
But these Doctors must pay,
They took off the good parts
And that's not OK.

Each side will gather lawyers
And medical scholars,
To define compensation
In a matter of dollars,
But you can't say we're happy
With the settlement planned,
It's tough to applause
When you don't have hand.

Fibril_late; 4/95

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Working in Intensive Care Units (many different types, many people dying) I came to realize, that Nurses had an opportunity to play a unique and special role, as advocates and agents to the living, who would soon be dying. It was not our choice, what their final destination would be.

Agents of the Afterlife

It’s a savage beast of an undertow
That steals away the breath,
In these evil lands a shadow stands
To escort the mystery death,
As agents of the afterlife
We have a bill to sell,
To guide those worn and weary souls
To heaven or to hell.

Fibril_late; 1/95

Thursday, December 07, 2006

English as a "national language" - give me a break. We don't live in England; we live in the country known as the "melting pot". Lately it seems like our pot is having a meltdown, but that's a political issue. What I'm talking about here, is dealing with an ill patient who doesn't speak a word of English, and there isn't a translator within hollerin' distance. Rudy Burmenko, talked to us fluently in Russian, as though we were his compatriots. All I knew in his language was "Yes, no, pain and toilet". That's all a nurse needs to know, right?

Life and Limb

Don’t get me wrong
It’s not a song
Of foreign persecution,
But the language challenged victim
Demands a difficult solution,
When I say, “Sir,
Just wait a minute
Don’t climb out of bed”,
He smiles broadly
Takes the plunge
And falls upon his head,
The family wants to sue me
This financially challenged gringo,
I’ll counter-charge, upon the grounds
He should have known our lingo.

Consensus says, the kids will learn
The language from their peers,
While the immigration parents
Hoard their native speech for years,
A cultural dichotomy
This comfort zone mentality,
Finds me risking life and limb
I may be the next fatality.

Fibril_late; 1/'95

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Becoming an adult; when does that really happen? Not sure, but I don't think it's an age thing.
Here is an up to the minute, latest rant, about a couple young adults, in my adult education class. If you read this, you know who you are. The class is Massage Therapy.

Talking in Class

Unfortunately I, have been with the adults
Not the quiet ones, that hang with cults,
These talk so constantly, in the midst of a study
With their colloquial, localized age-related buddy,
They're speaking about hot cars and dudes
Jammed up in the jail, doing 'ludes,
And the hemi-headed Mustangs with lifters
Hip-hop artists, in cahoots with shape-shifters.

While I'm just about going, so deep 'round the bend
Imagining ways I could personally suspend,
These two classmates, to the hellroom of perpetual doom
They should be in the parking-lot, while I stay in the room,
Studying and learning, in the way that seems best
Because this is a classroom and this is a test,
Of my best darned behavior, in this time of dire need
If these guys don't shut up, rest assured they will bleed.

In the context of my imaginings
I'm not violent at all,
A hit-man in secret
I don't hear the call,
But even I, have my limits
Within the classroom, in this place,
Keep your personal life at home
Before I get in your face;
About talking in class
Regarding fights, cars and what?
Do you know all the actions
About the muscles of the gut?
Or maybe the Trapezius
Movements instead?
If you can't describe these
You get a boot to the head!

It's all about self-control, calmness and Chi
Shut your mind and be quiet, and listen to me,
The classroom is sacred, relaxing and peace
You must be like an iron, and make a good crease,
Stay good and well home, unless you're defined about learning
If you can't focus and study, there will be no future earning,
And while the rest of us suffer, through your endless jabber
There's a contract on you by Jack the backstabber,
At the end of your rope, you're now at the juncture
To make like a mannikin, so we can practice acupuncture.

Fibril_late; 12/1/2006

Monday, December 04, 2006

Cerebral Aneurysm; it kills the young and the old. You better be near "911" for you to have any hope of survival without sequelae. Sometimes there can be symptoms of headache, but very often, there is no pre-warning, thanks to our amazing bodies and our ability to cope with adversity. So, if you should feel as though there is a hammer on an anvil in your brain, maybe you ought to have it checked out!

Hammer on an Anvil

Cerebral aneurysm
Malformation in the brain,
You have a splitting headache
Doesn’t quit, it’s too much pain,
Close the windows, pull the curtains
Lay in darkness all day long,
Your sudden death would mean relief
Unclear what’s right or wrong.

A hammer on an anvil
Beating ceaselessly inside,
Excruciating torture
Doesn’t stop, good lord you’ve tried,
A thousand different measures
That never halt the pain,
Cerebral aneurysm
It’s a time bomb in your brain.

Fibril_late; 1/95

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

'Tis the Christmas season again. No matter if you have any sort of affiliated religious connection to this major U.S. holiday, is of no interest to me. I just know it's worthwhile to consider it a special time of year. And that's a "Happy Holidays" to members of the gang factions, too. They seem to celebrate this time of year as well, in their own certain way.

Oh, Glorious Night

It's a typical night
In this famous village,
With the peasants performing
Their usual pillage,
With gunshots galore
At a drug transaction,
Relieving our streets
Of gang impaction,
Oh, glorious night
Our business is good,
Emergency patrons
The boys in the hood.

There's a typical crowd
In the waiting room,
A grim faced bunch
All dire and doom,
Posturing boldly
With threatening looks,
Like evil transgressors
In comic books,
Oh, glorious night
In this Christmas season,
Who are we saving
And what is the reason?

Do unto others
As they do unto you,
This teenager wants
A stitch and some glue,
A colt 45
With a nine shot clip,
Fully automatic
He shoots from the hip,
He's a wired little monster
Looking for a fight,
Deck the halls with dead bodies
On this Christmas night.

Fibril_late; 12/94

Monday, November 27, 2006

Why is it called "practicing" medicine? Wouldn't you rather have some one "skilled" at medicine, instead of just practicing? I might practice the piano for 40 years and never be good enough to perform, but even if I play 27 wrong notes, nobody will die; at least I don't play that bad!
And then there is the whole thing about people who destroy their bodies, and then expect society to pick up the tab. And along comes the outraged family, who seem to think that we can create a masterpiece out of faulty materials!?!

Training the Scholars

Cirrhosis cause by many years
Of IV drugs and a million beers,
Disabled with his liver disease
He wants a medical miracle please.

On public assistance, he has no job
No health insurance plan to rob,
Saint Mother of Money hospitals, say
"Don't come to us, if you can't pay".

So, off to the University joint
We charge triple, that's the point,
All in the name of research and knowledge
You have to remember, that this is college.

Last year Biology, frogs in the lab
This year an Intern, people on a slab,
Poking around for landmarks unseen
Unlicensed drivers on every machine.

You chose the lifestyle, of abuse and addiction
Now you're begging for help, to reverse the affliction,
You agree to proceed, did you pause to repent?
There's a chance you will die, but you gave us consent.

Your family is angry, they threaten to sue
But you know the truth, the blame is on you,
And it seems like a waste of our health-care dollars
But then I remember, we're training the scholars.

Fibril_late; 12/94

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Last year a remarkable young woman from California, died in Iraq. She was killed by a car bomb blast in Baghdad. She founded the Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict (CIVIC), an organization that assists Iraqi victims of the 2003 US invasion of Iraq. I was moved by her story and her dedication to her self-assigned task, to help those in need in Iraq. If you haven't heard of her, check out CIVIC: @

A Disturbance in the Force

It’s a movie cliché’
But it speaks to us all,
Marla Ruzicka was chosen
By the grim reapers call,
He trails in the shadows
Of the footfalls of men,
Who wage war on the innocent
Again and again.

She was the purity in the wasteland
The light in the dark,
Such strength for the victims
An ember, a spark,
Her vision a firebrand
To make us aware,
And walk a path through the wilderness
With compassion and care.

At 28 years,
Too early to go,
But her work will be legend
I want you to know,
How one person with focus
Someone’s wonderful daughter,
Can cast waves to infinity
Like a ripple on water.


Saturday, November 25, 2006

Sure I make a lot of bad jokes, and display a great deal of ill humor, but the truth behind the uncouth..........I am often humbled by the mystery of love and support that people display towards those who mean the most to them. This was written about a woman, a mother, a wife, a person, spending many months in a hospital for severe and chronic respiratory failure. Although I felt I was "crossing a line" of confidentiality in some way, I sent the poem to this family. Much, much later, I received a thank-you note from them. It felt like the footnote, to a footnote.


"This lady is fun"
Her daughter said to me,
The portrait on the wall
Displayed her lovingly.

She held her mothers hand
And gently stroked her hair,
It felt like I was standing
In a sanctuary there.

Her husband gazed into her eyes
And only saw her beauty,
He'd gladly suffer all her pain
In love, and not for duty.

The part I played seemed minor
In the drama on this stage,
I felt just like a footnote
At the bottom of the page.

"My mother is the strong one"
Her daughter said to me,
And in a moments silence
I was humbled by the three.

Fibril_late; 11/94

Friday, November 24, 2006

Amidst a little nonsense, there is a poignant message about Love. If "true-love" is truly unconditional and non-detached, then that love can let go, and allow a person to die, when it is obviously their time to go.

Love Is Letting Go

Why go on
When your body has failed,
Why send a letter
That never was mailed,
Why own a comb
If you've lost all your hair,
You can't hold your breath
If there isn't any air,
Why go on reading
If it isn't making sense,
Can you say you have a farm
If it doesn't have a fence?

Why prolong the suffering
Of the one you love the most,
Are your grief and loss so great
You are clinging to her ghost,
Sit beside her, hold her hand
Feel her pain and you will know,
That love is giving and receiving
And love is letting go.

Fibril_late; 11/94

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanksgiving. It certainly touches a place inside for me, being far away from my original family; they all live in the Midwest, whereas I am in the "out west" as we used to call it as children. So I was looking for something I had written, about old time friends, knowing that it's always good to remember to remember. I'm writing to this and listening to Albert Collins...."If Money Were Trouble, I'd Be A Millionaire". Check it out and download it to your iPod.

A Longtime Friend

Words have their limitations
To express the deepest meanings
The greatest writers hold their pens
And pause for inspiration,
They are waiting for a voice
Or some subtle distant music
Perhaps a ripple on the water
Or a tickle of vibration.

Or perchance a longtime friend
Has been hidden by a shadow
Overwhelmed by circumstances
And struggling in the riptide,
If you wait there, at the shoreline
Like a lighthouse, never moving
Know for certain, you are needed
To mend the great divide.

And even when the distance
Is enormous by a measure
Know your actions are important
Despite how small they seem,
When we keep our loved ones with us
In the center of our hearts
The woven fabric of our lives
Is the dream within the dream.

Emotional abuse; what we say and how we say it to others, particularly those who are closest to us, is a twisted way to showing "we care". Someday, that table is turned, and it comes back to us. Ouch!

Terms of Abuse

I tell little stories
Of life, death and bravery,
Unlimited options
To counteract slavery,
Of the words, thoughts and actions
Created by men,
May my stories reveal
The abuse once again.

On a personal level
It's a look at the past,
On a day by day basis
It goes by so fast,
That you have to watch closely
To see the threads of misuse,
Human lives are at risk
In terms of abuse.

Was it something you said
To your spouse in the morning,
A cutting remark
That sliced without warning,
Your shirt had a wrinkle
Or she drank all the juice,
Your complaints, so unloving
This is emotional abuse.

Later, at work
To your employee you say,
"You're doing it wrong
So do it my way",
Your demeanor is threatening
Like a tightening noose,
You're dishing it out
In heaps of abuse.

A buddy at lunch
Whispers, "Hey, did you hear,
That chick over there
She really is queer",
Like the sinking of ships
By the lips that were loose,
Words of gossip, my friend
Are a form of abuse.

At home after work
As a husband or father,
Your daughter says, "Daddy"
And you say, "Don't bother",
You sleep on the couch
Because sex was refused,
Wondering why you're the one
Who gets so abused.

Fibril_late. 11/04

Monday, November 20, 2006

Many painful poems, or poems about pain, depending how you interpret my writing.

Well Disguised Lover

I have witnessed so much pain
But when can one say, "too much",
It's an ongoing dilemma of man
Because pain is a matter of touch,
A signal to pay close attention
To our singular state of being,
And as a giver and taker of pain
I suffer from what I am seeing.

Do you harden your shell for survival
Do you harden your heart if it's breaking,
Do you pray to the Gods for your strength
And offer the pain that you're taking,
Do you turn to the bottle for numbness
Because their pain is making you cry,
Do you pray to the Gods for forgiveness
For wishing that someone might die?

Pain is a double edged sword
It cuts everyone within reach,
Pain is a friend or a foe
Its' objective, is only to teach,
Examine the pain that you're feeling
Touch it until you discover,
That healing is just letting go
Because pain is a well disguised lover.

Fibril_late, 11/94

Saturday, November 18, 2006

This one is a heartbreaker. True story of young woman 21, dying of a drug overdose. I uncover the root cause of the distressing reality.

Only Time For Tears

Twenty-one, is just too young
To die from an addiction,
It points a finger at a cause
A glaring dereliction,
A charge is made that someone failed
To raise the child right,
Her parents bow their heads in shame
Their grief returns each night.

When interviewed, her fourth grade teacher said
"She was so quiet",
The school nurse that came monthly, wrote
"She really needs to diet",
Her brother teased her constantly
And called her awful names,
Her self esteem belittled
In all his clever games.

Her father was a busy man
He'd say, "Later child, I'm thinking",
She loved him like a daughter would
And didn't see him drinking,
Her mother came home late each night
She'd smell of smoke and beer,
There was never time for family stuff
They'd always say, "Next year".

Her city didn't give much thought
About those too young to vote,
It was real-estate and industry
And "Restore the River-boat",
The library, her favorite place
Was closed, for lack of vision,
By the city council members
"Waste of money", their decision.

The local voice, the newspaper
Would rail about "Our youth",
Hanging out and unemployed
And never print the truth,
Taxpayers in an uproar
Police prepared to scrimmage,
Who cares about the lousy kids
They're ruining our image.

Seemingly unwanted
She withdrew for her protection,
She buried all her feelings
In the absence of affection,
With no guidelines of behavior
Or a sense of wrong and right,
She listened to outsiders
And sought solace in the night.

Yes twenty-one, is just too young
To die from an addiction,
The grown-ups she relied on
Performed her crucifixion,
Nailed her to the cross of life
Without a chance to live her years,
Her death is such a tragedy
Now there's only time for tears.

Fibril_late; 11/94

Friday, November 17, 2006

How crass, they will say. The terms of "kill" and "atrocities" are merely euphymism's for describing some of the wild scenes like emergently opening someone's chest to do open cardiac massage, or drilling into a patient's head to relieve pressure. So dear public, understand, everything is on the up and up and entirely copasetic; no snafu's present.

Code Team Member

I'm a code team member
What a thrill,
It's not called murder
When we kill,
It's either a save
Or he didn't make it,
No reason to cover up
Or fake it.

We commit atrocities
So very often,
Who bothers to look
Inside the coffin,
It's all in the name
Of the healing arts,
We're always looking
For donor parts.

We've got a transplant
Program here,
We pickle the organs
In ice cold beer,
The surgeons have
The whole thing mastered,
And just like the organs
They're totally plastered.

So, as a prominent member
Of donor acquisition,
I'll proudly direct you
To a well known physician,
Who will sell you a condo
On body failure road,
And before you know it
You'll be the next code.

Fibril_late; 10/94

Thursday, November 16, 2006

I applied to be a member of a Transplant team, and it struck me, that having clients that were dead might be ok. It wouldn't matter if I was a slob or not. Thus begat:

Donor Manager

I wanna be a donor manager
I really do,
I always took apart my pets
To get a better view,
I'd pop a couple eyeballs out
For marbles with the boys,
There wasn't anyone I knew
Who had my kinds of toys,
So I think I'm really qualified
To get this sort of job,
It won't matter to a dead man
That I'm really just a slob.

Fibril_late; 10/94

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Bonus post of the day!

A Cute Patient

Given a preference
Though the point may be moot,
I’d rather see a cute patient
Than a patient, acute.

Fibril_late; 2/04
A couple of things ran through my brain on this one. First, in my early years as a Respiratory Therapist, I did know of a patient that "exploded". Some weird edema thing that blew up their head. It was ugly. Then another time a patient that had a violent skin reaction to pronestyl, where their skin peeled off like the sunburn from hell. And last of all, it's about the horrid state of end stage diseases, where you'll hear the stupidest comment on earth, "Oh, he's lucky to be alive". Ya, just like that Ariel Sharon guy in Israel. Hello! Brain-dead isn't anything to rejoice about -- "lucky to be alive"; yes, quite easily the most unkind statement ever.

Lucky Man

Itching uncontrollably
Flesh in patches peeling,
When I explode, they'll need a knife
To scrape me off the ceiling.

Veins that once were viable
And a heart that pumped the juice,
I've had a bowel infarct
And now my stools are loose.

Since a nasty brain stem insult
I can not take a breath,
They tell me, I'm a lucky man
I've somehow cheated death.

Fibril_late; 10/94

Saturday, November 11, 2006

I can't keep silent about the epidemic of obesity. This particular person weighed greater than 900 Lbs! We didn't have human-lifting equipment large enough to accommodate this fellow, so it usually fell upon the shoulders and backs of 8 people. Our CCU was small, so there were never 8 people working. We would have to enlist help from nurses from another ICU to help us. Now, everytime I see people walking around who are >300 pounds, I think, there goes another Nurse killer. Because someday (and probably soon) that person will be floundering in a hospital bed somewhere, incapable of moving themselves, and ultimately may play a part in ruining someone's career with a back injury.

Just Attracting Flies

He's a whale of a man
And he's beached upon our floor,
He gained a hundred pounds
And he won't fit through the door,
Moving him is murder
He's busting nurses backs,
We lost a couple good ones
When they died of heart attacks.

We'll have to size and quarter him
If he ever dies,
Otherwise he's trapped here
Just attracting flies,
Or maybe we will witness
An angelic intervention,
We're praying pretty hard
For chariot ascension.

But, I have some major doubts
If Saint Peter will allow,
An admission into heaven
Who requires so much chow,
His afterworld departure
Will therefore be delayed,
He'll have to stay on earth
Until he has decayed.

Fibril_late; 9/94

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Mold! It's everywhere and in the hospital it grows most stupendously in and on warm, damp, dark, hidden places. Many of us humans, harbor these pathogens, often to our detriment. But not so, to this strange fellow in this latest poem.

Gluteal Cheese

When you can't dry the moisture
In the gluteal fold,
You probably will develop
Some gluteal mold,
It's better than yogurt
It rivals French cheese,
It's really quite a delicacy
The Creme de Menthe of disease.

Fibril_late; 9/94

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Adolescent humor; I excel in it. Gross, unpalatable and just plain funny.

You Can't Beat It, If You Eat It

You may recall a story
Written by a fool,
The author claimed delight
At the sight of charcoal stool,
He held it in his lap
And kept some in his purse,
It's a stress related symptom
Of the so-called, burnt out nurse.

Now me, I've got an appetite
For purulent secretions,
I love to suck the fibers
Of abdominal adhesions,
And savor every bleb
From tubercle cavitations,
For dessert I crave the filaments
From the cardiac ablations.

To get along in life today
Is not an easy feat,
But I've always been the happiest
In a job, where I can eat.

Fibril_late; 9/94

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

When I was a kid, there was a company that sold a kit for almost anything you wanted to make. I think that would be a great idea for our hospital population as well.

Do It At Home Autopsy Kit

Each night and day
Around the clocks,
We prepare them for
The plain pine box,
We pull the tubes
And cleanse the skin,
There's a zippered bag
We put them in.

Now if you're wondering
How Grandpa died,
You can take him home
And have a look inside,
We'll pay the taxi
Right to your door,
And as a bonus
There's one thing more,
We put a gift in his bag
It was easy to fit,
The "Do It At Home"
Autopsy kit.

Then it's time for twenty questions
Can you venture what disease,
Laid asunder poor old Grandpa
I think it started with a sneeze,
And included with your instructions
Are some recipes (Their winners!),
Just save your favorite body parts
They'll make a lot of dinners,
And when it's time to ditch the leftovers
You can call us at the station,
We'll send you our most popular kit
For do it at home cremation.

Fibril_late; 9/94

Monday, November 06, 2006

Just a little TLC..............well, I've got an acronym for those "back-stabber" types, where TLC = Total Loser Crap; which is what you get when you have to work with people like that.

Total Loser Crap (T.L.C)

You know the type
They have a way,
Of ruining
Your night and day,
They have an attitude
Of ruin,
While claiming
Someone else's doin',
You can't escape
This bogus trap,
Ensnared by
Total loser crap.

Complaints their
Modus operand,
The bold faced lies
Go hand in hand,
They'll take each chance
To stab your back,
So many times
You can't keep track,
There's just no dodging
This phony rap,
Befouled in
Total loser crap.

The only way
To deal with these weasels,
Is to expose them to
The German measles,
Infect them with
Some mutant strains,
Designed to blenderize
Their brains,
Then hopefully
Their jaws won't flap,
With all that
Total loser crap.

Fibril_late; 9/94

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Parking-lot Attendant; it's a dirty job, but someone has to do it. Right? And if you have never gotten a ticket, lucky you. The rest of us citizens, have special words for their species and I can't reveal them here. But I can rant and rave to my hearts content.

Exhaust Sucking Meatheads

I'm a hard working serf
For a local employer,
It's been a fine place to work
But now I need a good lawyer,
Because the parking-lot attendants
Have gone one step too far,
Those power hungry gnats
Have ticketed my car.

It's a typical situation
For powerless peons,
A self esteem vacuum
That's gone on for eons,
They're assigned special uniforms
With pseudo regalia,
A flashlight and notepad
And other paraphernalia,
They're at the bottom of the barrel
In the hierarchy tower,
Groveling for a sense
Of fictional power.

I pay my monthly dues
Like clockwork, on time,
I never break the speed limit
And I stop on a dime,
But those exhaust sucking meatheads
Are hot on my trail,
And if I don't pay this ticket
I might go to jail.

To be honest with you
I'm not the last to admit,
That our local parking problem
Is a big crock of shit,
Big brother is charging us
A leg and an arm,
Exploiting us peons
While we work on his farm;
Why not gouge the customers
Like we do in the store,
Get them coming and going
For ten dollars more.

This city is famous
For its lung wrenching air,
I participate in a car pool
Because I'm environmentally aware,
But as drivers, we receive
A group parking I.D.,
It's the crux of the problem
Why they ticketed me;
There is no provision
If I'm working overtime,
There will be no compromise
From these parking-lot slime,
If I'm driving alone
Without the parking pass,
The scum of the earth attendants
Will ticket my ass.

If any one knows
A lawyer without scruples,
I want to mortgage their souls
And gouge out their pupils,
But I won't stop there
I'll take it to the ceiling,
Until the bureaucratic bigwigs
Are ticketed and squealing.

Fibril_late; 8/98

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Don't live too long if you can possibly avoid it, otherwise you may be subject to "damaged fate", like this poor fellow (and all those he came in contact with as well).

Damaged Fate

He never rests, he never sleeps
He’s constantly in motion,
His good wife stands beside his bed
Enraptured with devotion,
Upon his face, a frightened look
I think he’s scared of dying,
His wife displays a happy smile
But when she’s home, she’s crying.

He didn’t always look this bad
He used to be a farmer,
His wife would give a little smile
And say he was a charmer,
His kids would swear he never raised
His voice or hand in wrath,
He walked the road of honesty
And never left the path.

But somewhere in the course
Of his catastrophic illness,
A personality synapse
Came unraveled in the stillness,
Now he fights the very people
He depends on for his needs,
Did he spend his prior lifetime
Saving up his evil deeds?

Who knows, it hardly matters
He is chaos incarnate,
His nurses stop and wonder
About their damaged fate,
The family comes reluctantly
Embarrassed for their father,
And as the days and weeks wear on
They begin to think, “Why bother?”

I’m sure you think it’s just another
Case of burned-out nurses,
Who found themselves, some poor old chap
To work out all their curses,
But he pulls out his invasive lines
And soils all the linen,
They treat him with undue respect
But he’s malevolent and grinnin’.

The family wants a full Code Blue
Their guilt is his domain,
He’s devious and still intact
And wants to share his pain,
It hardly matters in the end
His illness has him beat,
He’s a banquet for bacteria
And, how they love to eat!

Yes, once this charming farmer
Led a different kind of life,
Respected in his village
Loved deeply by his wife,
But one day it came crashing down
He had lived his life to late,
And despite our magic medicines
He succumbed to damaged fate.

Fibril_late; 8/94

Friday, November 03, 2006

CVA or stroke can be so horribly devastating, if emergency care can not intervene in time. Imagine being unable to speak or move.................

Slowly Dying, Living Hell

The shock of instability
On previously solid ground,
The shock of broken silence
By an unexpected sound,
The horror of paralysis
In a body that was well,
Trapped inside forever
Slowly dying, living hell.

The terror of an illness
That strikes without a warning,
It erases all the sunsets
And the sunrise in the morning,
The loved ones at the bedside
Stand forlornly, with their sorrow,
Partaking in the agony
As each day becomes tomorrow.

The victim prays that death will come
To liberate her soul,
The family starts to bargain
If only God, could make her whole,
But this illness shows no mercy
It’s a torturous tale to tell,
A family in captivity
Slowly dying, living hell.

At last, the liberation
The agony does end,
A relief for her survivors
But will they ever mend?

Fibril_late; 8/94

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Completely off the track here today, because I didn't get time to access the records of "The Underside". So instead, I have a little poem about my niece and the amusing things she's up to with 3 of her friends; precision rope-jumping, of a style known as "Double Dutchess"! Take a look at their website:

Double Dutchess

They jump through the ropes
With the greatest of ease,
Those Double-Dutchess chicks
How they dress, what a tease,
The provocative theme
Of their skits makes me snicker,
When they jump, skip and jiggle
It puts a strain on my ticker,
And the park-bench leering geezers
Those randy old men,
Holler, "Keep jumping, chickies
We give you a ten!"

Fibril_late; 6/29/06

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Pain. Actually going out of my way, to get a biannual dose of it. Crazy!?!

My Irrational Fear

Don't get me wrong
The lady is great,
But she's not one I'd ask
On a romantic date,
Her features are nice
Her complexion is fair,
But I'm sitting before her
In her dental chair.

We get along fine
But I'm scared to death,
So anxious and nervous
I can't catch my breath,
And what is the source
Of my irrational fear?
The table of tortuous
Instruments here.

My gums will be prodded
My teeth will be flossed,
My insurance company
Will buffer the cost,
But that will do little
To allay my distress,
I derive meager pleasure
From her gentle caress.

I endorse her skill
Her faultless ability,
When the appointment is over
I exhibit agility,
As I leap from the chair
And leave her office on the run,
The lady is great
But she isn't much fun.

So, don't get me wrong
She's a wonderful dame,
But I don't like playing
In her kind of game,
Though you can be sure
That in the upcoming year,
I'll call her again
To reexamine my fear.

Fibril_late; 7/94

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I'm not in love with my dentist, I just write about our curious relationship. After all, I willinglygo there twice a year, knowing it will be painful. Hmmm, how odd.

My Dental Sin

I shivered and chattered
I gnarled and gnashed,
Because I couldn't remember
Where my toothbrush was stashed,
I hollered and moaned
I cried out and squealed,
Because I couldn't recall
Where my floss was concealed.

So, why the hysterics
The fuss and anxiety,
I bumped into my dentist
While out in society,
I admit that I suffered
A small guilt attack,
As I thought of my teeth
All covered with plaque.

My smile, a thin one
My teeth were secluded,
But I knew deep inside
She wasn't deluded,
I mumbled some words
Like, how have you been,
Secretly admitting
To my dental sin.

I craved her forgiveness
But didn't dare speak,
Appalled at the thought
Of letting her peek,
At the wasteland behind
My tooth barricade,
Knowing my previous
Bill wasn't paid.

When I returned home
I performed benediction,
Reestablished good habits
That carried conviction,
A plan of prevention
To avoid future sorrow,
Should I meet once again
With my dentist tomorrow.


Monday, October 30, 2006

What greater example of genius can be found, than a group of nurses brainstorming ideas, to solve an apparently insurmountable situation. And I was there as a member of the "Ring Around The Collar" Brigade!

Ring Around The Collar

She attacked my poor olfactory nerves
When I checked beneath the covers,
She had colonized a host of creatures
Left by thirty lovers,
In the dark, warm, damp environment
These bacteria and yeasts,
Synergized and incubated
Awesome, unknown beasts.

The epidemiologist
Was unsure of what to do,
He ordered standard culture sets
On the exudative goo,
And quite plainly, like the rest of us
He was grossed out to the max,
So he didn’t even notice
When the slime jumped on his slacks.

A fomite under power
This sad fellow was a dupe,
He should have tossed his clothes right then
Inside the linen hoop,
Instead he took that colony
On rounds with him that day,
Contaminating everything
In an epidemic way.

Within the fortress of the unit
The nurses launched their fight,
They wrote a mighty care plan
It was an awe inspiring sight,
The list of interventions
Would win a Nobel prize,
As sure as fresh made cow chips
Will attract three dozen flies.

But none the less, they knew the tricks
To eradicate this beast,
They called the local chaplaincy
To get a Catholic priest,
We need an exorcism
Before we gather by that bed,
Please come and do your demon dance
Or I’m sure we’ll all be dead.

The Catholic guy, said, “My, oh my”
Of course I’ll help those nurses,
I’ll get a chance to practice
All my anti-demon curses,
Because it isn’t very often
Within the confines of my role,
That I have the opportunity
To really save a soul.

With the exorcism finished
Their job took on some meaning,
It was just another nasty site
Of excretory cleaning,
Engarbed in isolation robes
They were covered head to toe,
And if you turned the lights down
You would see those nurses glow.

Together they approached
Their formation, it was tight,
They stripped back all the bedclothes
And assaulted her with light,
They attacked with four point suction
To vacuum up the slime,
While taking notes in narrative
About the scenery of the crime.

In the background several nurses
Were at work in preparation,
To concoct some deadly mixture
For slime eradication,
And they finally reached consensus
About exactly what to do,
They would mix a triple portion
Of the hospital coffee brew.

It was well known information
That the stuff was nearly toxic,
It could revitalize a resident
Who by appearance seemed anoxic,
And the triple dose delivery
Would cause culture overdrive,
This seeping, weeping monster
Would no longer be alive.

The smell was overpowering
When they sprayed the caffeine flux,
It didn’t touch the linen
Because they’d padded her with Chux,
And when the treatment was successful
You could hear those nurses holler,
“I wonder if this stuff will work
For ring around the collar?”

FIbril_late; 6/94

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Dental visions in my sleep........and a few more dental poems in the archives.

I Bit Her

I bit her finger
And her hand,
Don't ask me why
It wasn't planned,
But when she rapped
On my incisor,
Good, golly gosh
Did I surprise her.

If looks could kill
I wouldn't be writing,
About the Dentist
I've been biting,
I'm not in heat
It wasn't love,
I chewed her nails
And sucked some glove,
But when she sliced
Into my gum,
I couldn't help
But bite her thumb.

Oh, mortified
I was indeed,
To think I made
My dentist bleed,
I worried that
She'd charge me double,
For causing all this
Pain and trouble.

But not this dentist
She's too cool,
She studied karate
In dentist school,
Though I'm convinced
That she's bipolar,
Because she went ahead
And chopped my molar.

Fibril_late; 6/94

Friday, October 27, 2006

You gotta realize that being a Nurse can be hugely frustrating, in the course of one 12 hour period, spent tending to an angry old man. Heck, no wonder he is angry. His body has betrayed him. He is but a whisper of a pale shadow of a previously virile young man. Now he is nearly blind and deaf. He wishes he died back in the glory days of W-W-II. Now all he can do is fight everybody and everything. No doubt even our ministrations to his wasted body are painful. He's so weak he can't even lift his old pistol to shoot himself. And now, I have to be his target for the next 12 hours. Don't call me callous, until you've been in a Nurses' shoes.

A Nasty Old Snot

Are you deaf?
Did he hear me
Most certainly not,
Are you blind?
Did he see me
Not likely, I thought,
Yet here I am screaming
And gesturing wildly,
My frustration boiling
And that’s putting it mildly,
I feel I’ve been chosen
Plucked out of the crowd,
To be the nurse for the night
That must scream very loud.

He won’t follow orders
He won’t use the bell,
He mumbles and hollers
“Won’t you all go to hell”,
I can’t shut his door
Or even close the curtain,
If I do that
He’ll climb out of bed
That’s for certain.

He’s a pain in the butt
And a nasty old snot,
It’s a wonder he hasn’t
Already been shot,
By some frustrated caretaker
Whose patience eroded,
Got the gun from the kitchen
That was already loaded,
Then blasted away
With hardly a miss,
Why, a life in prison
Would be better than this!

Fibril_late; 6/96

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A new poem popped out today. I was thinking about a young man I "met" about 6 years ago. He had made the unfortunate choice, of taking a short cut between a couple of commuter trains. Guess he wasn't listening when Mommy told him to be careful near the tracks.

Who You Will Become

Uncontrollable hemorrhage
Doesn't really tell the story,
A lower limb amputation
Dismembered; crushed; so gory.

An opportunity accident
A terrible choice, indeed,
A shortcut, down at the train tracks
The train moved and now you bleed.

At this moment, so very near death
A team of doctors and nurses work hard,
You took the chance of a lifetime
And bet on the very worst card.

Did you think you were immune to disaster
A young man just barely eighteen,
What the heck, it was only the "Light-rail"
Not a real train, like the ones that you'd seen,
In the movies where heroes are leaping
Off bridges and buildings and trains,
You once had two beautiful legs
But clearly had a shortage of brains.

We're saving your life, because that's what we do
To the best of our ability, if we can,
The rest of your life, is all up to you
To determine just what kind of man,
Who you will become, as a result of your actions
How you recover and learn from it all;
We'll wash our hands, and tidy the room
Because someone else waits in the hall.

Fibril_late; 10/25/06
If you are fearful or easily frightened, then being a critical care nurse will not be your cup of soup. Like the well-trained soldier that enters the theater of war; he knows he's going to see some scary crap, he might be called upon to do stuff that wasn't in the training manual, but nonetheless, he is mentally ready for anything. The same goes in the ICU; you have to look under the covers occasionally, to make sure all the body parts are still attached.


Vasoactive dripology
Is a dangerous regime,
Be it micro drops or milligrams
You must understand the scene.

If it's cardiac performance
That you're trying to enhance,
You must know a lot of formulas
To do the cardiac output dance.

It it's a shock and rock occasion
A perfusion loss severe,
You'll be dialing up the pressors
In a state of constant fear,
Knowing there's a likelihood
Of gangrene a'la carte,
It could start with minor foot-drop
And then you lose the whole damn part.

It's clearly not a job
For the feeble minded geek,
You have to know arithmetic
And have the guts to take a peek.

Fibril_late; 6/94

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Hospitals gotta be accredited, right? For accountability of thier practices and actions. And of course, politics never come into play, nor any sort of underhanded threats of any kind. Of course not. The one guaranteed outcome, is that the whole accreditation process will generate 240 hours of Managerial hand-wringing, mountains of paperwork, and everybody stands up straight and smiles for the 3 days the JCAHO inspectors show up. Of course after that, there are more forms to till out on an hourly basis.

Bullshit Tolerance Level

In days long gone
I had the capacity
For tolerating crap,
No matter what they threw at me
I was an accommodating chap,
I could outrun all the sputum bombs
And sidestep charcoal stool,
I really grooved on gaping wounds
And thought bullet holes were cool.

I could face the psycho-social issues
Of all our crazy clients,
And mesmerize the public
With my grasp of quantum science,
But now that I am entering
The fifth decade of living,
My bullshit tolerance level
Is no longer so forgiving.

If you’re the hired gun
Of some drug related war,
I’ll let your rivals know your whereabouts
So they can even up the score,
Or perhaps you perpetrated
Some child abuse infraction,
I don’t care if you develop
A life threatening impaction.

But the things that irk me most, I’d say
Are the paperwork inventions,
Designed by anal retentive types
With over zealous intentions,
Couched in terms of simplification
For all our charting needs,
Or for insurance documentation
Of our techno-medico deeds.

The Joint Commission complicates
The state of healthcare today,
“We’ll withhold your accreditation”
Unless you do things our way,
It’s not about cost containment
Or the quality of life we pursue,
It’s the typical bureaucrat bullshit
To control everything that we do.

And this attitude clearly pervades
From the top to the bottom of the pile,
Anal retentive and educated
They administrate, with a smile,
So caught up in the burdensome bullshit
And removed from the care of the sick,
They promise us simplification
As the mountain of papers grow thick.

Well, that just about wraps my position
Where I stand on the pile, right now,
I feel like an ant, on an ant hill
Located behind a large cow,
And my bullshit tolerance level
Has reached a saturation state,
What I need is a giant umbrella
To endure the rest of my fate!

Fibril_late; 5/94

Monday, October 23, 2006

Back in the early to mid 1990's all over the country, hospital management decided to try and incorporate a business paradigm of management that took on many names; reorganization, restructuring, and so on. In our locale, some of these "retraining" programs, that all persons had to attend, cost in the low millions of dollars. All sorts of touchy-feely games and exercises. No money was saved, the plans didn't work, and here in 2006, we're still paying through the nose for that "redesign" debacle.

You Can't See Your Victims

We're not laying off
We're just redistributing,
You can't see your victims
In a drive-by shooting,
We have an abundance of projects
In a construction based facility;
Victimized by seniority
And not by ability.

Budgetary cuts
In lean fiscal years,
Administrative decisions
Fulfill common fears,
Hysterical restructuring
In an arena of fright,
Cut the ranks, save the salaries
Relinquish the light.

Apologies abound
In administrative meetings,
"We did what we could
Now, please take your beatings",
A community leader?
Clearly setting the tone,
Denying the basic tenet
"Take care of your own".

Fibril_late; 5/94

Friday, October 20, 2006

Accountability; that's what management gets all chest-thumpy about. And really, at the end of the day, when I write my final, "John Dough, RN", I am acknowledging that everything I've said and done, is true and legal, to the best of my ability. Including all of those blood samples, that I sent to the lab, from yonder sick man. He is under my care, I am accountable.
So,when the powers above, want me to attach a piece of my Social Security number, and load that into a glucose monitoring device, completing a chain of evidence (so to speak), on one itty-bitty drop of blood, I rose in protest. I cried out, "This proves nothing!" Afterall, it has nothing to do with the identity of the blood, but rather, allows me to be blamed for a multitude of potential errors that are completely out of my control. What if the batteries are failing; what if the blood is turnip juice; what if yonder sick man, is about to croak, and I don't have the flippin' time, to enter all this extraneous data, into this stupid machine, because if I leave his bedside, he'll have a cardiac arrest? And management, wants to reprimand me, because I found a way to bypass the data entry, so I could get a blood sugar value, stat! Oh, the angst of it all.

Each Drop Of Blood

Like many folks, I work a week
Of forty hours duration,
I sign my name at the end of each day
As my legal obligation,
Because life and death decisions
Are within my jurisdiction,
And I practice my profession
With a passion and conviction.

But apparently my efforts
Stand short in hospital law,
Because now I must encode
Each drop of blood I draw,
With four digits of identification
From my social security card,
The instructors may glare, frown or snicker
But buddy , I’m taking it hard.

So once again, I am an advocate
To break this entire new system,
I will enter inaccurate numbers
And claim, “Boss, I’m sorry I missed ‘em”,
And I plead with the rest of my comrades
To stand by me on this accord,
To accept anymore of this bullshit
Is something we can not afford.

Fibril_late; 5/94

Thursday, October 19, 2006

For 15 years, I was a member of a bargaining unit, a union, and nursing hammered out an agreement every few revolutions around the sun. We earned 1 sick day a month, had 3 weeks of vacation, holidays, education days, and who knows what else. But there was an undeclared and secret rule; "don't use your sick days too much". You would be shocked to see how many sick hospital personnel, go to work, because they are afraid of "calling in sick", because this might garner a reprimand, that would go into thier personnel file. Talk about a freakin' walking, talking, fomite under power!

A Bitter Pill

A reprimand
If you are ill,
Is what I call
A bitter pill,
Though I know the system
Gets abused;
When reprimanded
I feel used.

I know my nursing
Contract states,
That I'm allotted
Sickness dates,
To use at my
Mature discretion,
Without an
A.N.-II* confession. *(A.N. II = a Nurse Assisstant. Manager)

So please don't try
To threaten me,
With some secret
Unit policy,
Nor threaten my yearly
Pay raise portion,
Or I will charge you
With extortion.

Fibril_late; 5/94

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Up in smoke; that's what I think should happen to the cardiac surgeon who is addicted to nicotine. Heck, smoking is the absolutely toughest habit to stop, especially for those with heart disease. After all, the very thought of dying sooner than you expect is enough to make you want to reach for a cigarette, to help calm your nerves!

The Guy’s A Smoker

I was shocked to learn a fact
About our famous Dr. X,
Renowned he is indeed
For the salary he collects,
Well respected in the city
This surgeon is no joker,
An expert on all heart disease
But egads, the guy’s a smoker.

Quite frankly, I would take my business
Somewhere down the block,
I’d call up my Paine-Weber rep
And sell my doctors stock,
If I learned my cardiac surgeon
Said he cared for us old fogies,
When on each and every coffee break
He was smokin’ his old stogies.

I always thought his fingertips
Were stained with betadene,
But now I know the awful truth
It’s all from nicotine.

Fibril_late; 4/94

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Control freaks, that's what we are; especially those critical care nurses. I admit it. If there was a 12-step program for us, I'd be there. It's no different at home either. I need to know who's doing what, where, when, how much was spent, what are they hiding, and where are they going, at all times. Only I get to keep the secrets.
Anyway, it has a downside too; when others rely on us to save the day and then steal the glory.

In Control

As critical care nurses
We like to be in control,
Measuring all that goes in
And out, every hole,
We like to maintain the rhythm
Of everyone’s heart,
We give explicit directions
About when they can fart,
We know more than the doctors
In some ways, by far,
Because we’re at the bedside
Much more than they are,
We record all the data
And present it real slow,
So the doctor has time
To understand the whole show,
Then he’ll write a few orders
And compose a short note,
Scribbling, so no one
Can read what he wrote.

It will look like the orders
Were written with reflection,
And not in a manner
To give him protection,
Because the patient in question
Is circling the drain,
And this dumbfounded doctor
Is shaking his brain,
In an effort to reveal
The meagerest fact,
Because the patient is dying
If he doesn’t act,
So he turns to the nurse
And asks for suggestions,
She reluctantly gives
The proper directions,
Knowing, she once again
Saved his sweet ass,
And for this he’s promoted
To the top of his class.

It’s all for the good
In the service of life,
But how many times
Do we tell husband or wife;
Please don’t let them know
That I am a nurse,
Because sometimes it seems
Like an unholy curse.

Fibril_late; 4/94

Monday, October 16, 2006

The presentation of Unstable Angina, and Non-ST Segment Myocardial Infarct, can be difficult to diagnose much of the time. If the Physician decides to wait on it (because of his uncertainty to narrow down the differential diagnosis), dire results may occur to the patient. Indeed, should the end result be an unrecognized MI with a subsequent shortened life-span, or even death, there shall be no forgiveness.

No Forgiveness

Unstable angina
For the diagnostician,
Presents a dilemma
An uncertain admission,
Without acute symptoms
And atypical pain,
The doctor must weigh
Treatment plans in his brain.

Conservative methods
Might be cost effective,
But what if his guesses
Are under-protective,
And this unstable angina
Is a clot in the making,
While the Resident sleeps
This bad heart is breaking.

If the pain should persist
Despite treatment, for hours,
You must pray to the Gods
And the cath-fellow’s powers,
To pull one more miracle
Out of his hat,
But there is no guarantee
That he can do that.

So when unstable angina
Comes to your door,
Dare to be liberal
And challenge the score,
Because thrombotic occlusion
Is a major event,
There is no forgiveness
When you try to repent.

Fibril_late; 4/94

Sunday, October 15, 2006

There was a time when physicians really did perform many laborous tasks, until they discovered all those nurse people hanging around, seemingly idle (compared to themselves, they thought), and decided many tasks were just too time consuming, got thier hands dirty, reduced their opportunities for meaningful relationships and who knows what else. "Hey nurse, come here a minute...........could you do this for me, I've got an important phone call to make to my stockbroker and I'm due in Cancun for golf at 10":

Beneath The Sheath

The time has come
The doctor said
To do a job for me,
From this day on
The nurses
Will pull the sheaths for free,
We used to be responsible
About taking them out before,
But we found it interfered with
Our sneaking out the door.

In prior days of yesteryear
The doctors had some thrust,
They did the dirty work themselves
Because they felt they must,
But after a while they noticed
The nurses collecting dust,
Now they are rapidly shedding their duties
As though, we’ve earned their trust.

But we know better, yes indeed
About their so called skills,
These doctors are only qualified
To be prescribing patient’s pills,
So I suspect the future
Will bring responsibility,
And doctors will retire
Into obsolescent senility.

Fibril_late; 4/94

Friday, October 13, 2006

Hitting on Surgeons again; although really, it's about the prospect of choosing to have surgery in the first place.; can't place all the blame on the Doctor, right?

The Blunders Never Cease

In spite of techno-wizardry
The blunders never cease,
Sometimes you're better off
Hanging on to your disease,
Do you bow before the knife
And the surgeon's well trained skill?
Or grab the horns of destiny
Stay home, and take your pill.

Despite the rays of magic
That can look within your soul,
Exploratory surgery
Is just guesswork, on the whole,
A way, to look inside
To clear up speculation,
Should they find just what they're seeking
Three cheers for the occasion.

A guarantee, it really isn't
Who knows if you'll survive,
The surgeons' main objective
Is to bring you back alive,
Should you die in the recovery room
He did his holy best,
And by George, he worked his miracle
It's you that failed the test.

Fibril_late; 4/94

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Surely, you recall that wonderful Christmas song, "Winter Wonderland" - maybe at least you remember the tune. Hmmm, hmm, etc. Ok, you're ready to sing along now with;

Sputum Wonderland

Sputum slugs, in his airway
Like a golfball on a fairway,
Curving to the right
Sputum out of sight,
Coughing in a sputum wonderland.

Sputum cups, on the table
Filled up full, tell a fable,
Chronologically a tale
That both his lungs will fail,
Grossed out here in sputum wonderland.

Sticky, gooey kleenex
In the bedclothes,
Crusty residue of snot
On his nose,
Leave the room and find
The snot on your hose,
Throw up in the bathroom, prn......

Beware of those, that have the wheezes
Hacking cough with power sneezes,
Sputum launches in the air
It's destined for your hair,
Loving it in sputum wonderland.

Fibril_late; 3/94

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

When I reviewed this particular issue of "The Underside of Nursing" (March, 1994) I was happy to find a couple of musical renditions of mucus poems, that truly are funny if you can recall the snappy tunes. This one is based on the musical score of the song, "My Favorite Things" which I think was in "The Sound of Music". Do enjoy:

My Favorite Chore

Wheezes and goobers and
Wet, slimy tissue,
Purulent sputum
That's government issue,
Low flying snot bombs
That land on the floor,
Cleaning them up
Ain't my favorite chore.

Spit on the bedclothes
And slime on the linen,
It's a 12 hour battle
That I am not winnin'
I want to escape
Running out of the door,
Sputum just isn't
My favorite chore.

When those loogers
Join the boogers
When it becomes a fad,
I simply remember
My least favorite chore,
And then comprehend….
I've been had.

Fibril_late; 3/94

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The mores and the social interactions of society are reflected in the hospital as well. For the most part male patient's would usually be quite comfortable with either a male or female nurse, but the reverse was not so. More often than not, the female patient, feels most comfortable with a female nurse. As a result of this, quite often where I worked there might be some trade-off of nursing tasks, to accomodate that male-female thing. And some times there would be other tasks entirely. One of my frequent co-workers had a difficult time with patient's that had a vomit episode. It struck a sensitive nerve in her, and prompted a similar outcome. Her frequent statement was, "I don't do vomit". So, in effect, this might be a tradeable task or favor, if you will.
And thus was born, "It Smells Like Roses".

It Smells Like Roses

Do you feel like throwing up?
If you do, then really shove it,
When vomit flies across the room
Oh man, I really love it,
Some people say the smell
Is so gross, they plug their noses,
But frankly, I'll be honest
To me it smells like roses,
I keep a little vial
Of that stuff, inside my purse,
It's another special reason
Why I became a nurse.

Fibril_late; 3/94

Monday, October 09, 2006

Believe me, if you have ever had a stomach ulcer or acute gastritis, it feels like you accidently ate a Piranha and his buddy the Sea Lamprey and now they're eating their way out through the lining of your stomach. Imagine this........

Stomach Hickeys

Stomach hickeys
Can you imagine the sight,
Sea lampreys in your gut
Each taking out a bite,
Rabid little monsters
With an appetitie to match,
If you don't readicate them soon
You'll need a stomach patch.

Is it simply flatulence
Or something else diverse,
Is it a creepy, crawly feeling
Could it be the lamprey curse?,
Stomach hickeys in the making
Little lamphrey creatures,
Sucking on the lining
Rearrange your stomach features.

You'll pray to seven deities
To cure you of this blight,
Consume three dozen poisons
Because those lamprey suckers fight,
Eat a heap of ripe red radishes
With jalapenos by the bunch,
Then hope to God that you're survived
The plight of lamprey lunch.

Fibril_late; 3/94

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Sure, I've seen a lot of gross things, but then, I have to put myself in the "shoes" of the patient and think, ok, it looks horrendous, but think how that poor guy feels!

Chunky Tongue

I vomited, I hurled
So much, I lost a lung,
But the thing that really bothers me
Is my black and crusty tongue.

Swollen seven sizes
Like a carcass that's been hung,
Just imagine how it feels
To put up with chunky tongue.

Fibril_late; 3/94

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Patients are people, not just a diagnosis or a room number. Heard that enough over the years. All I know, is that a diagnosis wouldn't intentionally try to sputum-bomb me as I entered the room; only a miserable human could do that.

Sucking Neck

I have a sucking neck wound
A cavernous hole in my trach,
It collects all the purulent pus
Until it produces a lake,
I call on my nurse for assistance
And wait till he comes to the door,
Then I cough with agressive abandon
In an attempt, to settle my score.

Fibril_late; 3/94

Friday, October 06, 2006

It's Friday night. A number of these weekends, I have not submitted any posts and that's neither here, nor there. When I began writing as a child (>40 yrs ago), I set a goal of one poem a day. Some were ok, most were just exercises in rhyming, but it was kind of a hobby. Now, I'm trying to blog every day, but in the event that I do not, I'll make up on the days I blog more than once. Sounds reasonable, for a compulsion.
Perhaps because of some recent entries /poems that chronicled contact with persons who had suffered greatly, I became more aware of what was happening to me as I recalled those events. Sometimes, even the more humorous poems, strike painful memories. It was just my attempt at the time of the experience, to find a "funny" way to cope with stress, and a calamity of suffering and pain.
This brings along an absolutely fresh new poem.

The Remembering

I wrote about painful experiences
Now, nearly 12 years past,
The memories are still picture-vivid
They stuck with me so very fast,
I wrote a collection of stories
In a predictable pattern of rhyme,
As I present them again to the world
Pain revisits me each single time.

The rereading sparks the remembering
Each story I clearly recall,
I laugh a lot, yes, it is true
But hidden, 'neath the sum of it all,
There is a memory of suffering I own
Within the context of my partnership of care,
So as I collate, collect and exhibit
The pain reminds me; indeed, I was there.

Fibril_late; 10/06/06
Nurses working in the hospital see the grossest things when it comes to secretions, oozings, leakings, etc. Only a few of us can make it rhyme. Here we have a patient, attempting to come to terms with the pus collection in thier lung; and it seems as though the relationship has soured a bit. Let's listen in.............

My Little Empyema

Oh, my little empyema
My little pus collection,
When you cavitate my lung fields
It's time for some correction.

I thought we had a compromise
A game of give and take,
You could suck up my alveoli
And make my chest wall ache,
But you took the bad advantage
And filled my chest with goo,
I'm left with little recourse
About what to do with you.

I'll use the mighty Trocar
And pierce my chest with glee,
Attach thoracic suction
And you'll be gone from me,
Please take this as a warning
Because I'm bullish on protection,
Should you sneak inside my chest again
I'll get a lung resection.

Fibril_late; 3/94
What is it about Nursing Supervisors? So many of them are grumpy, tired and not likely to "lighten up a room". But, they do make great fodder for poems!

With Solemn Face

She walks about
With solemn face,
And heavy footed
Plodding pace,
An eye for every
Nodding head,
If looks could kill
We'd all be dead.

And should she smile
We'll gaze in shock,
Making note
Year, date and clock,
It will be gossiped
Long by phone,
And inscribed upon
Her burial stone.

Fibril_late; 1/94

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Peer groups lend solidarity and strength. Pull the leader or one of his/her minions out of the safety of numbers, and sometimes all is revealed; a frightened, anxious nobody. That is gang behavior in a nutshell.

Gangland Wimps

The sacrificial rituals
Of urban gangland wars,
Headbangers brandish weapons
And settle up their scores.

The battle ravaged warriors
Need a place to mend for free,
A private room and three fine meals
With good security.

The peer group bold bravado
Is grossly overrated,
When battered and deserted
Is quickly dissipated.

Warlords of the urban jungle
Gangsters and the pimps,
When busted up and all alone
Are very often, wimps.

Fibril_late; 1/94

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Sure, I talk about moral and ethical behavior a lot, but which one of us outraged citizens, doesn't at one time or another, silently thank the gang members for shooting each other? They are saving the taxpayers money and cleaning up the streets, in their own convoluted way.

A Public Service

The hospital scene
Can be a dangerous place,
We have our suspicions
About any new face.

A miniature city
Is enclosed in these walls,
While the violent local populace
Are found roaming our halls.

So, a panel has been formed
For safety and protection,
Soon visitors will submit
To firearm inspection.

If they can guarantee their bullets
Are not employee bound,
We'll let them have a hall pass
And a single, chambered round.

They do a public service
By thinning out the ranks,
Of the gang war rival factions
And they deserve our thanks.

Fibril_late; 1/94

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

I'm not much of a dancer myself, but I remember the famous line in some Western movie where the gunslinger shoots at the other guys' feet and says, "Dance, pardner". Here in Sactown, our local gangbangers are "Doin' the Bullet Dodge". A 20th century version of the same old dance.

Doin' the Bullet Dodge

UCDMC is the place
Where fools will lodge,
The ones that dance the night away
Doin' the Bullet Dodge.

A fancy, for the finer things in life
Attract this crew,
While snorting rhino candy
And tossing down a brew.

They're dreaming about the cars
The stereo's, the guns,
Now they're paying us a visit
With their bullet riddled buns.

The friends and family hang about
Like vultures in the sky,
Waiting for young junior
To kick the can, and die,
Then a wailing and a hollering
They'll thump their chests and scream,
Revenge upon the S.O.B.
That ruined junior's dream.

When the family's gone, the sense of peace
Is really a mirage,
'Cause their just waiting for another night
To do the bullet-dodge.

Fibril_late; 1/94

Monday, October 02, 2006

Throat cancer and the like, often is treated with a surgical procedure known as a "radical neck". It isn't pretty, there is a long recovery and before you have the surgery, you should have a psych-profile done and any pesky drug or alcohol addictions need to be addressed, before your surgeon starts cutting. Otherwise, hell hath no fury, like a surgical patient experiencing, Delirium Tremens!

Harolds Game

A case, just so unfortunate
His neck a rotting mess,
Despite my years of servitude
I was grossed out, I confess,
And like a swirling dervish
Chaos took a name,
To drive the Nurses crazy
That was Harold's game.

They rushed him off to surgery
Without a chance to cool,
Discovering, in retrospect
He was a drunken fool,
His destruction and delirium
Made insanity look tame,
He focused on disruptiveness
Yes, that was Harold's game.

A simple goal, returning home
Would Harold take the bit?
Or was he just too damned happy
Giving us, his shit,
His prior life so empty
He revelled in this fame,
So generous with his misery
Yes, that was Harold's game.

Fibril_late; 2/94

Friday, September 29, 2006

God - Yes, you know who I'm talking about. That omnipresent or never present being (depending on your point of view or level of desperation), has a lot of stuff on her plate. She's blamed or begged, sworn upon, or sworn at, prayed to, damned, and so on. As a nurse, I heard every convoluted opinion or belief imaginable, in some connection to God. In this poem we visit with some hapless soul, who has abused their body for decades, who now is pleading with God, to rescue them. Good luck, pal; God often looks the other way, when she has been ignored for so long.

Gray Shapes

Ominous gray shapes formed
On the horizon of his health,
Subtle elements of disharmony
Approached with painless stealth.

Clues of imminent disaster
Unseen by the untrained eye,
Told a tale of evil habits
But a muted voice can’t cry.

Too late for safe intervention
And desperately grasping at straws,
The dying man begs God for mercy
After violating all of his laws.

So God gives the second opinion
She laughs, saying, “You must be dreamin’”
I never buy back those old souls
That were long ago sold to the demon!

Fibril_late; 2/94

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Today, a little longer entry, where I read a letter I received from my local nursing chapter of a well known professional nursing organization. The names will be blocked/changed, but the essence will be unaltered. It's just a glimpse into the world of, "The Underside of Nursing".

Igor, Editor Sept. 22, 1993
The Underside of Nursing
PO Box 371
Paradise, Ca 95969

Dear Igor:

I am writing on behalf of the Board of Directors for the Sacramento Area Chapter of the _WXYZ Critical-Care Nurses.

We have been on your mailing list for The Underside of Nursing for some time now. Discussion of your publication has been addressed at numerous meetings. As nurses, we feel that humor is an important part of life as well as healing. However, the mien of the humor in your publication is uncomplimentary to nursing, personally as well as professionally; unsavory toward the patients for whom we care; and fetid toward healthcare in general.

While we do not in any way wish to infringe on your right to free speech, we do not wish to support your humor, even passively. Therefore, we are hereby serving notice of our demand to have our address removed from your mailing list.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.


Broomhilda , RN, XXXX
President Emeritus - wxyz organization.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
What the heck, they were getting a free subscription! I guess they wanted to make a "public" announcement, that our points of view were somewhat opposed.
Here is my editorial response:

To the President Emeritus, of the Local Chapter of wxyz.


Thank you for your letter. I will indeed remove you from my mailing list. However, I wonder why you are unable to understand that I am clearly a staunch patient advocate and definitely, a nursing advocate as well.

As a wxyz member and wxyz card holder, I recognize the need for professional attitude, research, etc., and "professional" humor too. I have read a number of other healthcare humor publications and they read like the "Readers Digest". Pleasant humor that barely touches the real pain that nurses and their patients are subjected to. I am just trying to fill those "grey areas" where few dare tread.

Sure, I sometimes display a "fetid" outlook on healthcare. I do when I see medicine intervening in peoples' lives when they clearly don't need treatment, when the discussion of life-threatening risks are minimized, when family members care less about their loved one than we do. I go home and cry, just like you would, when my acute MI patient in the process of an evolving septal injury has unrelieved crushing chest pain for 12 hours, and the attending physician won't come to the bedside at four in the morning to evaluate this patient. This is not something to be lightly humorous about. Nor is my suffering likely to be relieved by reading some research about doctor/nurse communication!

Broomhilda, I write about real life. It isn't always nice, courteous or professional. I write for nurses who daily must undergo incredible risks to their own health, in terms of exposure to deadly diseases, high level unrelenting work related stress, unexpected death and long term painful suffering of the patients they care for. I am sure it would be great to do critical stress debriefing every day, but that isn't practical. I am just doing my part.

Igor, Editor
The Underside of Nursing
* * * * * * * ** * * * * * * * *
There you have it dear reader, the way things were back in 1993; before the age of the blog.

Fibril_late; 9/93
One idea leads to another. I believe that nurses suffer "burnout" not from long shifts, or bad managers, or the burden of bureaucracy, but rather from being a recipient of "second-hand" pain. That is, being a partner with the endless suffering of humanity. This is what wears you down, in the long run. Post-traumatic stress............................
What the poem addresses, is a concept that people in severe, life-threatening pain, who require hellatious doses of narcotics, deserve to recieve those drugs. The idea that, "he might get addicted" should never even be considered. It is our moral and ethical duty to relieve suffering.

Unendurable Pain

I have an important question
To lay at the feet of my brother,
Where do we draw the line on suffering
That we inflict upon another.

Do we superimpose our own values
When the pain is not ours to endure,
Do we propagate horrible treatments
When there is slim hope for a cure.

Is unendurable pain
Treated with compassion and kindness,
Or do we succumb to narcotic hysteria
In our tunnel vision blindness.

These are questions that demand our attention
Beyond the simplicity of denying,
We must comfort our brothers and sisters
To ease the course of their dying.

Fibril-late; 2/94

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Here I take a look at the tragedy of unwanted, preventable pregnancy, in the setting of premature delivery of an infant with enormous developmental deformities. I don't seek an argument with "pro-lifers", but merely report my observations of tragic suffering, that might have been avoided with some kind of birth control.

Some Moral Attention

How many unwanted infants
Born to unprepared mothers,
Arriving on earth, often early
They may never compare with the others.

So often crippled, I wonder
About the mercy, of an all loving God,
Was he so busy; he released this young soul
With hardly a wink or a nod.

And now with our ever increasing
Methods of medical technology,
We can prolong their suffering forever
It surpasses any sense of theology.

In the midst of this profound dilemma
We must acquire, some moral attention,
It's unethical to allow all this suffering
When there are so many means of prevention.

FIbril_late; 2/94

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

About strength of spirit and respectful care for those whose steps we follow.

I Won't Surrender

She lay so silent
A hidden strength radiating
From her pale, fragile frame,
Who was this person
This nameless soul
Who at one time, must have been "some dame",
Her body, weakened
Ravaged by some evil force
We call a cancer,
Her spirit raging
"I won't surrender"
She used to be a famous dancer,
With admiration
I go to her
She needs to be respected,
This light that shows us
How to live
Deserves to be protected,
When death shall come
To take this mighty
Woman to her rest,
Her memory lives
Within our hearts
She did her very best.

Fibril_late; 12/93

Friday, September 22, 2006

There is a "look" in the patient's eyes, maybe it's the "deer in the headlights" appearance. And those of us who have worked side by side with the sick, maimed and dying, we acquire the "1000 yard stare" - the look of those who have seen too much.

Hospital Eyes

The sick, the maimed, the indigent
I hear their mournful cries,
They look to us in anguish
With their soulful, hospital eyes.

They come from every walk of life
The gunshot wound, the carving knife,
For every one that lives, one dies
We close their hospital eyes.

Some give up hope, some buy the farm
They take their magic and their charm,
They'll ride the bus to paradise
We'll see them off, with our hospital eyes.

Fibril_late; 12/93

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Healthcare delivery in the good old USA is grossly unfair and this poem gets to the heart of the matter. It isn't pretty and it often places medical persons into an ethical quagmire. This rejuvenated memory still causes me distress.

Did The World Default

What kind of message
Was derived from work today,
Did the world improve or default
It's just too hard to say.

Here's one guy
A treatable epileptic,
The other fellow there
Is dying, because he's septic,
And at last, there is the prisoner
The man is really nasty,
He'll enjoy his life long sentence
After obtaining angioplasty

How can we justify
The incredible cost,
When homeless mothers and babies
And children are lost,
On the street every day
While this murderer is treated,
Oh, the money is funneled
Where the high-tech god is seated.

Thirty thousand dollars
Is the minimum at least,
That we spent for just a couple days
To treat this awful beast,
Just imagine all the blankets
And winter coats that you could buy,
But instead we're saving murderers
While homeless people die.

To maintain a healthy outlook
And to keep from going crazy,
I must forget about reality
And let the facts get hazy,
Then look upon each man
As he lays there in the bed,
As just another brother
Who could very soon be dead.

Fibril_late; 12/93

Monday, September 18, 2006

I have some distinct and well founded opinions about the futility of life-saving methods and machines in the setting of almost certain, albeit prolonged, painful death. But sometimes the fighters are not easily recognizable.

This Old Boy From The Hood

He made it and who could
Believe that he would,
Defy all the odds
This old boy from the hood,
A cat with nine lives
Would wish for his luck,
A bookie from Las Vegas
Would wager a buck,
That no human being
On this side of hell,
Could survive this disaster
And come out so well.

His kidneys had failed
His heart wasn't beating,
This hulk of a man
Went a month without eating,
Then came respiratory failure
Pneumonia and P.E.,
A bowel busting ileus and
Hepatic encephalopathy,
Chills of unknown origin
Fevers of unknown disease,
Layers upon layers of treatment
In a setting of life threatening fees.

Who are we, to think we can predict
The survival of those likely to die,
No matter, the stack of their cards
As their caretakers, we have to try.

Fibril_late; 12/93