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