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