Sunday, January 28, 2007

I'm pointing the finger of blame in many directions, against any of us, who choose the work setting as the place to make our cultural stand. What do I mean by this?

Here in the United States, English is the language of communication in the health-care arena. If you and your cohorts, think the office/clinic/hospital is the perfect setting for your special cultural clique, excluding those around you by speaking in your home language, I've got a hint for you; save it for the weekend parties at Uncle Festers house, ok?

Sure, cultural diversity helped you get the job; but the intent of the writ, is that people of many cultures can work together, and to do so, it helps that they speak in the common language, while they are together in their place of work.

Enough of explanations; I've got the NYC Blues!

NYC Blues

I know what you're thinking
Or I suspect that I might,
When you look at that title
You want to put up a fight,
And defend your dear village
But I beg you to wait,
It's about New York city
But the title is bait.

Someone told me a story
Based on rumor and hearsay,
Supplied hints of nepotism
Power struggles, unfair play,
Out in the corn patch
Of the furrowed nursing field,
It would be easy to discount
Until my conscience appealed.

Because I am a nurse
And I've been there too,
Amidst the culture of our kind
There are small minds in view,
Hanging out with their brethren
Speaking a language of their own,
An isolation foundation
Built stone by stone.

In position's of power
They will gather their forces,
While speaking in tongues
And crapping like horses,
Then you better know your brother
Or you'll step in their shit,
And the NYC gestapo
Will force you to quit.

Before I go further
I'll quit while I'm ahead,
Secret NYC agents
Just might want me dead,
And in the past 20 years
I've paid many dues,
But there's nothing quite like
The Not Your Culture Blues.

Fibril_late; 1/07

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Toilet seats. What's up with the double seat, one on top of the other, concept? Why not just make one seat that is double thick? In 1995, I looked at this topic right up close, (what was I thinking, you ask); and I came up with some theories. Here's one of them now:

A Tale of Two Seats

Mystified, I am indeed
About this toilet seat,
While one is really common sense
Why two? - It's got me beat.

If it's just a simple case
Of elevated view,
How come bathrooms have no windows
Instead of one or two.

Well, maybe for the shy folks
It's O.K. to have one seat,
And the toilets with two lids
Are designed for friends to meet.

All in all, I'm still not sure
About this complex issue,
And I still can't figure where to put
The sanitary tissue.

Fibri_late; 8/95

Monday, January 22, 2007

Tensions can run high in the care-giving environment. Angry words spoken in the midst of a crisis, can lead to the destruction of friendships. All that is left is the aftermath.

In the Days of Aftermath

Just another casualty
In the days of aftermath,
Trumped up charges, petty crimes
Fear and loathing on the path.

Accusations, hurled in anger
Pressure cooker, tempers flashed,
In the name of jurisdiction
Camaraderie and friendships trashed.

We’re the actors, we’re the victims
Floating face-down in the bath,
Much too late for intervention
In the days of aftermath.

Fibril_late; 6/95

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Nurses are hands-down, the masters of the universe, when it comes to dealing with feces. But, that's nothing to brag about, I think!

The Mystery of Life

Welcome to our special
Old fashioned kind of action,
Push up your shirtsleeves
It’s time for dis-impaction,
Bedrest is the burden
The damnation of immobility,
The loss of muscle tone
And G.I. motility.

Nurses far and wide
Despise this ugly task,
You have to get real close
And you need a scented mask,
After milk-o-magic citrate
And a dulcolax bullet,
You need to grope around inside
Find a knobby chunk and pull it.

The colon is lengthy
Sinuous and twisted,
How deep can you reach
When your gloved hand is fisted,
It may require some force
To open the tunnel,
So you may need a grease gun
And a fifty -french funnel.

I focus on the misery
Visited on our species,
The mystery of life
Once again is feces.

Fibril_late; 6/95

Friday, January 19, 2007

What happens when a business leaves a community, after 17 productive years. It's a problem situation with outcomes that stretch into the community as a whole.

Seventeen Years

Seventeen years of loyal service
Out the door with the morning trash,
Save some dollars, remove dissension
The local media, ignores the crash.

Seventeen years of community involvement
Pull up roots and move away,
Spread sheet columns of gains and losses
It’s just another corporate day.

Seventeen years, too much of a lifetime
To be thrown away like yesterday’s news,
Sowing the seeds of revolution
Corporate cutthroats will pay their dues.

Angry bombers and innocent victims
Society bears a burden of shame,
A friend of seventeen years is gone now
The community states, “We’re not to blame”.

Fibril_late; 6/95

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

More ranting about the days of "reorganization" and all that. The title is a nod to Neil Young ("Keep on Rockin' in the Free World).

Downsizing in the (not so) Free World

Everybody's worried about their job
Will I be working next week,
If I don't pay my child support
My ex-wife will moan and shriek,
She'll threaten me with a lawsuit
And garnish my wages with glee,
But if I don't have a job
She can moan for eternity.

My friends are worried about security
Their seniority is shorter than mine,
Going home with a clear conscience
Is really the bottom line,
If they are laid off and I am not
We'll share some mutual pain,
Downsizing shrapnel everywhere
Leaving its bloody stain.

Reorganization is an industry fantasy
Destroying its structural strength,
Cutting the competitive edge of discovery
When the budgets are pared at great length,
The money that was in our wallets yesterday
Still circulates inside the machine,
Lining the HMO's pockets
They get fat, while we become lean.

The pendulum slows in its arc
Preparing to reverse its direction,
After cutting a swath of destruction
It's time for a little inspection,
The unusual pattern of injury
Tells a tale of dishonesty and greed,
As the downsizing moguls of mayhem
Return again and again to feed.

A workforce is like a foundation
Supporting the structural frame,
You can take it apart a block at a time
But it's a Russian Roulette kind of game,
Understanding the risk of mortality
While betting the odds of survival,
Nonetheless shocked when the bullet
Makes its untimely arrival.

Everyone’s worried about living
In the cost cutting days of Our Lord,
Insurance companies becoming much richer
While there is little, that we can afford,
What recourse is there, for the little guy
Struggling at the end of the hook,
Maybe it’s time for a revolution
Rewrite the current chapter of this book.

Fibril_late; 6/95

Friday, January 12, 2007

I got to thinking that the hospital could be characterized as a specialty restaurant, where you could order just about anything you wanted. Thus was born, "Flo's Diner".

Flo’s Diner

Bring your family and friends
To sample our food,
An eclectic selection
Cooked by Chef Dude,
An expert on fish
His favorite is sturgeon,
He moonlights for money
As a Cardiac Surgeon,
He interviews customers
In his favorite recliner,
And gives them free drinks
Down at Flo’s Diner.

High fat or low fat
Whatever you wish,
Cholesterol entrees
With your favorite dish,
TPN slurpees
And Pulmocare punch,
Fantastic nutrition
For an affordable lunch,
You want it, we’ve got it
Just don’t be a whiner,
That’s the only restriction
Down at Flo’s Diner.

Stop at the jukebox
And drop in some change,
Our music selection
Covers a range,
From the Screaming Tourettes
To the Stokes-Adams Blasters,
The Korsakoff Kids
And the Menopause Masters,
No musical menu
Could ever be finer,
Than the soothing tones found
Down at Flo’s Diner.

Chef Dude is an artist
When it comes to dessert,
He knows human nature
And what makes us hurt,
For the sweetest delights
The man is an ace,
He has studied the ways
For stuffing your face,
A vociferous vocalist
He knows every one-liner,
You’ll have nothing but fun
Down here at Flo’s Diner.

Fibril_late; 5/95

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

About trying to kick the coffee habit, and the possible alternatives.

The Coffee Grip

I tried to kick
The coffee grip,
Because my heart
Began to skip,
I felt a pause,
Which made me wonder
About the cause.

Am I anxious
Should I worry,
Is my life, just
Too much hurry,
Is it age
Or lack of bravery,
After years of
Repressed slavery.

I talked it over
With my Doc,
I left his office
In a shock,
Because he offered
Fix-it schemes,
That echoed Doctor’s
Greatest dreams.

And then I couldn’t
Stay awake,
Each night at work
With lives at stake,
So, I embraced
The coffee bean,
Because all-in-all
It’s a healthier scheme.

Fibril_late; 5/95

Monday, January 08, 2007

It was the early mid-1990's here in our capitol city; almost every hospital in town was reorganizing into some kind of "it's the best way to save money", business model. Well, we all know what a total flop that was and the entire health-care industry is still reeling from the long-term complications of that debacle. Can you say "nursing shortage"? They left in droves, never to return; thanks to the Cost Cutting Days of Our Lord.

The Cost Cutting Days of Our Lord

Health-care downsizing?; you have to be kidding
That’s the typical political flash,
It’s a high stakes game of money, my friend
With the HMO’s grabbing the cash.

My unit was closed last week
I was angry because I wasn’t told,
I’d been a productive slave
Now suddenly I’ve been sold.

There is little threat of losing my job
I’ve been here forever and more,
They’ll redefine my job description
Then send me to some other floor.

With my accumulated years of seniority
I’ll displace someone else on the heap,
When that guy loses his job
I won’t be able to sleep.

The wages are frozen, positions unfilled
In contrast, the workload has soared,
Top CEO’s, whose salaries are doubling
In the cost cutting days of our Lord.

Fibril_late; 5/95

Friday, January 05, 2007

A true story that I wish could be played back. We could try different interventions, like maybe an Intra-aortic balloon pump. That was probably the only thing that would have helped. It's always wrenching to second-guess in the aftermath of disaster.

This Moment in Our Fame

Another San Onofre’ meltdown
Was headed for our floor,
A mystery diagnosis
Seven drips and so much more,
A scant report was taken
On the phone an hour past,
I was ready for disaster
But the time went by too fast.

A commotion could be heard
In the hallway by the door,
As I walked to meet the entourage
I tallied up the score,
The patient was attended
By a crew of EMT’s,
With a Doctor and a Lawyer
Haggling over fees.

A hundred different IV lines
Were tangled on the gurney,
I had to push aside the Doctor
And wrestle the Attorney,
To acquire my position
Of authority and leverage,
I tossed them both a dollar
To get some candy and a beverage.

With the patient safely settled
And his life support attached,
I did a brief accounting
To see if facts and figures matched,
Then I sent some bloody lab tests
To bring us up to date,
When we had gathered all the data
We could figure out his fate.

In the meantime I was struggling
With a metabolic mystery,
Profound acidosis
And a complicated history,
Respiratory failure
In cardiogenic shock,
There weren’t a lot of hours
Left upon his clock.

What a night, it seemed like days
But the morning finally came,
Was he better?; not at all
Though we’d fought a vigorous game,
We had stabilized his pressure
But his oxygen was worse,
In this metabolic setting
Could his heart rate be the curse?

In the future we’d look back
At this moment in our fame,
We’d search for untold answers
And try to shake the blame,
That the choice of intervention
In this case, to beta-block,
Was the icing on the cake
In fact, it stopped the clock.

His heart rate slowed, that was the plan
But the progression wouldn’t stop,
His pressure held on for a bit
But soon began to drop,
The Code-blue team performed on cue
But the fiber of life unraveled,
Before the survivors left the scene
His soul had long since traveled.

Another San Onofre’ meltdown
History written in a book,
We could read the notes in retrospect
To contemplate, to look,
Prepare to meet the future
A little wiser, that’s for sure,
In certain situations
Beta-blockers aren’t the cure.

Fibril_late; 5/94

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Some nonsense about bleeding where I butcher all poetic syntax; and then a poignant tale of a little old lady with dementia, who should not have had open heart surgery.

Where It Spurts

Hemorrhagic shock, oh my
Too much leaks and then you die,
You have to find out where it spurts
And the mechanism of the hurts.

Compensatory means
Of life survival,
Forego thera-
peautic arrival,
Is the key,
And that comes down
To you and me.

Mama, Mama, Mister

Mama, mama, mama
She chanted all night long,
It was just a long refrain
To the, “Mister, help me” song.

So confused, she had no clue
That her chest was sawed in half,
She said, “Mama, mama, mister, lord”
So much we had to laugh.

Her nights stretched into days
The days became a week,
Her mantra echoed in the halls
Our situation bleak,
Because we couldn’t send her home
In her current state of fitness,
The program might be threatened
If she was called to be a witness.

Now she’s parked out in the pasture
Because we didn’t have a choice,
If you’ll take the time to listen
You can hear her plaintive voice,
Chanting, “Mama, mama, mister, lord”
Come help me won’t you please,
Or it might be just a trick
Of the early morning breeze.

Fibril_late; 3/95