Friday, September 28, 2007

Who wants to get old and remain happy and productive? Most everyone would agree to that plan. But how about getting old and suffer dementia? Not a very desirable scenario, right? Well, here is one possible avenue of escape.

Demented Blues

Getting old
Don't look too fun,
I'm gonna get
A suicide gun,
Fill it full of bullets
Then hide it in my bed,
When I get demented
I'll ventilate my head.

I want a one way ticket
On the euthanasia bus,
Just let me die in peace
If I get delirious.

Fibril_late; 1993

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Oh, my gosh; back to the topic of sputum once again. Since you're just reading the latest poem, you must become aware that I was once a Respiratory Therapist. Yes, many long years ago, prior to my exalted career as a Nurse. So yes, I know the ins and outs of sputum. After a while, one gets an attitude about it all...............


If you spit your sputum
On the floor,
Don't expect me
At your door,
Because the house-rule states
And, I'll be brief,
You have to use
Your handkerchief.

So heed my word
Don't be a fool,
It's easy enough
To follow my rule,
But if you continue
Don't be surprised,
When you find your lips
Are cauterized.

Fibril_late; 1994
In the presence of people with advanced stages of disease, you (Nurse) become sensitive to certain expressions of speech, or how they describe how they are feeling at the moment. Some of those expressions, portend impending doom and disaster.
For example, when the patient who has had a major Myocardial Infarction, suddenly states, "I don't feel so good" , yet all the while, everything has been looking peachy-keen. Don't ask questions, just call out the door, and say something like, "Would someone please bring the crash-cart to room-17, ASAP!!!". Yes, that is a clear example of your critical-thinking skills kicking in (aka, "intuition"). If you overlook it...................

Cruisin' Heaven

A mysterious event
Happened just today,
The man said, "I don't feel so good"
Then his heart-beat went away.

I told him not to do that
But he didn't seem to care,
His heart rate slowed dramatically
Until it wasn't there.

With bells and buzzers ringing
We wailed upon that man,
His color went from purple
To a lovely desert tan.

He received a hit of atropine
Some calcium and epi,
He replied with tachy-rhythms
But his pump just wasn't peppy.

With the force of seven doctors
And the strength of twenty nurses,
Collectively their aura
Dispelled the evil curses,
That had bound him to his destiny
In a room without a view,
Now he's cruisin' heavens highways
With an angel friend or two.

Fibril_late; 1997
A short story about a dying told to me by (name withheld by request).


He had some pain
But then, he waited,
Because he didn't know
What it implicated,
Then he got real sick
Or so he stated,
When he became dizzy
And nauseated,
Because it's uglier than pain
When you vomit unabated,
Its the worst, God-awful feeling
That you ever have hated.

So he came into the hospital
To be evaluated,
He was worried that his body
Would soon become outdated,
He had never been a patient
And thought health was overrated,
He had never had a cause
Until death seemed almost fated.

His breathing was tachypneic
His neck veins were inflated,
His rhythm Sinus tach
And very ectopated,
His ischemic myocardium
Gave up and fibrillated,
We zapped him with the stunners
Till his heart electroplated.

Unconsciousness ensued
When his brain waves were ablated,
His astral body floated
To the ceiling elevated,
Then the angel guys arrived
And he participated,
There was no turning back
Because his life force dissipated.

Fibril_lated; 1995
Regarding the study of EKG, it is the topic of Heart Block that appears to confuse most persons. Let's take a look at it:

Demystifying the EKG

At work I ponder images
The waveforms of an EKG,
In the language of the beating heart
It usually is clear to me,
But sometimes I am mystified
About the A.V. block,
It manifests so many ways
My brain goes into shock.

First degree or second degree
Third degree and more,
P-waves are advancing
And can't get through the door,
I must utilize some rules
As my analyzing key,
To unlock the great unknown
Of this crazy EKG.

Fibril_late; 1997

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

This is another old, Joint Commission rant, regarding how all departments of the hospital must tidy up all their charts and documents.
It is also a poem where, with each succeeding line, the first letter subsequently spells out a phrase as you read downward through the lines. It's kind of a fun exercise in writing.

The Joint Commission

Justify each document
Condense a neat reply,
Harp on education
And answer what and why,
Organize your data

Within a structured format,
Anachronistic rules
Need you for a doormat,
There is really little
Sense to this, And I will tell you why

Piles of needless documents
Are mounting to the sky,
Plugging up the landfills
Eliminating trees,
Reasoning is absent, I think everyone agrees.

Fibril_late; 1996

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Ok, (not OJ, ok?).
3 days a month, I am an Instructor in a class of students learning the fine art of Basic Cardiac Monitoring. I tutor as well. Over the years I have written quite a few arrhythmia poems and this one too, about AV conduction.

Just An Impulse

I'm on a Roman holiday
To find the Mother Lode,
The treasure map I'm following
Describes the A.V. node.

Yes, I am just an impulse
A vector plus or minus,
Traveling on a pathway
That started at the Sinus.

I'm scheduled for a rendezvous
A well earned coffee break,
A hang out at the Junction
To discuss which road to take.

At the crossroads there's a signal
That will guide my future travels,
If I violate the timing
Synchronicity unravels,
Then the trip that I had planned
Will require transformation,
As an impulse, I may follow
A course of aberration.

In the future I will hire
A tour guide for instruction,
As a stimulus, I must know
The pathways of conduction.

Fibril_late; 1998

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Allegory is a form of extended metaphor, in which objects, persons, and actions in a narrative, are equated with the meanings that lie outside the narrative itself. The underlying meaning has moral, social, religious, or political significance, and characters are often personifications of abstract ideas as charity, greed, or envy.
Thus an allegory is a story with two meanings, a literal meaning and a symbolic meaning.

Well, this is something akin to an allegory. It's about a man who is dying, and in the course of his death, he loses the compass of his mind.

No One at the Helm

Stormy winter landscape, where
White capped waves
Wash a stony beach,
All within the minds eye,
This man is out of reach.

Cellular degeneration
In the microscopic realm,
The captain is in the forecastle
And there's no one at the helm.

The three-masted schooner
Of his body, mind and spirit,
Are hopelessly adrift, yet
He doesn't sense, to fear it.

Self induced or inorganic
The end result the same,
He won't remember where he lives
And might forget his name,
Once, the captain of the ship
That ruled the awesome seas,
Reduced to live out life
In diminishing degrees.

Fibril_late; 1997

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Usually with each posting, the poem that I wrote 10 years ago or so, I actually remember that event associated with it; thus, this was a journaling of my reality at the time. But other times, I don't have a clue to what I was referring too. This poem is about near-death, something about EKG arrhythmia's, possibly about PVC's, but your guess is as good as mine.

The Death Bumps

Take heed, the rolling eyeballs
Beware, the gasping breath,
Take note, the tachycardia
Watch out for bumps of death,
They hide behind the rhythm
And rarely show their face,
But increase the vagal tone
And you'll see the death bump pace,
Attempt to stay the inevitable
The course, that all life takes,
Remain alert and ready for
The trail the death bump makes.

Fibril_late; 1995

Saturday, September 08, 2007

There is an entire science built around the results of automobiles ramming into each other at high rates of speed. I think forensics fits in there somewhere, and no doubt, a whole lot of other stuff, like what I am about to describe.

The Multi-Auto Pileup

The Multi-Auto Pileup
Loose body part trajectory,
Has prompted in-depth studies
At the cannonball refrectory,
Those bug-eyed, quasi-scientists
Will poke their noses deep,
At the site of any accidents
Where body parts might heap.

Several questions come to mind
About these missing limbs,
Do you have a separate funeral
And sing fragmented hymns,
And then, there is the theory
About the phantom pain,
Is there a phantom body
If you find an intact brain,
You may find this topic gruesome
And too disgusting for your mind,
But someday in the future
We may cure the phantom blind.

Fibril_late; 1997

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Thanks to TV and movies (I suspect), the most common sights that are recalled about the medical/nursing professions, have to do with the excitement in the Emergency Department or in the ICU. And to those of us who've spent a lot of time there, it often seems like:

The Outskirts of Hell

Some nights like this
Are too darn boring,
It takes a maximum effort
To keep from snoring,
But I must be ready
For catastrophe and clamor,
The component of nursing
That provides all the glamor.

Saving the lives of
The sick and the broken,
High fat consumption
And cigarette smokin',
Uppers and downers
Liquor, cocaine,
Greasing the pipes
As they slip down the drain.

Being an angel
Of mercy and death,
Holding the keys
To their heartbeat and breath,
Then going home hungry
And burnt out, as well,
It's a glamorous life
On the outskirts of Hell.

Fibril_late; 1998
When patients bleed unexpectedly, it is always worrisome. When it's enough blood to leak from the bed to the floor, it's a serious situation. Let me tell you about it:

Bloody Shoes

Petrified, I am indeed
I'm nervous, when
They start to bleed,
When blood leaks out
And stains the bed,
I get kind of dizzy
In my head,
If I find a pool
Upon the floor,
Spreading towards
The open door,
I want to run
The other way,
Because bloody shoes
Just ruin my day.

Fibril_late; 1999

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

I admit it; I'm over 50, and the AARP is sending me subscription queries on a quarterly basis. What's up with that? I'm not old, and certainly I'm not anywhere near retirement (but unfortunately, I fall back on that excuse to substantiate why I haven't worked much in the past 4 years).

Anyways, I do still suffer from some degree of chemical sensitivity, which I believe I acquired from the many years of hanging around in hospitals (25 years+). Here it is, 4 years since I officially left the "big-house" and most perfumes that are included in any type of household product, cause my eyes to burn and I become irritable ("what in the heck is that smell, and get it out of the house, NOW").
Considering all the chemicals Nurses are exposed to from the medications we have to handle, formulate and deliver and the myriads of "sanitation-cleaning" materials we come in contact with, there is no question that Nurses have to be counted amongst those with excessive chemical exposure issues. And the proof is in the following poem I wrote, back in the day............

The Saga of the Shiny Floor

Who would think
That critical-care,
Would need a floor
With a shiny glare,
Perhaps, it's for
The public eyes,
Who might be concerned
If Junior dies,
Inside a joint
With a dirty floor,
Patient care
May be less; not more.

To me it seems
A poor decision,
The chemicals
Irritate my vision,
As such, I may not
Spot the clue,
That Junior's demise
Is imminently due.

It's plainly clear
That someone wise,
Must find a suitable
To save the Nurses
And the sick,
Who are dropping like flies
Pretty damn quick.

Fibril_late; 1998