Monday, September 29, 2008

I'm in that altered reality called, "worked all night, and still awake". As a result my story is all over the board, but seems to hit some high points regarding cancer, old age, Sister Euphemia, bookies and good surgeons.

Neoplasm Necromancer

What could I say about a person
Who seemed like a breeding ground for cancer,
Was it a case of living too long
Or was she a neoplasm necromancer?

First, she had cancer of the colon
And then there was cancer of the breast,
Followed by cancer of the stomach
The intestine and all of the rest.

For some people, it's seen as a wake-up call
And for others, you could call it endurance,
But she's 78 and two surgeries later
I'm wondering, the name of her insurance.

At Sister Euphemia's repair shop
No customers are ever turned away,
Age is not a factor for dismissal
You can get an overhaul and a pretty bouquet,
And we'll talk about payments tomorrow
If we don't operate right now, you'll be dead,
In terms of mortality and morbidity
It's 1000-to-1 odds, on your head.

The bookies on Broadway are happy
After losing their shirts on the Kings,
They've been scrambling to cover their losses
By wagering on Beijing's gold rings,
Now whether or not that was lucrative
Is hardly a fact in this story,
It's just an aside, that they'll bet on who died
If you live, Ms. Euphemia, gets the glory.

You can't argue with her spirit
And you can't knock her goodness
Euphemia, has a racquet for healing,
In this sleepy old town
Where the Guvnor gets a frown,
Health-care is the game that she's dealing,
Her dice might be loaded
And the cards surely marked
The bookies complain, "there are rumors",
But the odds seems so favorable
For no chance of survival
For someone, who is chock full of tumors.

The jury is still out
Though the surgeons did their work
After seven long hours on the table,
How the client survives
Like a cat with nine lives
Just increases the strength of the fable,
The bookies were busted
They shouldn't have trusted
A game that was set by Euphemia,
Their dreams to get rich
Are now in a ditch,
Instead they just left with ischemia.

This neoplasm necromancer novelty
While a success story, is a medical mystery,
And Sister Euphemia knowingly smiles
It builds her legend and enhances her history.


Sunday, September 28, 2008

When you're 83 and have a handful of nasty diseases, you really need to watch your step......literally!

Too Risky

You're too sick, it's too risky
We can't operate,
Can you imagine those words
And ponder that fate?
He broke his femur May first
And now, it's September,
He walked so long ago
He can barely remember.

Heart disease and hypertension
Diabetes and CVA,
Add a pinch of lung disease
And baby, you can't play,
In the league of operative candidates
You struck out, long ago,
But now your aortic aneurism
Is threatening to blow.

Dr. V, a vascular surgeon
Is a brave and serious dude,
He describes a very risky plan
Saying, without this, you are screwed,
Something about an endograft
He can place without an incision,
Who am I to argue?
With his death defying decision.

Now, since we'll have you on the table
We'll invite our Dr. Crip,
He used to be a gangster
Before he specialized in hip,
He'll revitalize your femur
With a carbon fiber head,
And a couple weeks from now, sir
You'll be leaping out of bed

With comorbidities like mine
I couldn't take this lightly,
I had prayed to fourteen deities
And made sacrifices nightly,
But the shadow of the reaper
Had been looming ever near,
As a veteran of the second war
I have familiarity with fear,
And the antidote for that, my friend
Springs from hope and faith in living,
Gratitude for every moment
And the capacity for forgiving.

Oh what the heck, I'll take the shot
Though it seems a risky proposal,
Without the surgery, I think
I'd be ready for disposal;
So when Dr. V, comes around again
I'll look him in the eye,
Saying, "Nothing is accomplished, sir
If you never-ever try".

I get pretty excited when someone posts a comment:


I'm surprised, lo, I'm honored
When a reader responds,
I feel like Jesus on the donkey
With folks waving palm fronds,
Returning to his home town
One week before the end,
Or was it just a mistake?
They meant delete and not send.

Who knows, but I like it
Because the blog-world is huge,
Letters and replies trickle
They do not deluge,
But if one reader stops
And nudges a friend,
I'll keep writing and blogging
Till my very end.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

It happens over and over; old age, a big MI in a beat up heart, confusion and one last trip down memory lane.

Leaping Larry

Leapin' lizards, said Larry
I feel like I'm in jail,
They've got me in handcuffs
And tied to a rail,
I can't reach my water
And I can't take a pee,
Won't somebody out there
Take pity on me?

Leaping Larry, in his lemon leotard
Slipped through the rails,
It was a move he had perfected
Escaping from jails,
During his peppery life
On the lam, on the run,
Leaping Larry robbed banks
But he never used a gun.

It was a hell of a dodge
For a man in his condition,
And for a fellow in a posey-vest
'Twas a Houdini rendition,
Yet, when all was said and done
He didn't really fall,
His legs just couldn't hold him
Like toothpicks, they were small.

Leaping Larry's condition?
He had a big, damaged heart,
He even had chest pain
Each time he would fart,
He was panting and wheezing
Just laying in bed,
But who would predict
That tonight, he'd be dead.

Leaping Larry's situation
Was really, quite common,
We discussed him at lunch
Over two cups of ramen,
Bemoaning our situation
About this crazy old man,
It's tough to be caregivers
When confusion is the plan.

Leaping Larry in his lemon leotard
Was confused to the last,
Like a retired fisherman
Who had made his last cast.
And with his body so weakened
He just sat there on the floor,
One look at his sorry countenance
At once, we knew the score;
That this was one Larry
Who would leap, nevermore.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Unnamed sources..............

Sister Euphemia

Unnamed sources
Close to the fount,
Lay a mighty hefty price tag
A multi-million amount,
On that shiny new cadillac
Of our CareConnect system,
Donald Trump is our advisor
I'm sorry I missed'em.

But it wasn't just a million
My sources would claim,
Sister Euphemia
Is a very rich dame,
And she's splurged on a computer
With a bundle of tools,
We'll either look really smart
Or like a community of fools.


Monday, September 22, 2008

Having just finished my two weeks of "super-user" computer training for the brand-spanking-new, computer charting and electronic medical record, I can foresee that there are going to be some major glitches come December 2nd, the day the system goes "live".

Right now let it be known, that I want to collect some hazard-pay for that week.

There's going to be a pile of people who didn't get enough training, or perhaps they avoided it altogether, like I avoided public-speaking in 9th grade. Come time for the final exam............meltdown!

Computer Slowdown

I took a week, off of work
For computers,
Late night keystrokes
And frequent rebooters,
Crashing the hard-drive
Every three out of four,
When I asked for some overtime
I was kicked out the door.

I entered strings of nonsense
And logged-on in code,
They said, do it this way
And stay on our road,
But I crashed all the guardrails
Like Mr. Toad's wild ride,
Good thing it was a computer
Or I surely would have died.

When the instructors slowed down
So the class could advance,
I fell asleep counting the threads
In my seersucker pants,
Until the collective complaints
Of the students in that room,
Cleaned my mind of it's cobwebs
Like the sweep of a broom.

Well, I have to admit
That I learned some new stuff,
And I understand that the Luddites
Will have it pretty rough,
When, ye olde computer system
Comes to life, December 2,
If you can't point, click and dropdown
More pity on you.


Friday, September 19, 2008

I'm finally getting acquainted with my COW (computer on wheels) at work. You see, although California is always considered to be on the cutting edge of many things, when it comes to advances in hospital operations, we seem to be dead last. And what gives? Here we are, in the capitol city of one of the worlds most robust economies, and we seem to be the final market in the developed world to get turned on to computer charting!

Anyway, it is providing me with a lot of fodder to munch on, as I morph into a "super-user".

W.O.W. ~ Wookiee-on-Wheels

Refresh, right-click
Read your screen,
Then you'll know
Where you have been.

Set your range
That's date and time,
Then your data flow
Will be sublime.

Change the dose
And not the rate,
If you screw up here
You'll rue your fate,
And never ever
Select Infuse,
Or your I's and O's
Are sure to confuse.

When you make a choice
You must verify,
Don't "refresh" first
Or you will cry,
Because your precious order
Won't be there,
You'll have to start all over;
The computer won't care.

The tubes and drains
And the VADS don't flow,
To the Iview
Where you'd like them to go,
They only populate,
The Quickview/kardex
Now, ain't that great?
But the Quickview is only
Good for a glance,
You can't change nothin'
Not a chance,
No, your only option
Is to double-chart;
So like a computer-
Not really smart.

This program is whacked,
I can hardly wait
For the day that it's hacked,
And then I can add
My own little bots,
To auto-fill the info
Into the document slots.

Fibril_late; 9/18/08
Cerner Learner

Perhaps you've heard, that I'm a Cerner learner
Gathering all the nuances of the system,
The program is really quite complicated
So, don't even ask me to list'em,
I've been encouraged to explore and discover
In the process I'll sharpen my skills,
I guess the idea, is when the system goes live
I'll be on top of my tasks and my pills.

Now some of us computer users
Can't help it, but we're pushing the envelope,
Exploring all the nooks and the crannies
Going, way out on the rope,
Focusing upon in-depth research
For all of the shortcuts and such,
To find any weakness in the system
And the things we're advised not to touch.

I won't claim that I'm a hacker at all
I'm just curious, and you know that old story,
There was a cat who was poking around
And he followed his nose to his glory,
So, please don't be talking this up
I know Cerner is just a tool to apply,
My goal is to find all the shortcuts
My mission? Well at least, let me try.


Click Times Three

Left click, right click
Rah, Rah, Ree,
Point your mouse
And click times three,
Open a window
Drop down a menu,
Choose a band
With a whole new venue.

Right click, left click
Rah, Rah, Ras,
Too many details
In this class,
Logoff or exit
Suspend or close,
Where your data disappears
Nobody knows.

Fibril_late; 9/18/08

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Perhaps it's time to take a break from my own writing.

I present to you, Steve H. from Virginia. We worked together at the Big House in Sacramento about 15 years ago, and I'm happy to say, that he shares my unique view of health-care. Additionally, he is a fine writer who gets straight to the point in 7 letters or less.


Mr. Johnson please,
If just for my sake,
Don’t cover your mouth
Please cover your trach.

I know you don’t try
To blow snot from that hole,
But, honestly, sir
You can’t control, where it’ll go.

The last time I was in here
You showed me your charm,
By blowing that green stuff
All over my arm.

I’ve suctioned and suctioned
You just produce more,
The evidence is on the wall now
With some on the door.

Yes, this is the stuff
That makes my stomach really ache.
A guy with no conscience-
A cough and a trach.


Nurse of the Year

The patient was gasping
And turning real blue,
She was punching the call light;
So, nurse, where were you?

That call light was ringing
For fifteen minutes or so,
When finally the aide came;
So, nurse, where did you go?

She stood up in her bed,
And she tried hard to yell.
You were nowhere around;
So, nurse, who did you tell?

“Well, boss, I’m surprised,
Now, didn’t you hear?
I went to the Awards meeting;
I got Nurse of the Year”.

Steve H.
Sept. '08

Friday, September 12, 2008


Over at Sister Central, where we are transforming ourselves to digital deliverers of darn good health-care, we have to familiarize ourselves with about 175 new medico-industry acronyms like "BMDI" (Bedside Medical Device Interface). Just take a moment to think about what the abbreviation "BM" brings to mind, and you'll begin hallucinating like I did.

Don't ever forget; behind every industry that relies on a plethora of acronyms, there is an entire conspiracy at work in the background!


Care Connect has provided us
With an incredible new-fangled tool,
Some sort of digital gadget
To handle the recording of stool,
Nurses throughout the whole system
Will be scrambling to give it a try,
After decades of measuring boatloads of crap
Three cheers, for the BM-DI.

The Bowel Movement Digital Interface
Is a highly refined type of tool,
Revolutionizing the one task we hate
Transforming it, to something so cool,
That the average nurse about town
Will be bidding for the patient with diarrhea,
In the long run, the BM-DI
Will be known as the poop panacea.

I admit I am jealous right now
That I didn't pursue this invention,
As a veteran nurse of 25 years
I have witnessed such bowel distension;
It ultimately explodes, at the worst of best moments
Such a quantity, that can not be measured,
The BM-DI, will determine a value
So each ounce of that crap will be treasured.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Perhaps you read the news like I did? Scientists have discovered a "fat gene" which apparently can predispose you to gaining weight. However, after a study of Amish persons who carry the fat-gene, it was found that 3-4 hours of physical activity per day/per life, can effectively inhibit the fat acquisition process.

I imagine next year, when gas prices hit $10/gallon, we might see the whole of society walking to work, and since we're such a commuting society, 3-4 hours of walking per day, will get us to work and back, and slimmer in the process.

Fat Gene

The latest scientific research
Has discovered a fat gene,
A genetic predisposition
To develop unlean,
Science further suggests
A vigorous exercise stance,
Three or four hours a day
To stay out of fat pants.

The clothing marketplace today
Caters to all sizes,
Just pick the proper store
So you get no surprises,
If you're built for the mini
Don't shop at the maxi,
You'll be kind of embarrassed
When you step out of the taxi.

Now the names for big clothing stores
Is all over the map,
The politically-correct monitors
Won't be raising a flap,
When the name of your store
Is Super-Queen Plus,
You won't be tarred and feathered
And thrown on a bus.

For those guys who are large and tall
They shop for king-size or big men,
They have lunch at Fatso's Pizza
And dinner at the Pigpen,
However, we're sorry to say
Anorexia closed,
Secondary to thinning crowds;
They got financially hosed.

In fact, it seems the worm has turned
It is the thin, who suffer discrimination,
Forget shopping at the warehouse stores
Where there is petite-size decimation,
If you are only a size 2 and thin as a rail
But you're coming up on 35 yeas old,
It seems silly to shop and downright ridiculous
Where children's clothing is sold,
So what's a person to do in these modern times
Gain weight and conform with the masses?
Super-size on a strict fast-food diet
To compete with the biggest of asses?
It's a quandary amidst culture and society
To understand which size is best,
Leave it to the 21st century scientist
Surely they'll come up with a test.