Tuesday, November 22, 2016

1991 0r 2016....Nothin' Different

We know a lot more, but have all the same issues

A High Stakes Game

We keep them here for days on end
And try to make their organs mend,
We attack their cells with mighty drugs
To try to kill all sorts of bugs,
That naturally were acquired here
This ain’t no place for the sick, I fear.

Pardon me, I was only rambling
About life and death, it’s just like gambling,
In a high stakes game for those that dare,
Who bet their lives in Critical care.



Another ancient, unpublished one. The topic (death) is always a current issue, and how our industry and society deal with it.

Little Room for Hope

He suffered very long
From a well known rare disease
As he lay so still for many weeks and weeks,
There was little room for hope
And his family couldn’t cope
As his life ebbed slowly from a hundred leaks,
He had fifty different doctors
With a thousand interventions
Yet they couldn’t tame the nature of the beast,
His family suffered silently
To the depths of dark depression
Till their loved one packed his bags and headed east.

Now I know I’m very certain
That when it’s time to close the curtain
I wouldn’t want heroic measures for my mother,
Thus, the moral of this story
Is we gotta look at death
As a transition from just one place to another.


Sunday, November 20, 2016

Old writings, just as good

Every year, in the late Fall, I get back into sorting, collating, and supposedly, plan to publish. Today, I have sorted through about 100 old writings, and here is a good one for my pals in Neuro.

Lobotomize Me, Baby

Oh, Lobotomize me baby
I’ve got a mental pneumotension,
It’s a disease I never wanted
But it deserves an honorable mention,
I’ve got buzzing in my ears
Black spots before my eyes,
And now my doctor tells me
My cranium has flies,
They hatched from little larva
That were hiding in my brain,
Honey, please give me a sedative
Before I go insane.


Saturday, November 19, 2016

No Mo Thorax

No Belt Piece Prize

I had a pneumothorax
Yep, there it was,
Couldn't catch my breath,
It was because,
My pants here hanging
What a surprise,
That I had earned
The No Belt Piece Prize.

Of course, that is dumb
I blame my Uncle Mo,
He fell down on his chest
And he said, "No",
As in, "No mo thorax,
I didn't break a rib,
If you want to argue
You're outta my crib.

Leaving no more solutions
An Old Mo Thorax,
I suggest you clean it up
With good old Borax.


Why my back hurts
On a daily basis,
Nothing to do with
Day off stasis,
No; here's a calculation
Regarding what I have lifted,
Mountains crumble
Tectonic plates have shifted,
But daily efforts
In hospital work,
Show a nurses' job
Is more taxing than a clerk.

I calculated
Thirty plus years,
How much weight
Would put you to tears,
On a year, those days
One hundred fifty and all,
Five hundred pounds
Per shift, not small.

And then, that is tallied
An enormous whole lot,
One fifty x thirty
Times five hundred and snot,
To a tune of two million
Two hundred fifty odd pounds,
Wrap your mind around that
And you will say, ZOUNDS!

That is one thousand
One hundred and twenty five tons,
A huge measure of hamburger
Tomatoes and buns,
Hauled from the farm
Way down in Modesto,
But I am not talking
Basil and pesto.

My spine discs are thinner
Scoliosis is worse,
But I am a Nurse
And that is our curse,
I'm not complaining
Just stating a fact,
If this was a stage play
I assure, it's the last act.

Yet, we soldier on
Like other service members,
Standing tall for all of those
Who missed their Septembers
Knowing they would have
Fought on like we do,
When the job is your legacy
Describing me, defining you.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Narcan Nonsense

I read an article recently that looked at one of the issues involved with overdose of narcotics; that being, premature death. At this writing, there is definitely a major problem in the USA (and the world) regarding the excessive use of analgesic substances. The author postulated that if persons known to be users of narcotics were given take-home Naloxone (Narcan) when they left the Emergency Room, this action might reduce unintentional death. To me, this seems like nonsense.

It is one thing to encourage people who are allergic to stuff like peanut butter, bee stings, and melon, to have on hand an Epinephrine injector, which can help to counteract anaphylaxis. In general, people who know about their allergy, logically and actively, attempt to avoid the substance they are sensitive to.

In contrast, when considering a narcotic overdose, we are talking about people who are intentional users. Whether they are addicted or not, is not the point; it is an illogical solution. First of all, who is going to administer it? Imagine, I’ve just taken a little too much Oxycontin, and drifted off to a pleasant dreamy state; am I going to wake up and say, “Gosh, I think I have overdosed…….where in the heck is my Narcan nasal spray?” Second, if I am addicted to narcotics, and I have an antidote on hand, perhaps I will be thinking that I can get away with taking an extra pill or two, because I have an antidote in the kitchen. Narcan, and most other antagonist / antidotes, are best left in the trained hands of health professionals.

Would the author also propose that every person who is prescribed a beta-blocker, be given Glucagon for home use, in case of overdose? Should we offer Praxbind for every user of Pradaxa, or Digibind, for those Digoxin prescribers? Of course not!

The answer is education, not medication. Whether one is addicted to something, or merely needs to take some kind of life-saving chemical, there always exists the chance of overdose. But to hand out an antidote, to every bloke out there, is just nonsense; in this case, Narcan Nonsense.

Narcan in the bathroom
For every woman and man,
Addicted to opiods
Some think, that's a plan,
For the avoidance of death
Regarding drug overdose,
Is this a sound solution?
It doesn't even come close.

Now, suppose you have an allergy
To peanut butter or a bee sting,
You actively avoid
Ever getting near this thing,
And it makes good sense
To carry an Epipen,
For that rare, but deadly exposure
You'll need an antidote then.

Contrast, the narco addiction
Some like to call it a disease,
Brain chemistry screwed up
You have pain when you sneeze,
Or a hundred different reasons
Intentional or not,
Keep the antidote on hand?
You've been smoking too much Pot.

I take a couple pills
To regulate my heart,
If I take too much
The rhythm comes apart,
Why shouldn’t I
Have some antidote?
A sensible doctor
Would never cast that vote;
The average consumer
Doesn’t know jack,
About overdose
Or heart attack,
Can barely administer
A basic eye drop,
Gets confused
When ordering at IHOP.

Too many ways
To get it wrong,
Handing out antidotes
To the public throng,
The better alternative
Is the medical approach,
Emergency responders
In the Paramedic coach.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Power Outage

When the hot topic word is "transparency" in respect to how businesses operate in the local and greater community, it is odd when an organization manages to achieve local media silence.

When Ebola showed up
Man, we got in the news,
To prove to the world
We were the place, check the views,
How we offer the best 
That branding can buy,
With moon-suits and bleach
And some good looking guy.

when the power shut down
there was nary a peep,
like the public image guys
were in a deep sleep,
and the local news outlets
ho-hummed during brunch,
but if it happened at the Arena
Friend, I have a hunch.......

That 32 Journalists
From every news station,
Would be salivating
To perform an oration,
How they got the news first
Because that's how they brag,
If you are second or third, baby
You're in a wet paper bag,
Fighting it out
To get a pink-slip warning,
To be the best reporter
You start at four in the morning.

How does a business
Suppress news in a community,
As if writing their own rules
With benevolent impunity,
We're a non-profit they say
The good of humanity, is our cupcake,
But really, if the power goes out
Isn't there more at stake?

Pretend your Momma needs a surgery
And the doctors use power tools, right?
Did they tell anyone
Why the power went out that night?
Was it shared with the public
Like the "whale shark rescue"commercial?
Quite frankly, there was a blatant silence
I know that doesn't play as well as an infomercial.

If the public was aware
Regarding the little foibles 
Of operating an old hospital facility,
If they knew about all of the steps taken
How we repair, replace and engineer with agility,
Perhaps there would be a shared
Sense of ownership and pride,
How ye olde neighborhood hospital
Was in it, for the long community ride.

But, since Big Brother took over
Millions are spent on the brand,
It's about acquisitions 
And how they expand,
To co-partner, and outsource
And run a very tight and lean ship,
While big Captain Bobolink
Has a tight grip on his gold plated whip.

Media silence
In this environment of corporate transparency,
Is clearly an outright
Anachronistic aberrancy,
When you are advertising and branding
Regarding all those touchy feely good deeds,
You better tell the public all about
The power outage, leaky pipes, the blown boiler,
And the weeds.

Friday, November 11, 2016

High Speed Train to Heaven

In general, in the year of Our Trump of 2017, modern children at age 8, are pretty much past the fairy-tale believing stage; unless of course, there is some heavy duty homey religion going on.

Grandpa's going to Jesus
That's what Auntie said,
To eight year old Jeffrey
If Grandpa gets dead,
She continued on further
Five minutes or more,
But his ears had shut down
Like a hard slamming door.

I was over in the corner
Trapped, I did feel,
It might be rude if I split
In the midst of her spiel,
Telling such a grand story
That rivalled the Brothers Grimm,
I wondered, should I clap
Or launch into a hymn?

This eight year old Jeffrey
Was wise and mature,
He seemed to understand death
Though he wasn't too sure,
If Grandpa was just resting
Would he rally in the morning?
When nothing more can be done
In of itself, that's the warning.

Jeffreys attention
Sparked brightly when I spoke,
Regarding all the machines
Without the fire and smoke,
Or the legions of angels
On the head of a pin,
I just talked about Grandpa
And the state he was in.

Maybe he'll get better?
Well, Auntie mentioned a miracle,
Indeed, that would be so
Beyond anything empirical,
Because total organ failure
Leaves little to the imagination,
Yes, his high-speed train to heaven
May have already, left the station.


If you work in a facility, that had its beginnings 80+ years ago, you know for sure, there's a bunch of old infrastructure, that has not yet been updated. The guys just can't get to it, because all the high tech stuff needs all the attention (to keep the dollars coming in). We all have been informed, that if there is a "brief" interruption in electricity, the generators will automatically cycle, and there will be power available at the red power outlets. But what if the generators, don't get the message?

We lost power
Just the other night,
Think, old-building blues
And lordy, what a fright,
Because for 10 long minutes
We had no juice,
Some kind of circuit breaker
Had busted loose.

But that's not all
It was really worse,
The emergency red plugs
Felt the curse,
And that shouldn't happen
Because generator power,
Should automatically trigger
For a minute, or an hour.

Meaning, that old circuit
Was isolated, dear friend,
The generators didn't know
There was no power at our end,
And when it returned
Without any intervention,
The engineers couldn't find
The cause of disconnection.

Well, that was cool
Just a little fluke,
No one knew why
If they had, they would puke,
Because three days later
The system REALLY crashed,
Five hours without power
New records were smashed.

A hospital without power
None to be found,
All kinds of devices
Fall to the ground,
Really important things
Rely on electricity,
The lack thereof
Causes spasticity.

All the bosses came running
Who run the joint,
Offering solutions
Wondering where to point,
Knowing that the blame
Would soon need a home,
Why everyone started
Shining their chrome.

One of the geniuses
Posed this opinion,
Let's fixed it with something
Right here in our dominion,
Replace that ancient breaker
With that old one in the box,
Bought back in the days
Of wind up clocks.

Yep, saving every nickel
Down at ground zero,
Make the cheapest suggestion
And you'll be the hero,
Don't look to the future
Make the easy fix now,
It's sure to work for a while
If it doesn't, disavow.

Good thing our Engineers
Are wiser than most,
Ask them, "How smart?"
And surely they will boast,
But still, in the end
They know redundancy rules,
Buy the biggest damn breaker
A whole box of them, fools!

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

The Gift of Giving

Be a bedside nurse long enough, and you too, will experience the gift of giving. That special patient who loves to share some precious body fluids with anyone dumb enough to come into close proximity. Be warned and be ready, kids.

I saved my BM
Just for you,
I bestow such gifts
Where gifts are due,
Because you are such
A kind caregiver,
I included a chunk
Of my dead liver.

I saved some vomit
For my best nurse,
A sweet memento
She can carry in her purse,
And as a bonus
An awesome booger,
On the lunch tray
With a packet of sugar.

I'm holding some sputum
For Dr. Astute,
When he gets near
I'll spray it on his suit,
His ten thousand dollar
Jacket from Brooks,
Just to see his precious
Hateful looks.

Yep, I am a gifter
I do it, because I care,
If you'll come a little closer
I'd love to touch your hair,
Just after I've scratched
That pustule on my arm,
A special gift for you
It's just part of my charm.

Friday, November 04, 2016

Power Break

I've worked in healthcare for 38 years now (RT & RN), and all the same dynamics are at play. Sure, technology changed, policy's and procedures were revised, diseases are better understood, and workplace interactions have improved between disciplines. What is still present, are all of the tricky interpersonal, colleague to colleague interactions. The foremost question (and answer) one needs to have in their head at all times, is; "Who do I trust?"

Lazy Nurse 16
Claims, he didn’t get a break,
When I asked the dude
He gave his a head a shake,
Seemingly saying, he had it covered
Then I’m called on the carpet
When Charge Nurse discovered,
That Lazy Nurse 16
Stated he worked all night,
Unable to stop
No one noticed his blight,
How he worked his butt off
(Except for that hour);
When I saw him on his cell phone
Attending to a higher power.