Monday, August 11, 2008

Truly. Wretched. Night.

Well, last Tuesday (August 5th) started out like any other day. But by the end of my shift on Wednesday morning, it would go down in history as "Hell Day." Yes, everyone at my hospital was calling it that, not just me. But unfortunately I think I bore the brunt of it. Ugh. . . here's my tale.

I started out the day feeling not so great. If you are a guy, skip these next few sentences. If you are a girl, I'm pretty sure you'll sympathize. To put it plainly, I was feeling fat and disgusting. I saw some pretty revolting pictures of myself and the numbers on the scale were not helping matters. So, on my way into work, I was already in a mood.

Alright, back to business. For those of you who are used to working in shifts, where your assignment is handed off to you by person who was working before you, you'll probably understand the frustration and dismay I felt walking in to find my attending in a particularly foul mood. Because it means that the assignment I was being handed was going down the shitter. . . . fast. There were 12 babies in the NICU, which is a lot for us, since we are used to more like 5-7 babies at a time. And one of them got particularly sick that day. The MD only had 2-3 notes done (meaning I had about 10 babies to examine, charts to review and notes to write, aka about 3-4 extra hours of work). And to top it all off, the baby that was sick needed arterial access which the attending was having difficulty getting. The umbilical cord was shot (the kid was 12 days old, so no surprise there) and he was dehydrated, meaning that getting a peripheral art line would be difficult at best. So he was stuck staying late. (Lucky me.)

Also, because he had been so busy all day he hadn't seen any of the normal newborn babies. So I have about 10 babies to examine and chart on upstairs. Since he had the fort held down in NICU I decided to get started on that. Well, no sooner was I upstairs, than I was called for a delivery. I don't normally go to vaginal deliveries but this baby was suspected to have a heart defect (which he didn't) and they were concerned how he would do. So I stand there for a good 30 minutes before a normal screaming baby pops out and I resuscitate him and leave. But while I'm there the respiratory therapist (RT) is able to shed a little light on the impending doom that will be the rest of my shift. First she tells me that 34 week twins (translation: they will be coming to NICU - ugh, shoot me) will be coming that night. Since they are premature and are twins, I will be going to that delivery too. Also, there are 2 C-sections in the wings. (I have to attend all C-section deliveries). In case you haven't noticed yet. . . . all these deliveries that I have to go to take away the time I have to actually do my work. FUN!

So basically the night plays out like this: I go to 5 deliveries in 6 hours which produce 6 babies (since there was a set of twins), 2 of which were admitted to the NICU. The last of my deliveries for the night was around 12:30am and I don't finish the daily notes for the babies in NICU until about 2 am. So now I can finally see the babies in newborn. Since there are 20 of them (WAY more than the normal, which is around 12 or so) I don't finish with their exams until about 5am. I get about 2 hours of sleep before I wake up to a page from the NICU. There is a baby in trouble they want me to look at. So while I'm ordering a chest xray for this baby in the NICU, I get a page for the scheduled 7:30 C-section. I end up getting there late, the baby is already out and not doing well. This isn't the norm. Most of the 7:30 sections are term repeats and go off without a hitch. NOT THIS MORNING!! :-)

Well, I'm cranky because my night has been absolute shit and the RT is cranky because I'm late. So needless to say, we exchanged some not-so-sweet words and ended up admitting the kid to the NICU. . . . 30 minutes after my shift was supposed to be over. I'm pissed. I settle the kid in, give report and haul ass.

So this next part is the best part. Not because everything else didn't suck that night, it most certainly, without a doubt did. But what happened at work couldn't really be avoided and was what it was. What happened afterward didn't have to happen, but did because at that moment God hated me. So I'm driving home, hauling ass as usual and I notice a cop behind me. I had seen 2 people pulled over so far on my drive home so I was happy to realize that I was actually going the speed limit, mostly because the jackass in front of me was going the speed limit and I was trapped. Whew, right?

Not so much, after following me for about 2 miles the cop turns on his lights. I pull over, thinking surely this isn't for me. Um, yeah it is. I said "WTF? I wasn't speeding!" (Paraphrasing here.) He tells me he clocked me a few miles back going 16 mph over the limit but waited until after the construction zone to pull me over. The funny thing is I ended up pulling over in front of three other cars, each with a cop car behind them, lights flashing. I'm thinking "Geez, this is effing ridiculous! Is there a freakin' quota someone's trying to meet??" During the 5 minutes I sit there not one, but TWO other cars get pulled over by cops! TWO!!! One in front of me and the other across the street. So there are six cars and six cops all on side of the street all at the same time. I must have looked absolutely, freaking ridiculous to anyone driving by. Luckily, instead of giving me the $300+ ticket for going 16 over in a construction zone, the cop gives me a $100 ticket instead. Sweet guy, really. :: cough:: jackass ::cough ::

In short, thank God there wasn't an electrical storm that day, because the ways the stars were lined up that night, I'd be suffering from 3rd degree burns right about now. What the hell did I do to piss someone up there off so bad? Seriously.

Unluckily yours,
~Layne

And there's a demon in my head who starts to play
A nightmare tape loop of what went wrong yesterday
And I hold my breath till its more than I can take
And I close my eyes and dream that I'm awake
- Third Eye Blind, "Narcolepsy"

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