Unhappy Camper

Let’s just say today was not a good day for wonderful nursing service at University Hospital.  I usually am awakened by 6:00am for the baby monitor. But not today.  The first time someone came in the room was at 8:00am. It was someone from the lab and she was here to take my blood.  I asked what test she was doing and she said didn’t know.  She then asked if I had be fasting.  I told her I didn’t know I was supposed to be fasting, but that I hadn’t eaten breakfast yet.  She took some blood from my left arm and said “I’ll even take some extra blood in case they need it for something else.

Right after I ordered my breakfast.  An omelet and biscuit.  It always takes 45 minutes to get it so 45 minutes later there was a knock on the door and there it was.  I took the top off the plate and just as I was going to start eating, the nurse came in. Conversation:

Nurse: Did you drink anything yet?

Me: No, I’m getting ready to eat

Nurse: No, you were supposed to take your glucose test this morning.

Me: How was I supposed to know that?

Nurse: The night nurse mentioned it to me, but she told me not to bother you until 9:00am so I thought you knew about it.

Me: Nobody has told me anything.

She walks out of the room and I sit there waiting to see what is going on.  Someone else from the lab comes in and asks what all has happened.  She says to hold on so she can see what all happened.  The nurse comes back in and says I’ll still need to take the test.  I ask her to take my breakfast away so I won’t have to look at it. I let her know that when miscommunications like this happen, medical malpractice suits happened. At 9:10am a new lab lady comes in for me to drink the glucose liquid.  At 9:30am, the nurse (along with the charge nurse) come in to put me on the baby monitor for an hour.  At 10:20am, the lab people come and take my blood AGAIN, this time in the other arm.  About 20 minutes later they take me off the baby monitor.

At 5 minutes before 11, both my breakfast and the doctors come in the room.  Although generally happy and smiling, today I tell the doctors that today has not been a good day.  I mention the fact that there was a miscommunication between all of the staff and the staff and myself and this is not acceptable.  This is how medical accidents happen.  They all apologized and many people took various parts of blame.

They left and I ate my breakfast for lunch.  I sure do miss being at home.

Death to Text

“Death to Text

Septe08-4

Growing up, one of my best friends was Mavis.  We hung out for several hours at a time.  That’s right! The Mavis Beacon program taught me how to type. I was challenged sitting at the keyboard.  “sdfs, jklk, sssdd, jklll, asda, jjkl”.  I watched those skills increase over the years and have now become a speed demon when it comes to typing.

The key to typing was to use your eight fingers (and two thumbs for the spacebar) to be able to work an entire keyboard – 26 letters, 10 numbers and a bunch of extra symbols.  Even typing this, its amazing to watch my fingers do the work with what seems like very little thought from my brain waves.

But now life is different.  Texting is the new thing.  Although it’s similar to typing, the process is the exact opposite.  With texting, you primarily use your thumbs.  How goofy is that?  And, the more you can abbreviate a word, the more ‘hip’ you seem.  IDK- I don’t know, TTYL – talk to you later, ur – your.  While I admit it can be a quick and easy way to communicate, it can also lead to confusion.

Someone I know was in a horrible accident recently.  My friend had been keeping me updated on his progress. She wrote, ‘although he will be d/c’ed soon’!  Are you serious (I thought to myself)?!  Deceased?  I just saw the guy two weeks earlier at a party.  I couldn’t sleep the entire night thinking how this person’s life would be cut short.  I wondered about his son, I wondered about his pain.  How do you prepare to die?

I called my friend the next day to get an update.  After talking for awhile, she mentioned that he was going home.  She didn’t mention the ‘death’ word so I thought she was trying to avoid talking about it.  So I brought it up and reminded her about the email.   She said, “Michelle, I meant he was going to be d/c’ed, DISCHARGED, soon!”  We both started laughing hysterically.  It’s amazing how one little word can be misinterpreted to mean a completely different thing.

So, the next time you let your fingers do the walking or your thumbs do the talking, be careful with what you write – it can be the difference between life and death!

M.Y.  October 2008