Saturday, August 8, 2009

The week in review

Unremarkable Monday

I don't remember what happened on Monday, but when you say you're going to do a week in review post, you're sort of obligated to start at the beginning of the week.

Speaking of starts, we're off to a rather riveting one, eh?
Yes, well, what can I say?
I like to grab the audience's attention right from the beginning.
(Or, set the bar low right off the bat, such that they'll be pleasantly surprised if anything even remotely entertaining is said in the next few paragraphs.)

It's like Tuesdays with Morrie (if, you know, Morrie flushed his psych meds, bought a handgun, drank a six pack, and then called your mother)

My mom called to warn me that the Ex is poking around for me. The fact that he tried to employ her for some assistance in that regard is further evidence that he is bat shit crazy. That woman wouldn't piss on him if he were on fire, let alone give him her daughter's address.

That's it.
That's the story.

(Do me a favor. Don't write Be careful in the comments. It's a perfectly reasonable thing to say--probably the very thing I'd say if I were reading this. But for some reason, it is the last fucking thing I want to hear right now. Thanks.)

It's Business Time... and Slick Willy woke up this morning, put on his business socks, and proved he's still got it.

In case you missed it, a recap:

Former President Bill Clinton went to North Korea.

He took this picture...

And from this picture, we learn a little more about South Korea's pesky little Stalinist hat.

First, their fearless leader is actually an evil garden gnome. Let this be a lesson to you lovers of the lawn ornament: If you let those things run around unchecked, it's only a matter of time before they get all full of themselves, MacGyver your bird bath into a nuclear launch pad, and make things a wee bit tense between you and the neighbors.

Second, North Korea and Atlantic City shop at the same carpet store.

Third, in spite of the festive floor coverings, North Korea does not appear to be a barrel of laughs. Or the best place to get your white blazer tailored.

But, I digress. The real point of this story is that Bill's still got it. He can charm the pants and the prisoners off the best of 'em. And frankly, he makes me proud to be an American.

I know that not everyone agrees. In fact, I hear that Fox "News" has been talking about how this whole freed prisoners thing is really very bad because it somehow gives North Korea good publicity. (As if people who see that picture are going to say, "Hey honey, I know we were planning to retire in Boca, but what do you say we move Pyongyang instead?") Rather than sending someone to ask for the safe return of Laura Ling and Euna Lee, we should have just left well enough alone, sending the message that The Greatest Nation on Earth is entirely too great to give a shit about a couple women being worked to death by a totalitarian regime. In fact, the patriotic response to this kind of thing is, "Go ahead. Take them. See if we care."

There was also a suggestion that perhaps Clinton secretly gave away something to secure the women's release, as if we might expect a bunch of Koreans to come take over Kansas later this week. When we're all like, "What the fuck? Get out of Kansas, you bitches!", with great hubris, they'll say, "Oh, you haven't heard? We hypnotized Bill with our psychedelic casino carpeting, and he accidentally traded the heartland for a couple of journalists."

Barring the loss of the Midwest, I actually believe this whole story is pretty fucking great. Maybe it's the liberal in me, but I think that any time hostages are released sans gunfire, explosion, and the sale of arms to Iran, it's a good day.

Wednesday was a good day.

Thoracentesis Thursday

I did a thoracentesis on Thursday. Sticking a large needle in someone's back and draining off a liter of yellowish green fluid may not sound like fun to you.

That's the difference between you and me.

Not as good as last Friday

This Friday was about as exciting as Monday.
Take the week by storm and go out with a bang, I always say.

Last Friday, however, was just about the best thing ever.

Remember Alex? (Sure you do. I blog so infrequently now, she's practically the only thing I've written about all month.)

She got really depressed mid way through last week. (It might have been that whole in the hospital on a clear liquid diet waiting to have your colon removed on your birthday thing.) In an attempt to cheer her up a bit, I suggested that she and I have a movie night. I said, "I work until 10 pm on Friday night. I'll come get you when I'm done and we'll go to the attending lounge and watch a movie. There's a huge flat screen TV in there and few, if any, attendings on a Friday at ten."

"Are you allowed to take patients in there?" she asked.

"No. Absolutely not. We'll have to put you in some scrubs and cover your PICC line with, you have zip up hoodie?"

"Yes. I was actually wearing it when I was admitted."

"Perfect. If you're in scrubs, tennis shoes, and a hoodie, you'll look like a med student on call with her resident. They won't even know you're a patient. I'm not even really supposed to hang out in the attending lounge, but you'll get to see what it's like to hang out with the rebel resident--you'll see what it's like for my med students."

She was grinning from ear to ear at this point, and I was trying to silence that little voice in my frontal lobe that was screaming, T, YOU'RE GOING TO GET FIRED.

I told her to pick a movie and that I'd watch anything she liked.

On Friday night, I wrote the following order:
Hold IV fluids, TPN, & intralipids at 2200 for 2 hours.
Pt may be off the floor accompanied by physician.

At ten o'clock, I handed off my patients to another resident and grabbed Alex's nurse, who smirked a little when she saw the order. "I'm not even going to ask," she said.

"Probably best if you don't," I said. "Plausible deniability can only work in your favor here."

As she unhooked Alex's IV, she looked us both over from head to toe, smiled, and shook her head a little as she realized we were dressed just alike.

Alex picked up a DVD from her bedside table. "Breakfast at Tiffany's. I've never seen it, and my mom said she thought you'd like it."

"A great choice," I said. "It's a classic and one of my favorites."

We left her room, walked past a nurse's station full of rather puzzled looks, and hopped in the elevator. As I pushed the L for lobby, I turned to her and asked, "So, how does it feel to be getting off the floor?"

"This is amazing," she said. "Right now, I don't even feel like a patient." I smiled, swallowed hard, and wondered when exactly I had turned into such a sap.

There was no one in the lounge when we walked in, which was nice, because I hadn't really rehearsed my "hey boys, we're here to take over the television" line. A few attendings did trickle in during the next two hours. They stayed just long enough to refill their coffee mugs, and there were just enough of them to reinforce the idea that we were not really supposed to be there. It made the whole thing that much more fun.

I walked Alex back to her room after the movie and thanked her for spending her Friday with me. "Thank you," she said. "This actually felt like a real Friday night."

Actually, I thought, this felt like one of the best Fridays ever. And I've been humming Moon River ever since.


KayDee said...

Hi Terroni,

I have been lurking for a while as I have seen you over at Maria's. This was one of the most entertaining posts I have read in ages and I think you are amazing for doing that for Alex. I love it that you are a little bit of a rebel too.

Eric said...

M – I don’t remember what I did either.

T – I’ve got acquaintances that take care of little problems like that.

W – Yes, Bill rocks and Fox should be legally bound to insert quotes around the word news any time they use it. They should even do the little hand sign when speaking it.

Th – That actually does sound cool.

F – Again, what an awesome thing you did for Alex. Great movie choice, by the way.

Maria said...

I agree about Bill. Of course all my dumb ass family has to say is that Bill was hungry for some attention.

And really, I don't even bother answering them because if they actually think that Bill is so hard up for attention that he'd go over there and make nice to get hostages, well...c'mon, I don't have time to deal with idiots.

Friday sounds fun.

Tuesday sounds suck assy, and I could remind you that Eric used to be a cop and he probably really does know people...or you could invite him over, slip him some of that good stuff that you have to be able to um...WRITE A SCRIP FOR...and I have a nice big backyard where you can bury the loser.

We prairie people are don't ask, don't tell types.

MmeBenaut said...

I'm in (almost) silent admiration of Bill for doing this. Garden Gnome is just too good a label for that maniac in the "hat" of South Korea.
As always your writing is so entertaining little one, even when you're a wee bit scared of the other maniac that used to terrorise you. And I love what you did for Alex. Breakfast at Tiffany's. What an apt choice! xx

Susanlee said...

A. Bill Clinton needs a cape. He's a total super hero.

B. I can't believe Kim Jong Il thinks anyone could possibly take him seriously in those khaki pajamas.

C. You're the best doctor -ever-. You could teach a thing or three to some of the jerks I work with.

Anonymous said...

I, too, lurk on occasion, and I also have a bat shit crazy Ex who occasionally pops up out of his weasel den and wreaks havoc on my loved ones in an effort to get to me. I understand everyone's gut reaction to be scared for you, but I also understand not wanting to hear what everyone is most inclined to say; for me, it was always because those words somehow gave him continued power over my life and I was determined that he would not have it. I will say, however, that I wish you well and that your life may proceed uninterrupted by him and any other crazies. Here's to mothers who wouldn't piss on our crazy exes even when engulfed in flames.

.j.william. said...

rock. on.

secret agent woman said...

Be caref... Okay, not really. It was just about irrestible once I'd been warned.

I totally agree about Clinton and Friday sounds like a wonderful treat for Alex. Seems like one of those situations where you are both nourishing each other.

Matthew Paul Turner said...

I LOVE YOU. Just saying. :)

dive said...

You are so awesome it hurts, T.

Anna said...

Wow, I come back from 14 days at my parents' and I find this gem of a post! This is exactly why I love reading you, Terroni.

About Slick Willy - you are spot on. And I almost died of laughter. No seriously. Almost died.

About Alex - my fellow commenters sure did a great job praising you. And you deserve all of it. But the job was incomplete, so here's the missing bit of praise: you, Tee, are eligible for saintlyhood from hereon out. Really, get ready for a call from the Vatican any day. If they know what they're doing (which they usually DON'T), they'll do that. Because you totally, totally deserve it.

And finally and on a completely random note: since that thoracensis thing would totally be my bag, it seems there is no difference between you and me on that one. I wouldn't like to receive one (ouchie, ouch, ouch) but if I were a qualified doc, I probably would love having to perform it.