Thursday, October 26, 2006


So I fell asleep after 12:15, believing there would be no ambush. I was having a pleasant little dream in which my former work buddies were commuting to work in tiny curled leaves, instead of cars. I awoke at 12:40 to a female nurse fiddling with my port-a-cath, which had a needle, line and clamp on it as usual. The clamp is important because it prevents something called 'blood' from leaving your body.

I said in an earlier post that women are better than men. That's true, but there are exceptions running both ways. My two excellent male nurses bucked the trend, though my male surgeon had not.

This woman nurse was an idiot. She kept trying to force saline into my port line, with the clamp closed. The closed clamp kept my blood in, and saline out. Tell me she'd never encountered that concept before. She said that the port line was 'sticky' and she would change the needle.

I said no, and reached to open the clamp. I tried to say "The clamp is closed," but she was already lecturing me that she needed to help me, and it was for my own good. My fingers are clumsy, and I had just woken, so it took a while for me to get the clamp open. By the time she finished interrupting and lecturing me, never trying to understand me, but instead reacting to her assumptions, she had fled the room in a whirl of words. I closed the clamp again. "Idiot!" I tried to yell.

My steadfast wife was now on her feet. "The clamp was closed!" I slurred. She left to tell the idiot about the clamp.

"The line has a clamp," she said, beyond the curtain.

"I know," said the idiot, "but the line is sticky. I need to change the needle."

"Idiot!" I tried to yell.

You may be wondering: Why the sudden mood change? Well, I was physically hurt, aching, and tired in a nasty bed with almost no ability to change position, trying to compensate with my aching head and neck -- and along comes an idiot who wants to keep me awake even longer with an unnecessary procedure that would involve poking me with a needle.

Many of you admire brainhell's patient, forgiving nature. But I also speak truth.

This nurse was an idiot.

I felt the need to urinate, and, not knowing if I was still at risk of urethral torture, I grabbed for the jug and tried to pee. I got out only 100 mL because the idiot nurse came back and started yapping that she needed to take my blood pressure. I extended my arm and said "Go ahead." She took that as a no from her problem patient and started lecturing me that she needed my blood pressure. I said "Go ahead." Repeat as necessary. The pee choked off in a rage. My dear wife then told the nurse "He's saying 'Go ahead,'" and the idiot took my blood pressure. The urine was emptied and, fortunately, there was no more talk of changing the 'sticky' needle.

A man idiot would have insisted on it.
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