Like a theme park, except with more agonizing pain

For whatever reason, emergency shifts tend to have an overriding theme. Perhaps I'm just overlaying that onto my day, perhaps I'm subtly biasing myself when I pick through the charts, but I swear I can pick out a common thread to most days spent in the ER.

Yesterday, for instance, was an orthopedics day, specifically the Day That Everyone Broke Their Damn Foot. Ortho days are fun because the people are otherwise healthy and you get to knock them out and move bones back into place.

Today, by contrast, was Chronic Pain Disorder day. People with weird-ass conditions that specialists don't understand come in expecting me to help them. Fun! Some of them are well-versed in their condition, explaining what's been ruled out and what helps in the voice of someone tired of explaining to idiot medical students that no, they don't know why their bowel hurts so much, and that this dose of morphine is what they usually have. Some of them are just big old balls of crazy.

Sunday's theme was People With Disturbingly High Blood Alcohol Levels, but every day is like that at the Royal Alex, heh. We had one guy come in with a level of 99 mg/dl - by comparison, the legal limit on that scale is, uh, 17. Fortunately, he'd been drinking mouthwash, so at least he smelled minty-fresh. It almost, but not quite, masked the rancid urine odour which tends to permeate the Alex on Sunday mornings.

In non-medical news: Electric Six put on the best damn show I've seen in a while. They got indie-rock nerds dancing in the aisles, man. It was wicked. I also flirted with a cute industrial designer, who by utter coincidence was designing surgical tools for one doctor I worked with. Wish I'd got her number, but the show started unexpectedly early.

And the opening act covered Iron Maiden - and covered them well - which is always fun. I have an unironic, unashamed love for speed metal, and you do too. You're just too scared to admit it.


Blogger Ryan said...

I think I speak for the entire world of blogging when I say this: "More medical stories."

You could write a damned book one day. Scratch that, you need to write a book on this one day.

1:21 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Definitely agreed. Cam -- your medical posts are fascinating. Your post about the ass-gaping guy convinced my roommate to start a colon-blow program.

That sounds like a joke, but I'm honestly not kidding.


6:44 p.m.  

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