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A GI Bleed Monday...

Posted Sep 12 2008 11:33am
...or something like that. A normal shift at work, save for the fact that about 75% of my patients were shitting blood. When I'm assigned to trauma, which is my favorite assignment, I like to have actual traumas. I'm talking ugly car wrecks, gunshot wounds, falls from three stories, stabbings, the TV stuff. Not old people pooping blood. Which was apparently the order of business at Our Lady of the Vaseline today. And people in the non-medical fields, be damn thankful you *don't* know the smell of a GI bleed at thirty paces. 'Cause I do. Kind of like the smell of strep throat from a yard away, which I can pick up on, and the smell of ketones in a way-past-hyperglycemic diabetic (which I can't). Or like the less-identifiable but still assaultive smells of bacterial vaginosis (aka 'cootie cooch') or urinary tract infection. And so forth. What I like to smell in my trauma rooms is the distinctive smell of traumas, that acid-metallic tang that marks the smell of what I think is fear. The heavy scent of lots of blood. The smell of death, which is also metallic but less acrid than fear, with a slightly softer edge.
What I don't like in my trauma rooms is the trauma surgeon yelling at nobody in particular because the ultrasound machine isn't in the room (yes, Beavis, it should've been, but you know yelling louder and louder won't get it here any faster, so quit acting like one of the old guys) for the one trauma we do have, a 13-year old girl hit by a car who turned out to be just fine.
All in all, I'm glad the shift is over - but still look forward to getting to do it all over again tomorrow. After a much-overdue morning kickboxing class with my friend Tiny, a guy who is absolutely inspiring in his motivation and success with a weight loss and fitness program. And a guy who's gonna need a new nickname soon (Tiny is his 'big' nickname. I think his real name is James).
One of these days, I'll try to jot down notes during a normal shift and blog sort of a 'day in the life' thing for those of you that aren't privy to my world. It boggles the mind, really - it's an ADD kid's paradise.
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