Monday, February 28, 2005

because morgan freeman is great

I couldn't stay up to watch the entire Oscar telecast last night, because I had to get up early to get to work this morning, and I knew that I would hate myself all the more if I knew I was tired and groggy and cranky all day in the NICU for staying up late to WATCH THE OSCARS. So I went to bed in the middle of Antonio Banderas "singing" that "song" with Carlos Santana about el otro lado del rio. Um, Antonio? Wash your hair. You remind me of a patient that I saw in clinic last week. I was annoyed with the patient right from the get go, because he was a punk teen boy who walked in (read: no appointment) with the chief complaint of, "I have acne." Uh, and this is an urgent visit why? But OK, I wasn't swamped that day, so I figured I'd humor him. So I was just taking my history, trying to get a sense of what all was going on, when I asked him:

So, how often do you wash your face?

I don't know.
(Looks to mom for help)

(In Spanish)
Talk to the doctor!

I don't know. Maybe once a week?


So really, the only "good" awards that I caught were Best Supporting Actor and Actress. I like Cate Blanchett, and think she's lovely and all that, but I didn't see "The Aviator" (nor do I have the will to--same goes for "Hotel Rwanda") so I was just sort of "meh" on that one. But I was really glad that Morgan Freeman won for "Million Dollar Baby." I just think he's the greatest. He's like the Gentleman Actor, all courtly and such. And the voice! Let's not forget that voice! I wish he could narrate my day to day life. It would make me feel important, anyway. "And then Michelle walked off to the supply room, to get more blood culture bottles. The same blood culture bottles she'd been filling day in and day out for the last two years." Cue uplifting music, slow pan out, triumph of the human spirit, what have you.

Speaking of drawing blood cultures, today was just another day in the tiny little eensie-weensie funhouse. The strange thing about spending any amount of time working in the NICU is how your entire perspective gets miniaturized. Like how the normal newborns you see suddenly look huge, and how everything starts getting measured out in microscopic aliquots. Today I had to draw blood off a patient for some sort of special send out lab test, and I was getting all stressed about how much of the red stuff I had to suck out. "Make sure you get at least 1 cc," the lab instructed. 1 cc? Did they know how much blood that is? What did they want me to do, suck the kid dry? (To give some real-world perspective on how small a volume we're talking about here, 1 cc is roughtly a fifth of a teaspoon. But we're talking about a unit where we'll regularly give a kid a blood transfusion of 15 ccs of blood--in other words, a tablespoon full. So you see, 1 cc is a lot.) I felt pretty bad about taking that much blood from the little guy, though I also have to admit that I was pretty pleased with myself for being able to draw it successfully.

Currently reading: Nothing right at this moment, but up on deck is "Reefer Madness: Sex, Drugs, and Cheap Labor on the American Black Market" by Eric Schlosser, who you may know as the author of "Fast Food Nation." Despite the dry title, this was, believe it or not, another impulse buy at the bookstore. It sounds a little bit like a textbook for a Sociology class I guess, but hey, whatever. I'll read anything.


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