Wednesday, September 27, 2006

oh the pain

The worst thing about being on the pain service is the pager. That pager! Oh, the noise it makes! I hate, hate, hate carrying a pager. Since I switched to Anesthesia, I got fairly used to not getting paged very often (people know which OR I'm in and can always find me there), and invariably the pages I do usually get are of the non-urgent variety, like Pharmacy reminding me to turn in some paperwork, or headhunters asking DR AU, HAVE YOU CONSIDERED RELOCATING TO THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR A LUCRATIVE PRIVATE PRACTICE OPPORTUNITY? But now I'm on the pain mangement consult service, and as such, I have to carry this squealing pager around on my hip all day. And that's, well, painful.

Still more painful is stuff like this:


PAGER
I must beep annoyingly!
(Beep beep beep)

INTERN
Hi, is this Pain?

MICHELLE
Yup. What's up?

INTERN
We have this patient? Who had surgery? And now she has pain? And she's written for a PCA but she still has pain?

MICHELLE
Is she pushing the button on her PCA?

INTERN
(Silence)

MICHELLE
Is she?

INTERN
Um...

MICHELLE
Why don't you go check.

INTERN
(Footsteps)

MICHELLE
...

INTERN
(Returning)
She said she didn't know she could push the button.

MICHELLE
Well, there you go. Explain to her how the PCA works.

INTERN
Oh, OK.

MICHELLE
Heed my advice, for I am a pain expert.


Or how about this one?


PAGER
I am very loud and insistant!
(Beep beep beep)

INTERN
We need you to pull this patient's epidural catheter!

MICHELLE
Sure, I'll swing by and see him in a bit.

(Five minutes later)

PAGER
I seek to make your life a living hell!
(Beep beep beep)

OTHER INTERN
We need you to pull this patient's epidural catheter!

MICHELLE
Yes, your colleague already called, I'm on my way to see the patient now.

(Five minutes later)

MICHELLE
(To patient)
Hi Mr. Old Guy, I'm here to take out your epidural.

OLD GUY
Epidural? I don't have an epidural!

MICHELLE
The tube in your back.

OLD GUY
I don't have a damn tube in my back!

MICHELLE
Oh, ha ha, you are so cute and old and belligerent, and possibly demented. Let me help you sit up so I can pull your cathether.

(Patient sits up, revealing a pristine back, with no epidural)

OLD GUY
I told you girlie, I don't have a tube in my back!

MICHELLE
Ah so.

PAGER
I am one of the four pagers of the apocalypse!
(Beep beep beep)

INTERN
So did you pull the epidural on that patient yet?

MICHELLE
You die now.


Things that would help:
1.) Surgical residents talking to their patients
2.) Surgical residents examining their patients
3.) Maybe if my pager exploded


* * *


Oh, we found the shoes! Strangest thing, our nanny found them in the stroller. But I swear I looked in the stroller already during my search and rescue efforts. How could they have not been there and then reappeared? Clearly the shoes are haunted.


Currently eating: A toasted plain bagel with peanut butter and jelly. I get this almost every morning. You'd think it would be cool to get the same thing every day from the same bagel place, because I could just say "I'll have the usual" and it would be very Cheers, but every time I order, I get this knotted-brow look from the bagel guy as though he's never seen me before, let alone ever heard of anyone eating peanut butter and jelly on a bagel.

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