I really don't care what the doctor said

I found this rant hiding in my drafts folder and figured that since I took the time to rant, I might as well post it!


While conducting a home visit for a client, I noticed her caretaker hobbling around and grimacing. I asked if he'd been hurt. "No, the doctor says it's nothing."

So then it doesn't hurt anymore? No, it still hurts. A maelstrom of irritation churned in my belly. I no longer care what the doctor says.

At some point, probably in the last few months, I passed a critical point at which years of watching doctors make serious mistakes that are expensive and cause pain and death, all of which I've been expected to accept because doctors know best, got stuck in my throat.

They're human. They make mistakes. I get it. That noble idea soured when I realized that nurses don't get the same consideration. Not only that, but they take the rap a lot of the time when it was a doctor's error. The "I'm only human" saw is more believable when not trotted out after situations like these:

  • I've told the physician a dozen times that something is wrong with the patient and been ignored, made fun of, or hung up on; the patient dies.
  • The patient has told the physician a dozen times that this isn't like the other pain; the physician ignores the patient; the patient dies.
  • The physician learns that the patient has a mental illness; everything becomes psychosomatic; the patient dies.

That doesn't make you human. It makes you negligent. I am also bitter on my own behalf as a patient. Multiple physicians spent the better part of a year endangering my life by failing to investigate the cardiac symptoms I said I was having, leaving me in constant danger of sudden death. Why? I have anxiety, so, to them, my report was suspicious and easy to ignore. Happens all the time. I might have felt better with even one, "holy cow, turns out you had a really bad problem! I'm so sorry I didn't believe you. Glad you didn't die!" But probably not. It's all theoretical because part of the "I'm only human" thing is "I don't apologize."

I am still bitter over dozens of patients I've known over the years. Too many doctors have been like wielders of the cruciatus curse. You, for some reason, they may like, so you get Dilaudid for your mosquito bites (I've actually seen this; I couldn't make it up). You, for some reason, they don't like, so you will get Tylenol for a broken ankle ("eeeeeeeeeeeee"). If you happen to have a uterus and ovaries, you will almost certainly sit around in horrible pain for as long as it takes a male doctor to find the reason for it, whereas if you have tesicles and just act like you're in pain, you'll be in a morphine haze in no time.

So, no, I'm just not impressed anymore. If "the doctor said she didn't know what was causing my pain" had come out of the person's mouth, fine. THAT I am fine with. But this wholesale acceptance of "the doctor said there's nothing wrong, so I'll ignore all evidence to the contrary" is an idea whose time has reached an expiration date.

Med error of the week

I caught the craziest near-error I've seen in a long time last week. Another nurse went to get atropine for my dying person and came back filling up a med cup with it. The dosage should be two drops under the tongue.

Sure enough the physician had ordered 6 mg of atropine.

One boggles. Perhaps the physician was asleep and thought he was ordering adenosine?

Mortification post

The Bloggess has been posting HYSTERICAL mortifying stories (here and more). My favorite one is both too long to tweet and not about me, although certainly if I put a little thought into it I can come up with plenty of really dumb things I've done.

This one is about my friend S who was sleeping over. She starting shrieking in the middle of the night: "FIRE! RAPE! CALL 911!" I called 911.

Turns out she'd been sleeping on her arm, all curled up in bed. Said arm had fallen totally asleep and the sleeping hand was touching her face.

Animal update

Also, blog update. I have no idea what direction to take this blog. I stopped blogging at onlinelpntorn.org after (can this be??) 4 years. Perhaps I'll write more of those kinds of posts here. Bloggery has changed so much in the (can this be??) 8 years since I started this one that I can't keep up with Joneses or anyone else.

So I'll write about my pets, because they're entertaining. For those new to the cast of characters, there are three: the cat, Comma, an old and cranky tuxedo lady; the pit bull Annie, a vast brindle beast without the sense to come in out of the rain; and Banjo, a fawn pit bull mix who is smarter than many humans I know.

They're a mess.

Today's observation centers around dog food. I got the two dogs nearly at the same time, and they were young puppies, so I raised them not to eat each other's food. It's nonnegotiable. They know not to go near the other one's bowl, and they never do.

But I didn't think the cat would ever enter the fray.

This morning I heard rumbles of malcontent and went to investigate. I found the cat sitting calmly at Banjo's bowl, eating her food. Banjo was flummoxed at this turn of affairs. She knows she isn't allowed to eat Annie's food, and Annie has never eaten her food, but is she allowed to fight with the cat? She danced around and howled.

I removed the cat and put her on the fridge, where her (full) bowl sat. Both dogs sat by their bowls. Everyone was too confused to continue with breakfast. I went back to bed.

Just now I heard another commotion and found a similar tableau, only this time I discovered that the cat had carefully picked all the chicken pieces out of Banjo's dog food. And carried them bit by bit up to her bowl.

I've always had twisted coworkers

I randomly just remembered one of the funnier things that's ever happened to me at work...and it was back when I was an editor! I share it now for general entertainment.

Back story: I worked with J, who liked to draw strange cartoons. Why? I don't question these things. We had a freelancer T, whom I'd happened to overhear on the phone with another colleague, saying he appreciated being able to work from home because he was disabled. We also all knew that he was gay.

Meanwhile, J was preparing a package for T and included a sketch of Captain Cupcake. It was a drawing of a cupcake wearing a pirate's hat and an eye patch, and it had a peg leg. Why the cupcake? I do not ask why.

Later that evening I mentioned the phone call, and J put down his beer (we weren't at work anymore).

"I just sent a drawing of a cupcake with a peg leg to a disabled gay man?"

"Um, I guess so, yes."

"And you didn't think you should MENTION THIS?"

"Um, I guess not, no."

There was hatred and bitterness.

Fortunately, T did not take offense to Captain Cupcake...

You WANT this $12 Sport band for your Apple Watch

Well, maybe you don't, but if you have an Apple Watch and are tired of the color you originally bought, $12 is a fantastic advantage over Apple's $50.

These come in the usual colors for both sizes of Watch and, like, Apple's, include three parts for two sizes. I got the pink one (pictured). I have had the blue that came with my original order, and I like it just fine, but one does crave a bit of change.

I can't distinguish this from the Apple one other than looking at it; it has the same squishy feel, latches in the same hole, and resists dirt. My skin doesn't itch. It arrived in a few days (it wasn't a Prime offering when I bought it last week).

What's not to like?

I also bought one of these from Zenok leather. Apparently I am overcome with a need for variety. Expensive? Hellz yeah. BUT not as pricey as an Apple one, and this is an independent crafter. I've bought notebooks from this Etsy shop before and trust the products.

HIPAA Is Overrated | OnlineLPNtoRN.org

"HIPAA is not what it is made out to be. Nurses must use caution and professional judgement, but we need not gag ourselves into complete silence. If we discuss a patient or situation in such a way that no one without their own inside knowledge could know with certainty who it is, it is not a HIPAA violation!"

The summer is KILLING me

I'm not blogging much lately; I'm not much of anything lately. We're having our usual heat wave, only this year I'm out in it rather than sleeping through the heat of the day. It isn't going well. For 7 years I've been a night crawler, which is excellent in the summer. For the most part I was inside in a dark air-conditioned place during the heat of the day. Now I'm in and out of a hot car all day.

For years I joked about being a light-fearing vampire. I really don't like the sun. It's bright and hot. I have no desire to be out in it. It makes my eyes hurt, and the whole experience is just generally unpleasant for me. However, it isn't funny now. I think I had good reasons for being a night owl, because now that I'm not, it's really a difficult adjustment.

There is horrible fatigue. There are puking headaches. There is nausea. A coworker finally mentioned that it must be like having to move to another climate in a different time zone, and I think it kind of is!

Ah well. I can't expect for years of habit and conditioning to be reversed instantly. I'm sure I will adapt. This schedule has to be healthier in the long run, and I'm already exercising much more consistently. I just think it's ironic that so much attention goes to how to survive night shift where here I am having the worst time moving to days!