Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Well Now...Wasn't That Just a Day From H-E-DoubleHockeySticks?

Ever had "one of those days"? A day when nothing really goes particularly right and most everything goes particularly WRONG? I had one of those days today. I have them a lot when I work on the cardiac unit, actually. Today was no exception. Please don't get me wrong--I like working on the cardiac unit. This is mostly because I love my coworkers and I want to keep up my nursing skills in telemetry, wound care, med-surg nursing, and all things cardiac and renal. Why? Because most people have hearts, lungs, and kidneys and it's good to know a thing or two about how they work, or how to do your very best to fix them when the don't work. I meet really interesting and awesome patients on this unit. I also meet not-so-interesting-and-not-so-awesome-patients on this unit. I kind of have crap luck when it comes to nursing. I am "Nurse Black Cloud" (that's my Native American name). I have bad luck with some stuff--and on a really flipping frequent basis might I add.

Today started off as normal as every other day on the cardiac unit. I pulled into the employee parking lot at work at 0641 (that's 6:41 a.m. for those of you who aren't fond of military time like we are in health care), said a prayer to God that today would go by quickly, and that I wouldn't get my butt handed to me in a basket by the end of it. I said some other nice, unselfish, eloquent things during that prayer, too. However, they are for Him to know and you to find out.

Anyway, the day was going well until about 0730 (7:30 a.m.). That was when I walked into a patient's room and saw that a toilet hadn't been flushed after use. Being the nice, tidy (black cloud) nurse that I am, I flushed the toilet--and then it flushed me right back...in the face. Did I mention my shift "technically" started at 0700 (7:00 a.m.), so right out of the gate I was feeling a little bit screwed. Some people have wardrobe malfunctions. I have toilet malfunctions--and then I get to wear them around on my face for the next 12 hours. Don't worry--I avoided the brown trout that were swimming upstream as this Mardi Gras, toilet-splashing festival was going on. I actually got splashed with the "hopper" water that is used to "rinse" things in the toidy that shoots out of an "arm" on the back of the toilet (only usually it's pointed down INTO THE TOILET AND NOT AT MY FLIPPING FACE when it goes off). It's not really supposed to spray you in the face when you flush it--but this toilet didn't get the memo. Hopefully my hospital didn't decide to "go green" and make the hopper water out of "recycled" toidy water. If they did, I literally walked around stone-cold sober, yet totally sh*t-faced all day today. True story.

Unfortunately this is not the first time I've gotten nailed in the face with toilet contents. I ended up in the ER last year after I went to empty a urinal, and the pee-laden toilet water splashed up into my eyeball. I have rotten luck, and a hospital that has super powered flushing toilets. I'm lucky I still have green eyeballs instead of yellow or brown ones.

I don't know what it is about this unit, but every time I work on it CRAZY, WEIRD, NOT-SO-AWESOME-IN-THE-LAND-O-WHITNEY stuff happens. Also, what I mentioned in the last paragraph is not the only time my job has landed me in the ER. I've been sent there because I accidentally stabbed myself with a needle. I was sent there after I got pinned up against a wall and punched in the face (unfortunately--not so accidental!). The list goes on and on. Crap luck...I'm tellin' ya.

I was running around like a crazy person today. I was answering all sorts of call lights--mine and other people's. I was jetting off to fix beeping IV pumps, and beeping telemetry boxes. I was on the run to answer bathroom emergency lights, and screaming patients who couldn't find their call lights. By the time I sat down at the desk I was exhausted and had a ton of charting to do. But it didn't stop there. Then, because I was sitting at the nurses station, I had every single family member for every single patient coming up to me and asking me questions. But is wasn't just questions--they were genuinely pissed off at me! I didn't even know who these people were, or who the patients were that they were upset at about. I sat there as they walked up and started talking/shouting at me and I felt like a dog when it's trying to listen to a human. My head was kind of half-cocked to the side and if I had floppy ears they would've been raised up on one side in my best effort to understand WHAT THE CRAP WAS GOING ON WITH PEOPLE I KNEW NOTHING ABOUT. I just sat there and took it, too. I think I said, "I'm sorry, I'll let your family member's nurse know immediately" about 50 times today. Had they known that I had toilet water all over my face they maybe would've been more afraid of me. True, true! I should've posted a sign on my scrubs that said, "When in doubt, don't ask Nurse Toilet Face". That would've shown them. Boo-YAH baby. Don't mess with The Whitster.

This was one of those days where I'm really glad that we are required as nurses to chart and document OBjectively instead of SUBjectively. This would've been a day that it was tempting to use some of my made up expletives to keep me on the good side of God. Sayings like, "You stupid monkey fluffer!" or "Oh SUGAR!" or "What the crap you pokey-butted weirdo". I have many of them. At some point somebody had to go beyond "son of a BLEEP". Why not me? You're welcome. Use them wisely.

I clocked out at 2025 tonight (8:25 p.m.). 13 hours and 25 minutes of sheer bliss later. And a face full of goodness knows what that I promptly washed down my shower drain at approximately 2113 (9:13 p.m.--what can I say...I have a long commute!). Maybe I'll wake up and my face will look 10 years younger tomorrow and I can sell my "million dollar" beauty secret to the rest of the world about dookie-laden toidy water. Oh crud--what if someone reads this blog first and pulls the rug out from under me and steals my idea?!! It's a risk I'm willing to take...

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