Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Lessons From The Trenches

Today I thought I'd share just a few tidbits I learned while working nights this weekend.  I don't necessarily recommend that you adapt these to your own lives.

1.  Liquor-cycles, aka motorcycles and mopeds, require that that the driver have a minimal blood alcohol level of 250 to start the ignition.

2.  A 40-year old man who jumps head first into a pool will earn himself a giant scalp laceration, an hour spent in the OR reattaching the scalp to skull, and a giant hospital bill all in the spirit of celebrating his birthday.  Next year you might want to leave out that case of beer or develop better judgement with regards to the impact of gravity, a concrete pool bottom, and your noggin'.  

3. If you spray gasoline on your legs and then proceed to light brush on fire, some singed legs hairs will be the least of your worries.

4.  Personal hygiene is far under-appreciated.  The medical staff cannot take care of you if we ourselves become trauma patients after passing out from your horrendous body odor.

5.  In Charlotte, we have very classy ways to demonstrate appropriate child rearing.  When one mother disagrees with the parenting skills of another mother, she goes into her kitchen, grabs a crock pot full of boiling oil, marches back outside, and tosses the oil at the other two adults and their four children.  Congratulations, you may consider yourself a great Mom, but you just ruined six people's lives.

6.  The smell of burnt flesh will be embedded in your nose for days.

7.  Ninety-two year old demented ladies may quite possibly be my favorite trauma patients.  Their biggest concern is being covered in blankets to keep them decent.

8.  The combination of sleep deprivation and trauma patient number 22 in a twelve hour time-span will make you scream.  And then you'll laugh at yourself, because this stuff doesn't even happen in the movies.

9.  Sunday morning's hot shower followed be curling up in bed was worth a million dollars after the hellacious night at Charlotte's Miracle Center.

10.  Seeing the bright smiles and well rested faces of the new intern class is priceless.  Life as they know it is about to change - and they have no idea what's coming.  My life is about to change as well, and I can't wait to pass the baton and welcome them to the world of general surgery trauma in 2 weeks!  Good-bye gen surg, hello ortho!

10.  Taking the time to prepare a home-cooked meal full of delicious garden produce, fresh wild salmon, and hearty bread reminds me of the great life that exists outside of the hospital.  Now if only I actually got to spend significant time outside of the hospital.

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