Friday, June 04, 2004

smoking cigarettes and the last word on the 375-pound man...I promise.

As I left work today, our beloved, magazine-loving patient was all dressed up and ready to be discharged. I didn't get to see him off, but I think I'll manage. His last words to me were "F-You" so I think our relationship ended on a positive note. Today, as he was getting ready to leave, he went roaming the halls, decked out in an all-red, 1989 edition sweatshirt/sweatpants when my co-S.A. employee Mel stopped him and told him politely that if he wanted to walk down the halls he would have to keep his hand out of his pants or go back to his room if he couldn't help himself---to which he replied, "Can I keep my hand on the outside of my pants?" She was confused and didn't expect this response, but nodded and he walked on. Kind of made me think of Penthouse and most of male dorms at Taylor university. For those of you who know what I'm talking about, you know what I mean. For those of you who don't, it's not what you think. I'm not comparing this man to Taylor guys, although, I'm sure God loves us all, just the same. ;)

However, while he left, another patient who seemed a bit confused was yelling "Help" for about an hour. I walked in to try and calm her down, but she told me a man named Dan was being killed outside of her room and that if I didnt' stop them, the "girl" would be next. I was confused and asked her who was the girl? Came to find out, she was referring to her nurse, so once I got this, I heeded her "Go stop them!" call and ran out (literally) of her hospital room. Two minutes later, she was yelling help again and saying she felt like she was gonna throw up. I gave her a bucket/container thing and said I would go get help. A few seconds later, the nurse came in to give her a shot and she picked up the bucket and started whacking the nurse over the head with it. Oops. I apologized and told her why I had given her the bucket, but the nurse said it was fine and then went to help another patient (yep, you guessed magazine himself). I felt so sorry for her. I admire nurses even more after today. Especially the ones who can still smile and laugh at stuff like this when the day is over.

Today is one of the most beautiful days Michigan has seen in weeks, and so when my fellow employees took their routine smoking break (outside of the hospital) I joined them as I'm known to do. It's 4 other smokers in navy blue scrubs and me, sipping on my water. I used to get looks like, "What's he doing here? He's not even smoking!" but now, I've pretty much seen and talked to every smoker in the hospital at least once. It's funny, but this is one of the most interesting times at work b/c if you just listen, as I usually do (I know, not usual for me) it's amazing what people will talk about. It's refreshing, especially after going to a Christian college for four years. You lose touch with the rest of the world in a way, and aren't able to hang out with 45-year-old high school dropouts, or 23-year-olds who are working 60 hours a week just to support their 4 kids (by themselves). These people are out there and they are really cool once you get to know them. It just takes a few trips to the smoke hut to do so.

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