February 8, 2006, 6:21 pm

Les Whining Miserables

Ahh, the famous Dr. Taillandier from France.

His patient had a headache and a feeling of tiredness. She also had bad skin and a severe case of the non-fatal, yet universally dreaded symptom of……coated tongue.

After a thorough evaluation and assessment, meticulously documented pictorally, the true problem was diagnosed.

Her intestines were unclean. They were tired.

The patient was constipated.

And our renowned Dr. T had the answer.

Fleishman’s Yeast.

Three cakes a day.

For a minute I wasn’t sure if you were supposed to eat it or shove it up the nether region.

You eat it. Blech!

Three cakes a day and your life will be pain free, your acne will clear up and your tongue will once again be presentable.

You will also auto-produce bread if you stand in a warm room.

(Disclaimer: Emergiblog is 99.9% apolitical. Any inference of an association between France and constipation is unintended. Thank you.)


It has come to my attention that a certain computer system used by our largest local EMS service will not allow my paramedic and EMT colleagues to access Emergiblog because it contains images of “intimate apparel”.

I had given my blog address to one of the medics in a shameless attempt to solicit votes for the Medical Weblog Awards. Hey, when you are a Maurading Marsupial you do what you have to do, okay?

So now, all of the EMS personnel in the county in which I work, should they attempt to access Emergiblog, will think that I am modeling “intimate apparel”.

This could make me very popular.

However, one photo of me in “intimate apparel” would be so bad that readers would actually take back their hits and my site counter would immediately hit -58.

My best guess is that when I ran, months ago, the old ad that showed a ’40s nurse in underwear, I crossed a delicate line. We can’t have our medics looking at that nasty photo while on duty.

So, hello to those EMS colleagues who are accessing from a different computer system, welcome, and I’m sorry I don’t have any intimate apparel for you to peruse. I do, however, have a very cute scrub top I will debut next week, so if you like Winnie-the-Pooh, you may not be able to control yourselves.

You have been warned.


I’m not really miserable, but I was last night.

Twelve hours of hell.

Now, please understand that I work in the best ER ever.

As an example, when we give patients a “GI Cocktail”, we put a margarita umbrella in it.

I’m not kidding! We really do! I even put one in the oral contrast for abdominal CTs. Makes the patients laugh, which is not easy when you have abdominal pain.

So it’s a cool place. Homeless drunks found on the street who don’t even know their own name request our facility.

Sometimes I wish we were not so popular!

So to put it in perspective, when I say I worked through a night of hell, in other ERs we are talking “business as usual”.

Anyway, in the patients came. Lots and lots of them. Very sick ones.

If we were lucky, it was by ambulance because, at least in our county, they are practically cured by the time we get them (good field protocols, and good medics/EMTs). But when the really sick ones walk in with chest pain or are wheeled in by relatives, it’s “starting from scratch” and it takes a lot more work to initiate their care. They came en masse.

The “walking wounded” have to wait, and they also came en masse.

And as luck would have it, I was Charge Nurse/Triage (we take turns).

Tensions were high. Meaning someone raised their voice once. No one had a chance to eat, let alone visit the rest room and they decided to remodel our break room so we had no place to retreat for even two minutes.

In the old days, the night would slow down after 2300. Not so these days. Up until I signed out at 0340 I was hanging blood and taking vitals.

I was so tired I wanted to cry but (1) it isn’t professional (2) I didn’t have the energy and (3) I was so dehydrated I didn’t have any liquid to spare.

Why is it when I’m at home, I must urinate on demand but when I’m at work I have the bladder of a camel?

I asked a colleague in her mid-60s how she did it. When I leave work, I ache so bad and my back hurts so bad that I have to go home and take ibuprofen and a muscle relaxer so I can move.

She has so much energy and moves so fast – I marveled at her stamina.

Turns out she has to take the same meds I do.

Oh, so it isn’t just me. But wait, she is 17 years older than me!

I have the same body as someone who is 65!


Ya know, sometimes ya just gotta whine.


  • kenju

    February 8, 2006 at 10:08 pm

    Yeah, you can whine – but it doesn’t help much!

    I’m 65 and sometimes I feel like I’m 80.

  • Gypsybobocowgirl

    February 8, 2006 at 10:19 pm

    I spent most of last week circulating Coronary Interventions in my lightweight lead (minimum fifteen pounds) and would have taken the muscle relaxant if my feet didn’t hurt too bad to stand to find them. I knew where the motrin was though!

  • Jenn

    February 9, 2006 at 6:08 am

    I was 24 when I last did floor duty and I had to take the same meds.

  • Mama Mia

    February 9, 2006 at 8:34 am

    OMG, Kim, I can so relate! Those shifts are dreadful – you never really get to talk to the patients, or spend as long on education as you would like or as the patient needs…

  • Dr. Flea

    February 9, 2006 at 8:38 am


    I am trying so hard to keep non-emergently ill kids out of the ED!

    Why aren’t the rest of my colleagues following suit?

    I want to make your job easier and I don’t want kids subjected to the “ED treatment” when they really should stay home.



  • John Cowart

    February 11, 2006 at 3:49 am

    Yes, you nurses do put up with a lot… but you make a real difference. Thank you.

About Me

My name is Kim, and I'm a nurse in the San Francisco Bay area. I've been a nurse for 33 years; I graduated in 1978 with my ADN. My experience is predominately Emergency and Critical Care, and I have also worked in Psychiatry and Pediatrics. I made the decision to be a nurse back in 1966 at the age of nine...

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