August, 2006 Archive

August 28, 2006, 7:19 am

The World Is A Carousel of Carnivals

volume16frontispiece.gifAh, so Cherry Ames was able to see the “latest” in radiology equipment! But she didn’t have Radiology Grand Rounds to help her understand the art of x-rays and scans.

Now that I think of it, what we have today would seem like something out of a Jules Verne novel in Cherry’s world.

Check out this edition of the Rounds at Sumer’s Radiology Site.

Why I work where I work: we put margarita umbrellas in the oral contrast the patients have to drink before an abdominal CT. They get a big kick out of it. Until they have to drink it.



And over at Hannah’s Place, aka Milliner’s Dream, we have the latest edition of Pediatric Grand Rounds!

It went up while I was at work, so I will have an enjoyable time going through the submissions, and I’m proud to say that Emergiblog is represented in the count!

Check it out! You’ll be as happy as if you used Dr. Harter’s Liver Pills.

What, did they think the liver had a direct connection to the rectum in those days?


Maude Humphrey.jpg

There’s a new carnival in town and our resident ER Chaplain Susan Palwick is gearing up to open “The Carnival of Hope”.

Check out the link, find out what it is all about and be sure to submit to the maiden edition on September 15th.

Susan requested a submission from “Emergiblog”, which always gives me immediate writer’s block, but I’ll manage to send in a post…or two….

Trivia note: the illustration to the right is credited to “Maude Humphrey”, and I believe that is the mother of Humphrey Bogart. She used to use him as a model for some of her paintings/illustrations.

I hear his daughter, Leslie Bogart, is a nurse.

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5:47 am

A Journey To Hysteria

login_hero.jpgLast night there was a research experiement designed to measure the physiological effects of prolonged exposure to continuous high-decible stimuli with vocal repetition of pre-determined syllables.

I selflessly volunteered.

The preliminary findings are as follows:


It began with anticipatory anxiety.

Although there had been previous projects, this particular experiment had an abrupt change in a significant variable.

Journey’s lead singer was sick.

Yet another hit to the psyche of Journey fans, who have experienced repeated loss over the last 30 years, seemingly without permanent psychiatric scars.

A substitute of equal stature was named.

Could this unknown quantity, by the name of “Jeff Scott Soto”, provide the homeostatic mechanism so desperately needed for the experiment to succeed?


Like, totally.

Soto appeared to be of above average height, athletic, and upon opening his mouth set off a chain reaction of hormonal influences.

Adrenaline. Endorphins. Pheromones.

In scientific terms, the guy had it goin’ on.

While no permanent damage was noted, transient deafness, pronounced laryngitis and profuse diaphoresis followed by psychic exhaustion was experienced by at least 99% of the experiment subjects.

(The other 1% had altered their level of consciousness and were unavailable for follow-up.)

One female participant who was placed in the fourth row, center, seemed particularly affected by the Soto Solution.

Soto, while 41 years of age acted with the vigor of a 25-year-old. One particular female subject, while 49, believes she actually regressed hormonally to the level of a 17-year-old adolescent.

This particular participant has voluntarily chosen to submit herself to repetitive auditory stimulation by the Soto variable and will continue to study the phenomenon beyond the scope of this inquiry.


A twenty-five minute interval was allowed to give the subjects an opportunity to regain their equilibrium, their hearing and to reduce their bladder volume, prn.

After ascertaining the ability to tolerate another 90 minutes of repetitive rhythms, the volunteers were subjected to a stimulus of even greater intensity.

Prior to this study, one particular female participant was found who wouldn’t have known a Def Leppard from a Blind Cheetah.

She agreed to stay for the second half of the experiment due to heavy peer pressure, as her, like, Bestest Friend EVER was a Def Leppard enthusiast.

(Exploring this susceptibility to outside influence, it was noted that these two females had met in 1972 and had bonded over a much less intense auditory stimuli, namely the Osmond Brothers.

It is not known whether the Osmonds have been responsible for other such bondings of 34 years or if these participants represented an anomaly in the time/space continuum.)


One particular female described it as though “the bass guitar was plugged directly” into her sternum.

This unusual ability to feel the music could be attributed to the fact that the subject couldn’t even hear herself scream.

It was a point of concern that Def Leppard had two lead guitarists.

Would this lead to sensory overload as the cerebral synapses, already experiencing a burn-out of neurotransmitters following Neal Schon’s guitar virtuoso performance, deplete their final serotonin molecule and leave the subjects in a catatonic state?


One particular female noted that Journey and Def Leppard shared a similar style of auditory stimulation that stimulated her to purchase a two-CD set of Def Leppard’s greatest hits from iTunes within two minutes of arriving home.


Let it also be noted that I undid the work of four weeks of physical therapy on my back in three hours of unrelenting stomping, hip bumping, air punching and BIC flicking.

The things I put myself through in the name of science.

Oh, and Joe Elliot? Where have you been all my life?

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August 25, 2006, 2:13 pm

This One’s For the Girls


Holy freakin’ cow!

Do you know what I would have given for this set when I was a kid?

Anything but my Beatle records, that’s what!

They actually have forceps, separate kits for the doctor and nurse, a stethoscope that could put a Cardiology II to shame and paperwork!

Look at all that paperwork!

You could actually “play chart”! No way!

The size of that otoscope earpiece does give me pause, though.

Wonder how many perfs that caused….ouch!


A hot summer day.

The county fair.

Funnel cakes.

Face painting.

And a fall onto a planter that caused a 3/4 inch laceration just off the left eyebrow of my four-year-old patient.

I could still see half the butterfly on her right cheek; the tears had washed away the other wing. The lady bug on the left side was intact…maybe the red paint was waterproof.

Long, thick dark hair and bright blue eyes brimming with tears.

She was petrified. I asked her about her facial artwork, and then made her show me her toes to prove there weren’t any flowers under her socks.

Nope, no toe paintings. Nothing on her belly button, either. Assessment complete!

The fact that the lac could be held together with Dermabond did not diminish her displeasure one iota. I opened the closet and pulled out two teddy bears: a dark brown one and a light brown one.

“You’re the patient!”, I said. “Which one do you like? The dark one or the light one?”

She picked the dark one.

The light one went to her six-year-old sister, who could have been her twin, albeit older.

I was working with one of the most gentle doctors I have ever known. His voice is like audible Ativan. I held a bit of tension on the edge of the wound while he sealed the edges together.

Our patient’s voice was more like audible Epinephrine as her protestations let everyone in the ER know that we didn’t exactly have a satisfied customer……

It was quickly over. I gave discharge instructions, two color books and two sets of crayons and after a big set of “thank yous”, they were off to enjoy the rest of the evening.


Last week, I was called out to the nurse’s station and found my two girls standing there with painted faces and their hands full of stuff.

They handed me two bags of chocolate chip muffins and a bag of chocolate chip cookies that they made themselves.

The patient pulled a photo out of an envelope addressed to “Nurse Kim” and “Doctor Ativan”.

It was a picture of both sisters holding their ER teddy bears, and around the edge they had written their names in silver paint, with many hearts and “Thank You”.

They told me to make sure the doctor got half the cookies. I assured them I would put them in his box and gave them both a hug.

Their gifts delivered, they bounded out of the ER, their fair balloons trailing behind them.


Every now and then I remember why I do what I do for a living.

This was one of those times

And no, I don’t mean because of the chocolate chip muffins.

But they were the best I’ve ever tasted….

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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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