Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Kids say the dardnest things.

I am pretty sure we have all heard a story about a couple that thought they weren't able to have any children of their own only to get pregnant shortly after adopting. I was taking care of one of those patients and she and here husband, a middle aged white couple had adopted two black children who were both elementary school age.

Once mom was comfortable with her epidural she started talking to me some about her blended family and how the new baby would fit in. She then told me a story about how she was out with her kids in a location where she was the only white person there. Almost immediately, her older child blurts out loudly, "Look mommie, we are the only white people here!"

Ahhh, to be young.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Thanks for the warning.

A while back I noticed a patient of mine had a cyst on one of the outer lips of her vagina. No big deal. It happens.

Come time for delivery, with the patient up in stir ups and the spotlight on her girl parts I notice the doctor silently but quite attentively inspecting the cyst between contractions. I see her poke at it. Then, with no warning what-so-ever she gives it a firm squeeze and a ridiculous amount of purulent discharge comes squirting out at a speed that I am pretty sure broke the sound barrier. It is heading right at me. I manage to move just enough that it hit me in the shoulder.

I give the doctor a "what the hell was that all about" glare.

She looks at me apologetically.

The whole time the patient remained blissfully unaware.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Things that make you go hmmm.

Sometimes you hear just enough of a conversation to make you desperately curious on and glad you are walking the other way all at the same time. As I was leaving today I caught this tidbit in the hallway.

Two nurses are walking together carrying about every type of restraint imaginable. Another nurse passes and asks "Where are you going with those?"

"The ER. We have a Hannibal Lector down there."


Thursday, January 17, 2008

What do American Idol and L&D have in common?

As I sat on my couch last night watching that guy explain his collection of “finger nail peelings” on American Idol I was reminded of a girl that showed up in L&D one night with a bag of vomit she had been saving. This led me to ponder what else Simon Cowell and I may have in common.

I decided that like the DMV, American Idol gets a good sampling of the general population. The relatively normal to the over-emotional, to the bipolar and even people that enjoy dressing up in chicken costumes or drag all show up to audition thinking that they may be the next big star. Labor and Delivery is the same way. Pregnancy is non-discriminating and while admittedly when someone shows up in drag as a “patient” we have bigger problems, we too see it all.

Just like rejected auditioners get their 30 seconds in some sort of confessional where they curse Simon and blame their failure on anything other than their lack of singing ability, I too get cursed and yelled at when I send someone home who is not in labor. And like Idol, some do actually take it gracefully.

So, when you find yourself wondering if these stories could possibly be true think of glitter pixie queen (aka Willem Dafoe’s look alike) and Renaldo Lapuz belting out “We’re Brothers Forever” and think of the possibility. For me, I think my lesson is that I need an L&D video confessional out by the elevators.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Cervical Exam

When I started in L&D one of the nurses who has been working L&D for over 30 years told me that she went to a conference one time and heard someone say that your first 100 cervical exams as an inexperienced practitioner are more like social visits. You are just checking it out but don't really know what you are looking for.

She then proceeds to tell me a story about a doctor from a nearby area that was in a family practice residency, doing his OB rotation. The first time he went in to check a patients cervix he felt around and quickly pronounced her 2-6 centimeters. (Basically meaning "I have no f-ing clue what I am doing.")

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago while I am sitting in my doctors office for a check up. We were talking about work and he asks me which hospital I work at. When I tell him where I work his eyes light up.

"I did my OB rotation there!" he says. "I came in from (insert area mentioned from above story) and I had no idea what I was doing. The nurses were so nice to me helping me out and teaching me how to check a cervix..."

It was all I could do not to die laughing. He he was, the story of legend that happened over 20 years ago...sitting right in front of me.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Shopping Around

Some women don't deal with not hearing exactly what they want to hear very well. Some cry. Some curse. Some throw things at you. (I have learned to watch my back and am getting better at dodging monitor parts.) Other just leave and try another hospital, hoping that maybe there, the magic of labor will begin.

This of course means that we too get our fair share of women that have previously been seen at another area hospital and now we are their second (or third, or fourth) try. Not surprisingly, they don't like to admit that they have been somewhere else first and were sent home although we almost always find out about the time we start calling other hospitals for their prenatal.

Last week, a young woman came in with an obvious spot on her arm where a band aid had been removed. There was a bruise and it was obvious she had blood work drawn.

"Did they draw your blood somewhere?"


"What did they draw it for?"

"Oh no, nobody drew any blood."

Upon further inspection it became obvious that she had been stuck in many places and looked like someone had opened an entire box of band aids on the girl. Of course, in an effort to conceal her previous whereabouts they had all been removed so all you could see was the sticky outline of each one.

"So why do you have all these band aids?"

"Oh, those aren't band aids. I fell asleep in a room full of Mexicans and they taped me up with duct tape."

At least she gets points for creativity.

Monday, January 7, 2008

I didn't know this really happens.

I took over an assignment on a patient with the warning that she didn't speak much English. Her husband however was fluent.

I walk into the room and see a beautiful girl (who's admission reveals that she is 22) and her husband, a frumpy looking man who I suspect was wearing a toupee and is a self proclaimed ripe old age of 58. She was from the Ukraine. Yes, I was puzzled.

Before too long, curiosity gets the best of me and I ask how the two of them met.

The husband answers, "We met online."

Me, still showing my true naivety replies, "Gosh, it must have been hard to get to know someone online who is so far away."

"Not really, I just chose the one I wanted and went to pick her up."


Thursday, January 3, 2008

Happy New Year Weirdo

I was going through the prenatal of one of my patients. It read something like this:

Name: Crystal Chandeleir

Father of Baby: Ronald Muggins (in very neat black in)
Jon Walker (this time in blue pen and a bit messier)
Arnie Fitz (this time in a guys handwriting)

I wounder how that process of elimination went.