Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Super Happy Fun-Time Adventure (rantolotl goes to hospital)

What happens when you combine one 'relaxing' weekend, a bottle of absinthe, Psyonide, Gandalf, & Krus? You end up in the emergency room of the local hospital awaiting abdominal fucking surgery. That's fucking what.

No one can explain what happened, how it happened, or why the fuck it happened, but come Sunday night, I was in the ER waiting room getting increasingly agitated at a number of things. Firstly, the doctor who had referred me there, secondly, the screaming fucking monster sitting up the front who later made a dash to vomit on my feet, and thirdly, the amount of fucking wankers ahead of me who were perfectly capable of getting the fuck out of the queue so people in real pain could recieve some fucking attention (and morphine) some time in the next fucking millenium. 5 Hours later, I was admitted, tossed into a bed, and immediately injected with morphine. Fantastic! This continued right through the night... the hourly observations ended with the ever present question - "On a scale of 1-10, where is your pain at now?" (10 being the highest). No matter how I would respond to this question, I'd always be offered some morphine immediately after responding. It was like nursing, rantolotl style! I was so fucking impressed - keep the punters quiet, and they won't bother you. Frankly, I was surprised they didn't slip a phail into my partner while she wasn't looking.

It went on like this for hours. Days even, for all I know. Occassionally, someone would try and shift me to a ward, and then someone else would say they couldn't yet. Sometimes, people said I'd be released (back into the wild, presumably) that afternoon, sometimes, people would say i was staying. It was a confusing time in my life, one filled with morphine, screaming infants, and an old woman who'd got into a fist fight with someone. Eventually, I found myself being shipped off to have an ultrasound. Now - the greatest thing about all of this, was that they hooked me up to a drip and then insisted I didn't walk anywhere the entire time... I still had no idea what the fuck was wrong with me, and given the pain was all but totally gone, I presumed I was fine. Yet, instead of walking to radiology, which was literally just around the corner, I get driven there on my bed. Fucking awesome! Even when we got there, the radiologist doing the ultrasound insisted I stay in my bed! It's like having no legs and living on a morphine addled cloud! Fantastic!

So, the radiologist did the scanny thing, and for the umpteenth time poked about in my stomach saying 'Does this hurt' when my immediate shift to the foetal position, screwed up face, and shouts of obsenities probably should've given it away to her. Anyhow... she's cruising about with the ultra-paddle, and is excitedly pointing out blobby white bits to me, when another doctor wanders in. And starts cheering. At the monitor with the white blobs on it. 'Fantastic!' he exclaims. This gets the radiologist started, who starts finding all the interesting bits for the happy doctor, apologising to me for the resulting pain. The doctor walks out, looking rather pleased with himself, and starts telling my partner who's standing in the hallway what a fantastic specimen my gall bladder is. So, she asked what was going on, to which he informed her I had gall stones. Five or six of them, apparently. Before she could finish the sentence 'so, you'll send her home today with some medication, right?', he'd managed to jump in, with "No! They'll have to come out! Tremendous! Don't worry, she's young and fit! Not a problem! Excellent!" all the while rubbing his hands together enthusiastically.

I think I almost heard the exclaimation point appear above her head.

And that's when they shipped me to the ward. The change of scene was nice, as was the extended trolley ride through the hospital. I even got to sneer at a child on the way! Upon arrival in the ward, I was put in a much larger, cushier bed, with a tv. This was a trade off for the morphine I think, since I was offered no more of the ER nurses' miracle drug until the surgery itself. After settling in, it didn't take me long to work out that hospitals are where the goverment warehouses the elderly. One after another was shifted in, then out again. My favorite one was the old italian woman who kept commanding my partner to remove her dress. My partner's response was nothing short of hilarious, and totally unhelpful. She stuck her fingers up her nose and started jumping up and down. Apparently, this was to demonstrate that the confused woman should have her oxygen tube up her nose in order to breathe properly. The old woman would have none of this, and laughed at her, then went back to demanding things be done with her clothing. My partner eventually ended up yelling at her, which was what the nurses did anyway, when they eventually got there.

Man, those old people are useless. Sure, some of them are nice, but for fucks sake. Instead of asking, or being polite like the rest of us, they just cry or yell, or scream, or simply piss themselves to get what they want. My favorite feature of the warehoused elderly is their total inability to use the fucking call button to get a nurses attention. It's 3am in the morning. They are literally surrounded by these glow in the dark call buttons, the closest of which is actually in this particular old biddys hand. Does she press it? No. Instead, she just starts yelling 'NURSE!, NURSE!' I ignore her. Five minutes later, she's still yelling 'NURSE! NURSE!' , so I press my call button, and then yell across the room that I've called a nurse, and they'll be here soon. So what does the old lady do? Thank me? Fuck no. She continues screaming. 'NURSE! NURSE!'. Fucking hell. This literally continued about every hour all fucking night. I was ecstatic when I learnt my emergency surgery had bumped her emergency surgery to the next morning. Rantolotl 1, Old Biddy 0! BAM!

So, I ended up apparently having some condition of the gall bladder or some shit, blah blah, emergency gall bladder removal, blah blah blah. Turns out the damned thing is another one of those completely useless organs that do nother other than piss their owners off, and threaten to explode in a similar matter to the appendix. Personally, my favorite organ is my Pancreas. I'm glad that it remained unscathed. Annnyhow. All of this turned out to be a fascinating case to every fucking med student in Melbourne, and as such I got a lot of these twerps hovering aroung my bed in squadrons. The further away they are from doctor-dom, the friendlier they are, too. I got a great little group of first-years after the surgery! Their tutor was trying to make them guess what I'd had done to me, it was great! I think they were all younger than me, and they weren't allowed to own stethoscopes yet! Hahahaha!! They were so damned funny - The next time I have to go to hospital, I'm packing a motherfucking stethoscope so I can listen to my own heartbeat, and commentate loudly while these little dickheads do without. Hahahahaha!

The best students I got to hang with though would've been the anaesthetists down in surgery. Man, those guys were great! They informed me that I drink less than the surgeons do, I got to wear a fucking cool red-cap instead of your run of the mill blue-cap (although, I think that had more to do with my penicillin allergy), and I witnessed their expert teasing of the student surgeons. My advice, is that if you ever find yourself in a hospital bar and the group splits into two, planning on going on to seperate venues, then stick with the nurses and the anaesthetists. For starters, they know how to party, and they don't appear to have their heads surgically shoved up their own arses, in the way that only doctors could.

But boy, if you're having laproscopic surgery, fucking beware. The pain you'll get afterwards won't be from the surgery points, it'll actually be your damned shoulders. I'm not entirely sure why, but it has something to do with them pumping your stomach full of gas for the op (so they can see with their cameras better?), and the gass putting a shitload of pressure on your shoulders. Coming out of surgery, I felt fine, apart from the grogginess, and then the pain in my shoulders... which then continued for fucking days, but nothing a little panadeine can't solve. Still, after being wheeled out from surgery, you could be forgiven for thinking it was a lot worse than it actually was.

Doctor - Hi rantolotl. How do you feel?

R - " "

Doctor - Rantolotl? How are you? Do you feel okay?

R - " "

Doctor - Oh - hang on, she says as another doctorey sort of person removes a tube from my throat. This takes me by painful surprise.

How do you feel, rantolotl?

R -*croak* fine... my shoulders are a bit sore, that's it. But yeah, you said they would be.

Doctor - Okay, I'll get you some morphine.

R - You've worked in the ER, haven't you?

Doctor - 'What?'

R - Never mind. No morphine thanks.

Doctor - Are you sure?

R - Uh, Yeah.

So, the next day I waved goodbye to the hospital and went on my merry way, sitting at home being unable to move for a few days. I had my partner run around the house screaming 'NURSE! NURSE!' to make it feel authentic, which was kind of her to do. I now have four fucking holes in my stomach, and no, I did not keep the fucking gall bladder, so stop fucking asking. Seriously, what the hell did you people expect me to do with it? Have it stuffed and mounted? Give it to a loved one as a token of my appreciation? Dickheads.

If there was a moral to this story, which I'm not sure there is, it would be... don't drink with Krus. He's a cunt, and you'll end up having surprise surgery. Man, what an arsehole. I can't believe I actally live with him.


Krus said...

You're just angry because the shed has made me immune from all known diseases bar the common cold. And that i can drink alcohol without blowing up my internal organs. And that i'm better at mario party.

Fandango Jones said...

I say we disown him and start a costly and intrusive search for a new drinking buddy. One with a good selection of hats.

Joanne said...

Ah, the call button...

We have the same problem here, but again it only seems to be old folk for some reason.

About 3 years ago we had a bay of 6 patients who picked one to shout "NURSE! NURSE!" on their collective behalf. When she lost her voice from shouting they then picked another patient, and so on and so on. It was bizarre, I was like "they're organised..."

Fuckin nutters!

the rantolotl said...

Ah, now Kipper queried the old woman who had a fist fight with someone. I'm really not joking, either - she was in a cubicle just across from me, and I got to hear the whole nurses' interrogation of her. The cops showed up and everything! She's this frail old woman, barely speaks any english, and to use her words 'I was very angry' and then... 'I punched him in the head, many times'. Fantastic!!

I can also say with all authority that big blokey men are much bigger crybabies in the ER than women. They also have an excellent vocabulary to use in such situations. Never have I heard people get so systematically & thoroughly insulted as when stitching up some guys hand.

Joanne said...

Been there. We have an unwritten law of suturing: be nice to the nurse and you'll get lidocaine...

Bozza said...

This reminds me of that episode of The Chaser's War on Everything. Chas goes into the emergency waiting room, pretending to be severely injured and manages to order a pizza, have a loan consultant visit him and have a party entertainler show up all before the doctor attends to his needs.