iceman1128

Category: Journal

A Day in the Life of a Nurse

The following covers the events of that short but sweet slice of my life from 2300 hours of June 12, 2014 to 0700 hours of June 13, 2014.

When I was getting ready to work that evening, I didn’t expect that I would have one of those shifts that I will remember and tell over and over, until I get so old that all I do all day is to remember and tell the same stories over and over while being   by a young, cute, female nurse fresh out of nursing school with a slim waist and a bust size that will make Viagra file for bankruptcy.

I was assessing a patient when suddenly, I was wearing the remnants of her dinner from last night. Yes, the oh so lovely vomitus disgustus , the bane of every nurse’s existence.

Every fiber of my being was trembling as I focused all my concentration on finishing up the assessment and making sure the patient is safe before leaving her. I survived nursing school and the slave labour, ahem, rotations, that accompanied it proudly rubbing it in my classmate’s faces that I can stand blood, urine, feces, and any other kind of bodily secretion. It took me only a day in the field, working as a professional for the first time to realize that I am not as strong as I thought I was. I have my own vulnerable spot too: and that is, vomit, spit, and earwax. And with the aging population in North America, even the acute care settings are filled with dementia ridden, senior citizen patients. And guess what kind of bodily fluid you deal mostly with dementia ridden, senior citizen patients? Yes, you guessed right dear reader: vomit, spit, and earwax. Not to mention a healthy, regular helping of urine and feces. Screw you, Nurse Jackie. Screw you, Grey’s Anatomy. Screw you, House M.D. Screw you E.R.

I ran to the nearest washroom, took off my scrub top speckled with a goop of masticated, seared breast of chicken on a bed of vegetable greens. Yes, I was curious, so I looked at the menu before going home. I soaked the shirt in water while I rummaged in my bag for that extra set of scrub tops. I always bring a backpack stuffed with a spare set of clothes for cases like these.

I moved on to another patient which needed my attention and it was my jeans this time. The offending suspect? Urine. I wouldn’t have made such a big fuss about it, duh, it’s only pee right? But wait, there’s more. Did you know that if you are going through a UTI – Urinary Tract Infection, that your pee smells like you’ve gone through 12 rounds with a urophilic mountain lion? Urophilia, is the weird, sexual fetish of being urinated on. Stick with me, dear reader, and you will learn a lot of useless, nightmarish, potentially disturbing medical trivia. (cue the crazy scientist background music). Having used up my remaining stock of clean underwear, socks, jeans, and scrub tops, I decided to don my full spacesuit gear, normally reserved for Norwalk outbreaks, when I’m within 6 feet of a patient. This gear consists of a clear, plastic disposable face shield, an N90 facial mask underneath it. A contact precaution gown, yellow in colour, made up of this thin, meshlike material that’s supposed to act as a barrier against droplets coming into contact with your bare skin/uniform but still remain breathable. Heh, breathable my ass, believe me, it will make you sweat like a prostitute just discovering Jesus for the first time. On top of that, I also put on a full length plastic butcher’s apron just for shits and giggles.

I now have three separate bathrooms occupied by my clothes soaking in the bathroom sinks. As my shift was coming to an end, I was stuck with another dilemma. How, in the name of Ray J, am I gonna be able to get all my stuff home? I was pretty sure that soaking it with the right amount of bleach, soap, and holy water will be able to clean it sufficiently. I went to the utility room , and grabbed a box of unused garbage bags, wrung out my clothes, stuck them in a garbage bag, then double bagged it, triple bagged it, quadruple bagged it, I am not sure how many times I rebagged the bastard, but when i was done, the clear plastic bags ain’t clear nomo.

As soon as my shift ended, I stripped off my spacesuit gear to the amusement of my co workers. (Pardon my English, but does the word “amusement” accurately cover “laughing like fucking hyenas”?) I stuffed that unholy package of defiled clothing into my backpack and went home right away. I only live 4 blocks away from my workplace, but picture a man soaked with stale sweat, wearing a grubby backpack bulging with clothes still bearing the stench of a living person’s ripened bodily fluids, and has this thousand yard stare in his eyes, wouldn’t you feel safer risking being run over a car while jaywalking to get across the street rather than pass by him in the sidewalk? Most of the people in my neighborhood seems to think so. The ones who didn’t do so looked like me and asked if I can give them a cigarette, loose change, and one even asked if I sell marijuana.

That 4 block walk was the longest walk of my life and all I wanted upon getting home was to strip naked in the hallway, run to the washroom, and take a shower while dredging the words to the Holy Rosary back from my Catholic high school past. (And the answer is no, I was NOT molested.)

I will realize upon coming home that my day is not over yet, and it’s about to get even crazier.

How about you? I would love to hear where you work and what you do. Do you have any crazy work stories that will make you swear off the human race? Please let me know in the comments below!

PS

I would like to give credit where credit belongs. I was browsing through Ms. Aussa Lorens’ site and I got this idea of leaving my readers something to think about at the end of my story from reading her posts.

Recollections

The following events happened on the night of June 13, 2014.

I would like to save them in writing while it’s still fresh in my mind.

I attended a party held in honor of a co – worker’s birthday that night.

I learned a lot of things, met a lot of new people, and I’m afraid, made an enemy as well.

Background, Cast, Etc.Etc.

I received the party invite via text message 4 days before.

KT told me to come to this if I’m available that day for her birthday party, and to bring people with me as well.

Since the “people” that we mutually know are all co – workers, I did not bother sending the message out as I was pretty sure that she already did so.

Not to mention that most of the people I know at work are either married, with kids, working, too old, or just people I can’t imagine I would be hanging out with and sharing a few drinks out of the workplace.

So imagine my surprise when I came to the restaurant/club and saw that the I am the only person there in the 20 something age bracket. Worse, KT was the only person in the table of 6 that I knew.

Live and let live, I told myself. I’ve never partied with people significantly older than me before, so I decided that I might as well stick around and see how it will go.

There was:

1. me, 24 y/o

2. KT, approximately 35 y/o

3. “S”, a housekeeper from her other workplace ,approximately 35 y/o

4. “S Mum”, her mom,  approximately 60 – 65 y/o

5. “S hubby”, her husband, approximately 40 – 45 y/o

6. “M1”, a manager in KT’s workplace, between 30 – 35 y/o

7. “M2”, another manager, between 30 – 35 y/o

Our party of seven was later joined by:

8. “K2”, a youngish co worker of KT, between 20 – 25 years old. Imagine my relief when she showed up. Not just because she is quite easy on the eyes, but also eases my discomfort to be sitting there, drinking with people who are more suited to be seen socializing with my parents.

9. “J”, KT’s fiancee. The plot thickens. (Cue the “Dum dum dum dum dum” music, while the story teller twirls his fingers through his imaginary goatee, dimmed stage lights, etc.etc.)

The Story

The night started well enough. I arrived a bit late, I had a plate of appetizers and “KT” joined me. We all finished our meals and started drinking afterwards. Only upon recalling the events of that night did I notice that aside from “K2”, I was the only one pounding glass after glass of heavy spirits (It was Old Fashioned Cocktails, made from a very potent whiskey. Reminds me to phone the club and ask what kind of whiskey did they use). The rest were drinking beer, and in “K2″‘s case, some kind of rye cocktail. It did not seem to matter at that time though as my table mates and I appeared to be approaching the same state of inebriation regardless of what we were drinking. Me in my more robust state was brought down easily by a few whiskey cocktails, 24 hours of sleep deprivation, and exhaustion from working the previous night. My companions on the other hand, I guess, you start being careful with what you drink when you reach that point as anything with an alcohol content can easily take you down.

I noticed that “KT” appeared to have already been a little bit tipsy even before I arrived. I did not pay any attention to it at first until “J” arrived. “KT” was sitting between me and her fiancee. Going back, I guess I should have seen the writing on the wall. My coworkers has told me time and time again that “KT” always pays more attention and spends a bit more time with me than with the others. She has even outright made a “joke” that she has a crush on me. I did not dwell on it at the time, since we were fairly comfortable with each other that we were sharing personal, intimate details of our lives with each other.

So, back to that night, “KT” was getting more and more boisterous and louder the more she drank. She also became somewhat more uninhibited. At one point, she has remarked loudly that she will help me find a girl that I can “have sex with” tonight. The more “KT” was angling herself to converse with me, the more the casual brushes of her hands across my arms and my shoulders, the more sullen her fiancee became. Imagine your ordinary Friday night on any club, pub, or watering hole. I was ever grateful for the chaos of that place and hoped that no one else heard that remark, or noticed her actions getting bolder and bolder.

The house music and the sports screens were soon turned off to accomodate a live band. People were getting up to dance in front of the band. Soon enough, everyone was switching seats and I took every opportunity to distance myself from “KT” to avert disaster. I then found myself sitting beside “J”. Despite a very unpromising beginning, I worked to find common ground with him. While he did not exactly warm up to me, he soon stopped giving me dagger stares. The tone and the manner of his questions reveal that he has seen and heard everything that “KT” was doing the whole night. And that he did not like it. I tried to assure him in not so many words that the feelings I have for his fiancee is nothing more but professional respect, personal loyalty and pure frienship.

I made my first mistake when I joined the crowd on the dance floor. I soon found myself in close proximity with “KT”. Close proximity, meaning, I could feel the casual brushes across the front of my pants and I did not need to turn around to know who was rubbing herself against my back. I quickly distanced myself and started dancing with “S”, “M1” and “M2”, keeping them as some sort of a shield between me and “KT”. I also knew out of the corner of my eyes that only “J” and “S Hubby” were the only ones remaining sitting on the table and that they are most likely watching everything.

I was petrified at how the situation is quickly deteriorating. Between smoke breaks with “K2” and the others, I quickly hatched a plan to get myself out of this mess tonight. I started paying more attention to “K2”. I know being a first generation Asian immigrant on the West Coast, I will have to work very hard to catch and keep this girl’s attention. I have always had a personal theory that it will be easier to get a girl’s attention on the West Coast if you are at least 6 foot tall, Caucasian, and have a beard. Every other guy not fitting that category will just have to work very hard for their girl. I already knew that I have a lot of strikes going against me: she’s taller than I am, my accent gets thicker the more I drink, and I dance like a spastic scarecrow with Tourette’s. I guess between the alcohol she has drunk, and the dim lighting making it hard to see me, it became easier for her to warm up to me. Soon, her lips and her tongue were brushing against my cheeks and my ear whenever she would lean in to talk to me.

I also started treating “J” and “S Hubby” as if they were the same age as I am, and acting in a “bro” ish manner towards them. I managed to coax them into joining the others on the dancefloor and to dance with their respective partners. I actually had to pull “S” and “KT”‘s hands and drag them to dance with their partners. Having accomplished that, I decided to pursue and see how things with “K2” will develop. She invited me to join her in watching some friends of hers play in a band in a different pub. I gladly accepted the offer, however, delay after delay caused that plan to not go forward since the others in the party wanted to go as well. I guess “K2” just got impatient and decided to vent her frustration on our server. That was kind of a deal breaker for me. She just showed her true colors when she decided to go on a rant about our server and bad mouth her about letting someone else take her drink when she was busy dancing on the dance floor. I understand that everyone turns into a wee bit of an a-hole/bitch whenever they’ve had a little bit to drink, but its still a deal breaker for me. So I quickly shifted gears from being her prospective date, to pretending to be “that” annoying dude in the club. Every club has one. Having lost my interest, I just decided to tag along with them when they move to this second club and ditch them there. I’ve had enough for tonight.

The party got split up when moving to the second bar. Me, K2, M1, M2, and J ended up together and the others remained MIA. I bought a round of drinks for everyone and then quickly ducked out after without telling anyone.

Aftermath

The rest of the night and the morning afterward was a haze for me. I remember going to a 7-11 and grabbing a pack of smokes. I also remember getting into a cab with the intention of going home, but finding myself on the dance floor of a club I couldn’t remember, grinding against someone I suppose is as equally drunk as I am. I remember waking up sometime in the morning with a girl beside me in bed, the apartment a mess. I remember falling back to sleep and waking up again sometime on the same day, with someone banging on the unlocked apartment door. It was a neighbour complaining about the loud activities that was apparently going on in my apartment early in the morning and if I ever turn my apartment again into a “porn studio” according to him, he will call the managers and do his best to get me evicted. I also remember sending a text message to “KT”. I wanted to test the waters and see how effective I was in my efforts last night to defuse a very scary bomb. I asked for her and her friends’ apologies since I turned into a bit of a wild child the night before and ditched them. The lack of reply either means she was pissed off at how I edged away from her last night, or “J” and her were fighting at the moment.

I am so conflicted and did not know what to do. I sincerely enjoy the friendship and camaraderie I share with “KT”, but based on the events last night, it looks like we’re not seeing eye to eye on what to expect from out friendship. I am a product of a broken relationship and does not wish it to happen to someone else because of me. I guess I just need to eyeball it for now and watch my back. One of the biggest unknown factors here as well is “J”. “KT” has shared with me before that he apparently suffers some kind of mental health issue and has repeatedly refused to seek help, causing some strain in their relationship. I don’t know what he will do, or if he perceives I might have offended him in some way. All I know is, I need to watch my back really carefully for now.

So, still being hungover at 1800 hours of June 14, 2014, I decided to do what I do best: lone wolf it. I went out and partied again, on my own, making new friends among my age group this time.

As I was taking a shower this afternoon, getting ready to go work with my head still pounding, my arms are literally red and raw from scrubbing off all the stamps tattooed into my arms.

I wonder what will happen next?