Saturday, July 3, 2010

Pain, Drugs, Rock 'n Roll

The woman in Room 34 has been here 27 times this year alone for the same abdominal pain, and it’s only June. I asked one of our nurses what was wrong with her as I strolled towards the room. The nurse struck a pose, hand on her hip, hand grasping the stethoscope and holding it close to her lips.

“She’s a drug seeker!”

Her smile turning into a rocker sneer, another nurse stood to mirror her and grabbed her own stethomike.

“Narc eater!”

Together they swivel on the balls of their feet, pop their hips, and swagger around the desk.

“I’m the nurse so you don’t mess around with me!”

Suddenly we’re all rock stars, as the ED choir…two sopranos and me...begins to wail.

“Hit me with your best shot! C’mon, hit me with your best shot. Give me some Diluadid! Fire awaaaaaaaaaay!”

(Pat Benatar is not the only musician we adapt in the ED. For psychiatric patients, we usually bring in Gordon Lightfoot:

“If you could read my mind, Lord,
What a tale my thoughts could tell
Just like a schizophrenic
On some Haldol and not too well.”

He’s also good with bowel issues:

“Sundown, you’d better take care.
“Cuz when I’m constipated I ain’t goin’ down there.”)

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