Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Got Internets?

I recently joined MyBlogLog. I have to tell you, I'm like an idiot savant when it comes to the internet, or as we say in my house, "teh interwebs. " I just kind of surf around until I see something bright and shiny and then try and figure out how it works. Usually without reading any sort of instructions or FAQs and such. FAQs are for wimps. Then, after many hours of scratching my head and mumbling under my breath, sometimes cursing. Well, oftentimes cursing. So, I do what every person over the age of 30 does when they need internet help. I ask my kid. Not the 16 year old, of course-she's already obsolete. I go straight to the baby. At 21 months, she's almost past her computer prime but she can still handle a mouse with the best of them. Except that sometimes she puts it up to her ear and says, "Her-ro?"

Anyhoo, I just started reading some of my fascinating stats on MyBlogLog (which for some reason I keep wanting to call MyBlogLand, I may have been watching too much Heartland). And I noticed that someone got to my blog by going to Google(no, I'm not posting a link for it. If I can find Google, so can you) and typed in "If I put organ donor on my license will they kill me?"

Excellent question! The answer is that in many hospitals they'll just kill you, whether you're an organ donor or not. The trick to living a long, healthy life is to really stay out of hospitals altogether.

I'm just kidding. There are many good hospitals out there. But let us look at what happens when you come into the hospital. For the sake of this post we'll say that upon arrival you are unconscious, possibly intubated and your family is still en route to the hospital. I assume(ass-u-me) that people who arrive under their own steam for say, a twisted ankle or an elective hemorrhoidectomy, aren't worried about inadvertant organ retrieval.

"I'm sorry, Mr. Smith, but these are the worst hemorrhoids I've ever seen. I'm afraid there's nothing left to do but hope someone else can benefit from the gift of your heart."

"My heart! But, but, I'm still using it!"

"Tut, tut. Doctor knows best. Now lie still, this won't hurt me a bit."**

So, there you are, lying on a stretcher in extremis, your loved ones confined to the waiting room and the doctors and nurses start trying to save your life. Now, here's the first thing: no one is looking at your wallet. Except the plastic surgeon, but I digress. No, they're looking at you. And probably doing a few things to you, too, none of which will be pleasant, but hey-you're unconscious, so you won't mind a few probing fingers in your orifices or comments about your "Snuggle Bear" tattoo.

Here's the second thing. What's good for you is good for your organs. In other words, the things they would have to do to save your organs for transplantation are many of the same things they would do to save your sorry butt. I have been in some situations where the patient came in with a large bleed and the doctor just tries and talks the family into extubating the patient and letting them die. If you are that critical, and possibly fatally injured, wouldn't you rather go through the process to make sure you're brain dead. One time, I walked into an ER and they basically had this accident victim written off, so they weren't treating him. I asked them to start pressors so they could keep him going until I could ask his family. Lo and behold, when his blood pressure came up, he started having purposeful movement. I believe he was discharged to rehab many weeks later. If we are thinking that you could possibly be a donor, we want what's best for you and your body. That includes the best medical care possible and if that medical care makes you better, we're happy for you. We don't walk away, heads shaking, saying, "Rats, he coulda been a donor."

So don't worry about checking off your license. But you may want to rethink that tattoo.

**This is an excellant thing to say just prior to starting an IV. Also, if the patient asks if you've ever done this before say, "Well, there was this one time, but my lawyer advises me not to talk about it."

p.s. I also now know that many of you are enjoying the "Name Your Girl Parts" link. Naughtly readers!


Crystal said...

Thank you for posting this. Now if this stupidity ever comes up again around me I can just point the offender to your post, rather than shouting profanities.

I really appreciate your ability to tell stories in a funny way that will make people think. I would get stuck at, "If you actually think they are going to kill you, maybe they should."

babe said...

it doesn't matter if you've signed the back of the card or not. you still need to tell your family that you want to be an organ donor cuz they still get to have the final say.