Friday, August 17, 2007

Warning:Objects in the mirror may appear sexier than they really are

This is NOT what I look like at work.(although I think I've taken care of the chick on the right in the ER-tough night of partying, has a terrible headache and, oh yeah, can she get a rapid pregnancy test too? Yeah, I've taken care of that one).

Anyway, 12 hours on your feet is a bee-otch. How does Christina do it? In high heels and a garter belt, for goodness sakes. Remember, I've spent the past three years clicking through the hospital halls, giving orders and looking pretty. Now I'm back in sensible shoes and covered in body fluids. Literally. My first day back I had a post op who was nauseous. Guess who forgot how to duck in the last 3 years? Ewwww. Sweet kid. He asked if he got any on me and I just told him, "no honey, you totally missed me." The upshot of all this is that it gives me an excuse to shop for some new, cute scrubs. Dickies seems to be an especial favorite of the PICU set. I'm also on the lookout for some Curious George tops. I wanted this one, but I think it might not be appropriate for the little 'uns. The Little Pooter loves her some Curious George, but I draw the line at Thomas the Train. That show explains a lot about the British psyche, is all I'm sayin.

The past 2 days I've taken care of the sickest baby on the unit. His prognosis isn't good, but if he can make it to 10kg, he might be eligible for a kidney transplant. That might not sound like much. Heck, some of us can probably put on 10kg in a good weekend. But I have a sinking feeling that I'll vote Republican before this kiddie gains 7 more kilos. Not to mention the problems with his lungs, heart and brain.
Speaking of kids and kidneys, one of my sister's students is back on the waiting list for a kidney. She's 16 and her first kidney transplant failed, so she's back on dialysis. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers that she gets a kidney soon. Here's a brief overview on dialysis, hemo and peritoneal. For a primer on dialysis complications, complete with nausea-inducing pictures, go here. Suffice it to say, being on dialysis is no picnic. Maybe working in the ER for so long gave me a jaundiced view(sorry about the mixed metaphore). Folks who have been on dialysis for a while do NOT look healthy. Their skin is dull, their hair is brittle. Long term dialysis can lead to osteoporosis, anemia, cardiovascular disease and arrhythmias. AV fistulas require special care and can get infected or clotted. Some people just seem to clot frequently and they come in often for AV revisions, but you only have so many sites for a fistula and so much vein to work with. And let's not forget the "routine" problems:you can't travel, you have to closely monitor what you eat and drink and you're hooked up to a machine 3-4 hours at a time, 3x a week. Every Mon-Wed-Fri or Tue-Thur-Sat, without fail, every week, until your kidney comes in. Having coded many people who were undergoing or just finished a dialysis treatmens, it is so heartbreaking to think that they died waiting to be free of that machine.
On a similiar note, my 8th grade science teacher, Mr. P, had an insulin pump for his diabetes. He named it Natalie. Natalie was a girl who liked him when he was a young man and he couldn't stand her but he could never seem to avoid her, either. He hated that pump, hence the name. He died from complications due to his diabetes in my freshman year-I think he was in his 40's, maybe 50. I think if I had to be hooked up to a machine to help me live, I'd name it something a lot ruder than Natalie.
Anyway, I was hoping to have more facts and figures on pediatric kidney transplantation, but google is not my friend this week. In fact, it's making my head ache, which is partly the reason I haven't posted in a bit. I really need to find a good, medical search engine that's free. Help a sister out and let me know if you all have any suggestions. That, plus the New Jersey weather has led me to a state of humidity-induced lethargy that requires lot of bedrest and frequent infusions of iced coffee.


Jen said...

Check if you can access your alma mater's library search engines. My university never kicks you out of their system. Once a student, always a student.

Anonymous said...

PubMed is the best free search engine. There are charges to buy most articles it finds, but the abstracts are free and there are links to some free articles.

TC said...

Thanks Jen, my school isn't very close to me and they don't have an online catalogue. However, if I go back to Rutgers next spring as planned, I'll have access to their Library of S&M. (Science and Medicine, you pervs)

And thanks, Anonymous. I think I'll find PumMed more useful now that I have access to a medical library at work.