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I love the people I work with… Well, the funny ones.

Kasper: “How you doin?” [Joey from “Friends” NY accent]

aJ: “Ready to bring it…” [We throw P90X signs]

Kasper: “I like that whole bedroom hair and glasses you got going… Makes you look eligible.”

aJ: “Um… I rolled out of bed, didn’t brush my hair constantly afflicted by humidity, and no contacts allowed due to conjunctivitis [pink-eye].”

Kasper: “Sexy!”


Yesterday was a most difficult day in the ER.

First of all, although I may never know the pain of losing one’s own child, I helped my single mother raise my siblings when I turned 13. However, if I was a nurse and my nine year old daughter came in through the ambulance bay while I was working, I would probably react just as my co-worker did.

Aside from the obvious grief, there are many indescribable things your mind tries to process as you see a code being performed on an innocent child. For me, as I fought back the tears and keep professional, I wondered whether or not I could check my feelings and be a confident nurse.

I used to want to work in the children’s cancer ward. After one week of volunteering, I knew my fragile heart would not have been able to bear seeing such loss. I am good with kids as long as they are not too sick. There is something abnormal in terms of adults surpassing the young. No matter what, we are supposed to take care of the helpless.

Every day I go to work, I pray hard that no one leaves their babies in their car, commit suicide, murder anyone, and all the other awful mistakes that could happen. I would rather people came in for stupid reasons.

When they covered her with the white blanket, I felt much difference. I have seen too many dead bodies and others as they drew their last breath. The weight that pulls on your heart, when you see someone that young leave, does enough damage only love can redeem.

Let us revisit the infamous psych room in our ER.

Today’s patient is a very smart sixteen-year old boy. Because his mother would not let him go to the his high school’s senior prom, he decided to be rebellious and show her who’s boss. According to the psych consult, he felt as if he should be treated like an adult. Therefore, he did not need his mother’s permission to do anything. This confused young ‘man’ downed twenty five tylenol pills with a bottle of radiator fluid.
I kid you not.

Part of the treatment calls for an alcohol bag. However, our pharmacy did not have that available. Our charge nurse took a chance and went out to our overly crowded lobby. He asked anyone if they had alcohol for medicinal purposes. It was not surprising that one of our frequent flyers offered a bottle of scotch, in the condition that if there was any left, we return the rest to him. How kind…

The kid survived the suicide attempt by drinking a shot of scotch every hour.

Because both of us are working on this Hallmark holiday, I do not mind being in the ER at all. Since eating out has become a health hazard with the Hepatitis A outbreak in Houston, I would rather stay at home. I prefer to be wrapped in M’s well-cut arms, rather than fight my way through construction traffic and restaurants’s reservation chaos. As promised, the babies’ daddy will treat me this weekend instead. He said he’ll buy me food. I have been exposed to Markisms long enough to know that he could mean grocery food or JITB fast-food.

Trust me, it is more fun reading the diagnosis of the patients being triaged in. We had a couple of cases of “foreign objects” failing to be extracted from body cavities, both female and male. As a result, the operating rooms were as busy as the radiology department. Tonight, the “x” in x-ray had a whole new meaning. Even the married couples came through our ambulance doors with faces more red than their blood draws.

A bit advice for the adventurous people out there, when it comes to sex toys, please stick to fruits… NO vegetables!

It is nice to know that people still experiment for the sake of love.

Of course, we had the usual psych patient candidates. However, the saddest story of the night had to be the boyfriend who made his girlfriend a special dinner. He suspected his girl to be cheating on him instead of working after hours to save money for their wedding. Instead of confronting the issue, he made hamburger patties with the special ingredient of broken glass. Afraid of police involvement, he dragged her to the ER without informing her of what he has done. Upon arrival, her abdomen began to hurt. Without hesitation, she was rushed to the OR, where part of her stomach had to be cut off. What takes the cake was her refusal to press charges and her acceptance of his apology.

Before my shift ended, I called M and told him how grateful I am that I do not have to go through dating dramas and dilemmas anymore.

In the ER, there is a locked room in front of my desk reserved for categorized-as pysch patients. Because I can clearly see the patient and control the locking mechanism, monitoring and making sure the patient has not killed him/herself is now another volunteered responsibility.

Today’s lucky patient is a frequent flyer. This is his third attempted suicide since his recent divorce, a couple of months ago. He did not succeed today because he did not know how to load the shotgun he had purchased at Wally’s World.


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