Editor’s Note: Two posts in one day? He must be mad! Not really, but I got so depressed writing the first post of the day I had to cheer myself up, and since I’m all out of alcohol and I’ve seen Erotic Survivor 2 about 46 times already (thanks Patty!), I thought I’d put this together. I hope you don’t mind. But if you do, please send me some new porn so I have something else to watch. And I hope you appreciate the irony of me putting in an Editor’s Note here, as if to signify that there are two separate people working on this. I’m losing my mind.
Ahoy pirates, welcome to the grimiest ship in all the sea, the emergency room. OK I’m done (for now). Rather than change the slogan of every ER (or every medical school, for that matter) to “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here”, I thought it’d be fun to recap some of the things I’ve learned about the ER from the pirate perspective because…well…umm…pirates are fun. I feel like that needs no further justification. So please enjoy the guide that follows, and if not, it’s off to Davy Jones’ locker for ye, arrrrrrr! (See how much fun this is? There’s no way I’m not starting a patient interview tomorrow by saying “How arrrrrrrr’ ye doin’ mate?”)
Most of ye patients, they not be chum free. Aarrr.
I’m sure the rules of personal hygiene apply to most people in this world, rules such as “Clean oneself once every two to three weeks at the absolute minimum”, but it seems to me like people who go to the ER actually know they are going about 4 months beforehand and choose to stop showering, shaving, brushing teeth, or doing anything that might resemble cleanliness before entering, almost out of spite for having to wait so damn long before we see them. I mean, we get trauma patients (who, presumably, had no plans of coming to the ER before being hit by a car or something) come in who are homeless who smell a hell of a lot more fresh than other housed people with less urgent problems who have no excuse. So, please, unless you’re being brought in by an ambulance, throw on a little deodorant before coming in. Or at least try wiping the urine off your pants.
Avast, ye silly tricks be too strong for a lubber. Aye!
People do the strangest things. In the ER, that means taking us by surprise and showing us things we never thought the human body was capable of doing. Whether that be discovering that a Johnny Walker bottle can indeed fit up ones rectum or that it is possible for one to squeeze skin near ones thigh and express a milky white discharge through a hole created by a botched hip replacement surgery 12 years ago, these tricks are simply disgusting. Next time, just say you can do it and not actually feel the need to show us, we promise to believe you.
Scraping barnacles off me rudder be worse than dropping anchor in a storm.
You haven’t lived until you’ve scraped a live cockroach out of someone’s ear. I have nothing further to add here.
Shiver me timbers, swabbie be bleeding more than a scurvy dog!
It never ceases to amaze me how many people show up to the ER teetering on the edge of death, bleeding out of all sorts of orifices most people don’t even know exist (except for those of you into the really cutting edge art-house porn – that’s two porn references in one post, I’m on fire!), and not having any clue how sick they are. No, ma’am, you shouldn’t be bleeding like that, the blood is supposed to stay…inside of you. But thanks for asking, and I’m really glad you are enjoying your fifteen hour wait. Please enjoy our complementary reading material, a 1985 Time magazine.
Everthin’ be faster than a wench on me jiggers.
I never really appreciated how fast one needs to work until I started my rotation in an ER. Everything has to be done at breakneck speed, from interviewing the patient, doing procedures, and shipping him or her off to somewhere else, because there’s another 50 people in the waiting room, two gun shot wounds coming in from ambulance, and one of the patients just crapped her pants all over the floor. In other words, it’s total chaos. It’s great that some people thrive in this sort of working environment, but me, I don’t think I function all that well after 7 straight hours of chaos, which is probably a big reason why I plan on staying as far away from the ER as possible in my future (assuming I haven’t managed to extract myself from the hospital in the near future – c’mon, someone has to want to give me some money for this crap?!). It also should be noted that I like my poop to remain in the toilet. But hey, that’s just me.
Not even the scallywag can see the end of a bilge rat.
Highlighting what I find to be the most frustrating part about emergency medicine, this bit of pirate wisdom points out to a key characteristic of the ER: no patient continuity. This means that the vast majority of the time you evaluate the patient, initiate a work-up of the problem, and then transfer the patient to home, clinic, or the inpatient ward for further investigation, often never really knowing what happens to the patient. Now, for people in ER this serves as one of the perks of the field, but personally it drives me nuts. It’s like only being allowed to watch the first twenty minutes of every movie you watch. Sometimes, as in the case of just about every piece of crap movie that came out this summer, this strategy works in your favor, as by minute twenty you are about ready to kill yourself anyways. However, every once in a while The Godfather comes on, and it would be a crime, a travesty, an affront to Al Pacino’s glorious overacting to turn it off after only 20 minutes. And that’s why I cannot be an ER physician. Aye, ‘tis true.
That be the last, me hope ye liked ye trip. If not, it’s the plank for ye. Aarrrr!
Seriously this is too much fun. And can you believe I made it through an entire post about pirates and didn't make attempt to combine the word "pirate" with the word "butt"? Me neither.
(I would like to thank the folks at talklikeapirate.com for enhancing my linguistic abilities in all things pirate. FYI, Talk Like A Pirate Day is September 19th.)