Sunday, February 12, 2012

What EXACTLY is She Trying to Tell Me?

A while back we had some friends over for dinner.  I don't remember exactly what we were talking about, but I do know we somehow got on the discussion of scary girls in high school.  All of the scary girls in my high school had this strange habit of cutting their hair extremely short from the top of their ears down, but leaving the rest of it long.  You wouldn't really notice it until they pulled it up in a pony tail.  I never understood it, but I always thought it strange...

I guess I should qualify the above statement about scary girls.  Two scary girls (who were sisters) in my school had that hair cut.  Some other girls did too.  They weren't scary at all.  However, because the two scary sisters had that hair, I've always associated it with the thought that the gal sporting that 'do may take it into her head to drag me into the parking lot by my hair and pound on me at any given point in time...However, THAT story is a post for another day.  Today's post is about something else, not high school bullies....

So.  My friend Tammy and I were discussing that hair cut.  And how we were scared of girls with that hair...Okay I was scared of girls with that hair.

The next Monday I went to work and had a lady about my age as a patient.  She was having a biopsy done of a mass on her lung.  As I began to get her ready for her procedure, I noticed that she had what I fondly refer to as "prison tats."  You know those tattoos that are that navy blue color and poorly delineated?  A lot of the people who have those received them from friends in their garages before tattoo parlors were legal in Oklahoma....Or they received them in exchange for smokes in jail...

I seldom ask where they obtained them.  As a matter of fact, I actually refrain from inquiring after them at all, because I really just DON"T want to know.

Anyway, I had a lady my age.  She had prison tats...

And she had bad teeth.  She was really kind of pretty in a rough sort of way.  I couldn't help but silently think that it was a shame she saw fit to put poorly designed tattoos on her inner wrist and chest...

And I thought it was too bad that she apparently had a history of methamphetamine abuse, or her mother had taken tetracycline when she was pregnant, or in her early stage of her childhood causing her to have become discolored.  I really doubted the antibiotic theory as I don't think it affects adult teeth...

Do you find it strange that nurses are taking in so many details and trying to guess causes as we are chatting and starting IVs and whatnot?  I don't do it consciously.  It just happens.

I continued my care of her and learned that she was a smoker.  Well, actually I was pretty sure she was a smoker the minute I listened to her lungs, and sooner than that, when I put her coat in the closet and smelled the smoke...

Anyway, she asked if she could go have a smoke before her procedure.  I said I didn't think so, and that since she came right out and mentioned it, I was now compelled to give her my "quit smoking lecture." 

Her friend was also lecturing her on quitting Diet Coke.  I said I wasn't quite as concerned with her soft drink habit as I was the smoking...

Anyway, eventually as I took her back to the table and began to hook her up to my monitors, I learned that she was a prison guard.

?

She was a tiny little thing. 

Anyway, that surprised me.

It took a ridiculous amount of medicine to get her sedated.  She had been taking pain pills and anxiety pills, so her tolerance to medications was pretty high...At one point I asked her if she was doing okay.  she said she was fine but not at all sleepy.  I told her that I wasn't certain I'd be able to get her to sleep, but if she wasn't scared, I was calling it good.  She tolerated the procedure well.

After her procedure, when I had her back in her bay, I noticed as she pulled up her hair that short under the long layer hair cut...And I mentally checked off, "prison tats, bad teeth, scary girl haircut, and now I learn she's a prison guard."  Yep.  She pretty much met all of my stereotypes.

It's hard not to become judgmental in my world. You hear so many stories, and see the same consequence to the same action over and over so that it gets hard to not look at people and go, "What are you thinking?" 

Anyway, she had to stick around a while, which led to some chatting as she was my last patient to go home for the day.  She asked why I couldn't get her to sleep.  "Well, unfortunately you've been using a lot of medications at home that act the same brain receptors as my sedation medications.  That means you are resistant to them, and I would have ended up giving you enough to dart an elephant to get you to sleep.  I decided that rather than that, we would just shoot for super relaxed."

She agreed that she had felt fine and didn't really mind the procedure at all.

However, she did ask if I'd ever thought of working in the prison system.  She thought I'd make a "great prison nurse."

What exactly does that mean?

I decided I didn't want to know.  Perhaps I've become a bit TOO matter of fact in my job?

Something to think about.

4 comments:

Dawn Castor said...

It's such a fine line between imparting wisdom out of caring and imparting wisdom out of arrogance and I'm pretty sure you fall in the 'caring' field. With all our honesty and forthrightness (like on Facebook) people fail to see the truth when it's presented to them because they just think everyone's entitled to their opinion and it doesn't matter. I don't think you'd be a good prison nurse. You'd be too scared..... :)

KiteFlyer said...

If you gave her a look like this:
Scary Andi she was probably afraid you were going to shank her, so she knew you could intimidate the inmates.

8^)

Andi said...

That wasn't supposed to be scary...It was supposed to be rockerish...Guess I wasn't successful!

KiteFlyer said...

It was rockerish, but out of context, it's kinda scary, too. LOL