The Problem with Holidays; or, Big Titties Ahoy.

People who are in the hospital over July 4th, Christmas, or Thanksgiving generally don't want to be there. They're usually quite sick. Sometimes, they're so sick that they need to be in the CCU, with the attendant machines (Ping!), wires, tubes, and medicines.

Which means that at a time when staffing is less-than-ideal, the people you're taking care of are usually a) on a vent, b) extremely heavy medically, with multiple problems, c) extremely heavy physically, or d) all of the above.

Most of them have diarrhea as well. I do not know why this is; it seems to be a constant of nursing care that the volume of poop a person produces is inversely proportional to his level of consciousness.

Still, there are benefits to working holidays. Everybody that's there on staff, from the guy who pushes the linen carts to your charge nurse, has a cheerful, "okay, Peeps, let's get it done" attitude. There's usually a party somewhere in the hospital. Residents, if you feed them, are in a better mood. And people who work holidays routinely are a bit loopier than the rest of us, so you end up laughing your ass off at odd times during the day.

Carrie was talking about how much she hates the Owl City song "Fireflies". That, of course, got it going through her head, so she was walking around singing, "I'd rather gouge out my eyes/Than hear about fireflies". Nurse Ames had one of those continuous-dialysis machines to monitor (Ping!) and so had plenty to say about that. Sherry and Cindy both had patients who were practically nothing but poop factories, so I was in there a lot this weekend, helping them turn people who were twelve liters up with ventriculostomies and major lines everywhere. And, frankly, there's a lot of humor to be had from poop.

And from people who are what we call "frontal." If you have a frontal brain injury, it tends to knock out all your filters, with interesting results. The Interesting Result of this weekend came when we asked a healthy young guy with a frontal bleed to turn over in bed toward me. He said, quite enthusiastically, "Oh, yeah--toward the one with the big titties!" All I could say, amidst Ames's and Stoya's and Sherry's hysterical laughter, was "Yes. Yes, that's right."

We all went out for drinks after work. If you were next to a table of women, all in pale blue scrubs, all laughing hysterically about big titties and poop, I apologize.