I'm all right; don't nobody worry 'bout me.

Well, not really.

This week we had a party for Neuroscience Nurse's Day, or Week, or Something Along Those Lines. I was interested to see that the woman who holds herself out as the Director of Neuroscience Nursing (a few years' experience as an ortho rehab nurse, followed by a decade in manglement) wasn't there. Ironic, fitting, all that stuff.

I was more bitter than usual these days. *Everything* pissed me off, even stuff that could've worked to my advantage. Good things pissed me off just as much as bad things, and wishy-washy things pissed me off most of all.

For instance, I work with two mid-levels. One is fantastic. The other is a clueless tinpot tyrant with an ego problem. Fantastic Midlevel and Fantastic Case Manager and I had been working on med-surg to rehab placement for a patient under a return agreement with another hospital (his case is complex) since the patient was admitted almost a month ago. It had been arranged that Sweet Complex Guy would go back to his original hospital, since he's a resident of that particular county and can therefore get services for which bill collectors won't hound him. (Some counties in Texas do it right.)

At the absolutely last possible second--and I mean after the ambulance had been arranged (difficult, because he required vasoactives while en route)--Clueless Tinpot stopped Sweet Complex Guy's transfer. The reason? He was afraid that "SCG would end up rotting in a med-surg bed and his family wouldn't be taught what they need to know." Clueless Tinpot decided to try for a "charity bed" in our facility.

As Fantastic Rehab Manager said, "No bed here is a charity bed. I have explained this to Clueless Tinpot Tyrant over and over. Even if that patient meets all of our specifications for discount services, he'll still have people calling him constantly, and his credit will be ruined by the bills."

None of this, I just realized, will make any sense to you unless you're one of the medical club, so let me put it in English:

We had a patient transferred to us by a county facility. That hospital paid all of the patient's bills while he was with us, with the understanding that he would be sent back once we were done with our peculiarly specialized care. The sending facility has systems in place to provide free, quality care to this dude, provided that we sent him back needing specific things.

And Tinpot Tyrant fucked it up. Not only will my nice, sweet, complex-but-promising dude be two hours from his family, he'll have to deal with the demands of our billing department (not fun; I can testify that they screw things up fairly regularly) for the next two years or so.

And I have to deal with this guy daily. Between making sure that he actually writes orders that he's going to yell at us later for not carrying out and being certain that his orders don't suck, I'm already tired. He's slated for a manglement and marketing job soon, and I hope his transition is smooth and speedy.

Seriously: If you have somebody on a high-sodium diet and six additional grams of sodium tablets a day, and they drop their sodium from 139 to 135 after you lower their hot-salt drip for six hours, would *you* write an order discontinuing that drip immediately?

I thought not. Especially if you want to keep their sodium between 140 and 150 to keep their brain from swelling. Three-percent and 23% saline are useful in limited amounts, but they're useful.

Okay. Enough with the overmedical jive.

I miss my dog. He wasn't my baby, or my furbaby; he was my buddy. We were intellectual equals, no question. He was a stubborn asshole at times, but I never knew his judgement to be off. It's very weird, being here without him snoring and shedding and licking Flashes all over. I step over a body that isn't there, in the middle of the night, when I have to pee. My brain twitches toward the back door every day at dinnertime.

I haven't had the vadge yet to go out to the back yard. Yesterday, I thought maybe I could do it today. Now I'm thinking I could maybe manage it tomorrow.

Thank you all for your kind thoughts. They're a huge, huge comfort, even if I can't respond to everybody individually.

Now Flashes wants 'tentions. I'm going to give him some skritches and heat up beans for dinner.