[Ellie here. Oh look! A-nother Guest Blogger while Jacquie's drinking mai tais at the luau at the kona in the maholo! Good thing she's got so many cool friends she left behind......
Sorry. Did I say that out loud?
Anyway. Jacquie and her munchkins got a bonus night in Kona, so it's up to me to introduce the lovely and alluring Autumn, whom, actually, we've all met before......
I don't know Autumn nearly as well as Jacquie does, clearly, but about her I can tell you this:
- Autumn's lovely.
- She has a really cute Irish firefighter husband. Big Conor. Aw Fook.
- Autumn's a nurse. Jacquie's kids love to hear about the blood and guts of her job.
- Her kids get along great with Jacquie's kids, and that very well may be the secret to their friendship.
- She and Big Con have a camper and they camp in cool places.
- Shes a total lightweight, booze-wize.
- My favorite: one day at Jacquie's kids' karate, where Autumn's kids were guests, Autumn pointed to the (really cute) Sensei Willy and said, "Is that the Dojo?" Yes, Autumn. Yes, THAT's the dojo.
Before I get started, I would like to dedicate this story to Jimmy, Jacquie's son. Jimmy is always asking me about the TOTALLY GROSS things that I see at work and he is ALWAYS disappointed in what I seem to think is TOTALLY GROSS. But today, my friend, I will not disappoint. Well, I hope not anyway. You do have very high standards.
There are not many sights, smells, or sensations that really gross me out. I am a nurse, after all, and an emergency nurse at that. On any given day, I can be elbow-deep in a variety of different bodily fluids. I see bones in unnatural positions and eyes popped out of sockets. Once, I had a patient bring in their thumb in a cup. But that's nothing compared to the experience I had the other night. This story isn't particularly gross, but it happens to be one of my worst fears.
Let me preface this story with another story. When I had my first child, we lived in a small apartment in New Jersey. We were in apartment 4F. We didn't know this at the time, but the lady in 1F had dementia and a horrible roach problem, which is very sad and another story. Anyway, I kept everything very clean and all food was kept in airtight containers. I couldn't understand why we had them. It was awful! I lived in fear of them and always thought they were crawling on me. I couldn't sleep at night, fearing they were crawling on me or the baby. I shudder even now. SO, getting to the point. I use to put cotton balls in our ears (and maybe even in our noses!) every night to keep anything from sneaking in there. My husband thought I was crazy and I think I might have been. But I had a baby and I had fears.
But on New Year's Eve, I was vindicated. It was about midnight and I was very busy. New Year's Eve seems to be the night when those who have never had a drink in their life like to get drunk. Seriously. Anyway, I knew I had a new patient and I got the report that she was having ear pain. Ear pain? Oh yes, that can wait. I was in the middle of helping a very sick patient, and ear pain didn't seem life-or-death to me, right? In fact, she was probably going to have to wait a little while. She had been there for just maybe 20 minutes and every once in a while, I would hear this weird cry from her, kind of a fearful, animalistic sort of wail. So, that seemed odd to me. I was thinking to myself, she better not be drunk and she better not be 18. After I finished up with my task, I went in to assess the situation. And as you can imagine, the poor girl had a freaking roach in her ear! Oh, for the love of God. I didn't think I could be this poor thing's nurse. I felt weak in the knees and a little faint and I knew my expression was priceless. This is one of my WORST FEARS, people. But everyone was so busy and I was too embarrassed to admit that THAT is the one thing I can't do. I'm new and still have to prove that I am hardcore enough to work in the ER. SO, being the patient advocate that I am, I asked the doctor to get his ass in there as fast as he could. I couldn't stand thinking about what was going on in her ear, and thinking I was... I got everything ready for him, the lidocaine, the otoscope, the tweezers, the saline, and the long syringes he would use to flush out that awful mess in her ear. Faint, people. Anyway, I set them in the room, walked right back out, grabbed the doctor by the hand and told him this would be very fast, could he please just do this first. No problem. And I couldn't really help, as I was very busy with my other very sick patients, right? Right, no problem, Autumn.
Wrong. Right at that very moment, four Code Traumas were called, and apparently, trauma trumps roach in ear.
So, he told me what to do and ran off. Ugh. Very gingerly, I approached her and outlined the procedure. Lidocaine in the ear, kills the bug very quickly, I told her. It took 30 freaking minutes to kill that bastard. I could barely look at what I was doing. Every time we thought it was dead, I started flushing with saline. And she would scream and say it was scratching on her eardrum. OH, goodness. I truly, with every part of my being, did not want to be doing this. Frankly, I was thinking general anesthesia was definitely worth the risk. I would want to be put under. Anyway, the doctor asked me to look in the ear with the scope to look at the size of the roach, maybe I would need to pull it out with the tweezers. Are you freaking kidding me, I thought?! No way. Another fearful yelp. Well, ok. Oh, looking in her ear and getting a visual on that roach was one of the hardest things for me to do. There it was. LARGE, brown, twitching his yucky legs. Ugh.
As you can imagine, I couldn't do it, people. I'd like to say I did, but as it turns out, I'm not that hardcore. Hardcore enough to deal with your vomit, poop, and smelly pee. I can put a two inch needle in your vein, no problem. Breathe for you, make your heart beat for you, sure. But pulling a roach out of your ear, well, that is where I draw the line. Sorry.
So, cotton balls in you and your baby's ear? Crazy? I don't think so. Wise, I say.