Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Continuing to Sicken Our Veterans

For those who are not familiar, the VA (or Veterans Administration) hospital is the government-provided healthcare system for US military veterans. Considering it is a governmental organization, it actually provides great healthcare. Residents in my program rotate frequently through the local VA.

Anyway, today I saw a sign in the VA cafeteria that said “Continuing to Serve Our Veterans” next to a photo of a discounted meal combination consisting of a greasy hamburger, fries, and soda.

Continuing to serve veterans? Ha! First the government fucked up our veterans’ lungs by packing cigarettes into their lunches, and now they’re continuing to ruin their cardiovascular system by only serving nasty, greasy hamburgers and fries in the cafeteria.

I love it. Thankfully the veterans don’t have to pay for their bypass surgeries.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Eating My Words

You should never challenge the higher powers ...

Remember how I said in my previous post that "there are very few ways" to have this golden weekend of mine ruined? Well "very few" is a bigger amount than I thought.

I walked out of the hospital -- post-call, again -- into the parking lot, only to find my car gone. As in, not in the spot I had parked it in the day before. Not in that spot or any spot for that matter. It is a weird feeling walking into a parking lot expecting your car to be in a very specific spot (since I park in the exact same spot every day), and another car is in its place.

I walked around, stunned, for about 15 minutes, before I realized it had probably been stolen. This was the last thing I needed on a post-call day. Come to think of it, this was the last thing I needed ever.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Anatomy of a Lousy Labor Day Call

Nothing like a black weekend to ruin a holiday weekend. Read on:

Saturday, 7am.
I arrived at the hospital. The radio started playing a song I really like so when I got out of my car in the parking lot, I kept the keys in the ignition to keep listening to the song as I got my belongings together. But then I slammed the door shut ... with the keys still in the ignition. After ten minutes of prying at every car door and worrying about how this could ruin my morning, I remembered I had a spare key in my wallet. Potential bombshell averted.

Saturday, 7am – Sunday, 3pm.
I endured a grueling night of overnight call. On top of getting slammed with patient admissions – apparently Labor Day weekend drives people to the emergency room in hordes – I had to cross-cover 21 other medicine patients. Nothing more enjoyable than being kept awake all night by a patient going into respiratory failure with no urine output, especially when the sign-out reported "Nothing to do". While that patient didn't die, my cell phone did.

Sunday, 3pm.
Done with my night of call! I walked to my car, turned the key, and heard nothing. No engine sounds, no nothing. In that effort to rescue my locked-in keys the previous morning, I had forgotten to turn off my headlights. With a dead cell phone and no other car in sight to help me, I trudged back to the hospital in order to call AAA.

Sunday, 3pm – 5pm.
I waited alongside my car, with nothing to eat or read, wearing goofy green scrubs, for two hours. Just as I was about to return to the hospital to call AAA again -- what a day to have my cell phone battery drained -- they showed up. One new battery and $120 later, I was on my way back home.

Talk about a comedy of misfortunes ... at least I have this upcoming golden weekend to look forward to. There are very few ways to have those ruined.