Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Welcome To My Valley

I am a shepherd of gurneys.

(If only they'd let me carry a stout staff!)

I've worked as a damn fine emergency nurse over nearly two decades at some of the busiest emergency rooms on the planet, here in the granola-rich environment that is Southern Califrutopia.

I'm a shepherd, because I deal with a lot of sheeple, more than a few goats and pigs, a lot of chickens and scared bunnies, and a disturbingly monotonous assemblage of horses. Actually, half horses. The back half.

For all of that, I've loved my work, the bulk of my co-workers, and even most of my patients. But if you think I'm sunshine Pollyanna, you're sorely misinformed. Like most ER folks you've met (or will, because like undertakers, everyone is an eventual client for us) I have a spleen full of misanthropic sarcasm for the deserving, a laser wit, and my BS detector can sniff out a gram of horsewaste from 700 miles, so if you think you're getting over on me or putting anything by that I didn't notice, you're about 20,000 people too late.

And as I've told innumerable co-workers, patients, and their affiliated entourage, half the reason I work this biz is for the stories. Blogs didn't exist when I started, and I was too lazy and dumb to keep a daily diary when I started out, otherwise I could be knocking out hospital scripts to TV shows for $100K/week and die before I ran out of them if I lived to be 100.

So instead, I'm scrawling this here to decompress a little, vent a little dystopian rage, marvel at the pathos I had no idea about when I was so very green - wasn't it just yesterday? - and laugh about the times when someone made me laugh, whether they meant to or not. As you aren't paying for this, you can take it or leave it, which is more choice than I've had over some of what's been plopped down in my gurneys over the years.

If anything strikes a chord, lightens your load, stirs your juices, turns your crank, or gets your panties in a twist, congratulations to both of us. Me for paying attention in English class, and you for having a soul. It's been twisting around my guts and the recesses of my mind for far too long, and it seems to have reached the point that it's better out than in. And I think I've earned the right to share it.