It is almost Halloween. I love Halloween. I love people who love Halloween, even when they love the scary stuff and not the cute stuff. It is the holiday that has no stress. There is no dinner to cook, no service to attend, no relatives to see. The decorating is not strenuous, but you can go over the top if you feel like it. Pumkin carving is a magic, paganesque thing to do, and I looove to carve pumpkins. The kids eat pizza for supper and junk and candy, and get to be whatever they wand. I have extra alien eyeballs to wear, and I am looking forward to a fun time by all. Oh yeah. Let the mini candy bar eating begin.
It has been brought to my attention for, oh say, my entire life, that I am not a team player. I have, of course, learned to disguse this much better since the time in fourth grade when I protested my assignment to a group project with the words “but he’s stupid and she’s mean!!!!” I’m saying here, that no one ever talked to me anyway, because I came from our subdivision’s Official Weird Family, but I’m also saying that I was a less than graciouse dork. ( Note on a subdivision: you either understand this as a housing entity or you don’t. For those who wish to try and understand, even slightly, the anti- human design a “sub” is, let me describe. It is, first and foremost, a large street that feeds onto a usefull street, a street that goes somewhere. This large street, which is NOT called Main St, or This Way Out St., or anything at all useful, is the only way in or out of the sub. Branching from the access road, like the auxillary blood vessels that frequently swarm around tumors, are the rest of the sub’s streets. These streets also go nowhere. They twist and turn, are emphatically not grid like, and have nothing in them but houses. Poignantly, they are sometimes named for the type of plant life that was scraped off the site by the builders, but you will see no Birches, Oaks, or Maples on the streets that bear their names. There are no stores in a sub. There are no office buildings, no pizza joints, no liquor stores, no drug stores, no nothing. In the area I grew up, there was an elementary school in each sub, and a junior high school shared by four subs, and a high school shared by twelve subs. The elementary schools were built on an identical floor plan, so that if you ever happened to find yourself in a different school, say for a cousin’s school play, you knew instantly where everything was. The houses also displayed the same regularity. We had your colonial, your ranch, and you split level, and that was it. No one ever had to ask where the bathroom was in someone elses house. Ok, enough about the sub, but let’s just say that as members of a different faith, the first “broken home”, and college educated mom, we were different. Different is bad, dude.)
Ok, so more about me. Today at work there was a code. This happens at hospitals- they are full of sick people, and sick people sometimes give on things like breathing and need to be nudged back. So, I’m in the bathroom, and I hear a code called to the floor that I am on. SOmething odd happens. I do not skip wiping, rip my pants up and run like hell to the room. I do not push the cart. I do not grab an ambu bag. I am not on the team. I wash my hands, and think, wow, I’m not an ICU nurse anymore. Don’t get me wrong, there were stacks of people there, all doing the stuff you’re supposed to do. They didn’t need me. I wasn’t the PICU nurse anymore, shoving to the head of the bed untill someone better than me got there to bag. I did not place my standard code IV ( the saphonous vein- top of the foot. Usually unsullied and cradled nicely betweet the metatarsales- you don’t even have to see it. You can use the force.) It was really, really weird. At some point, I went around and checked on some of the other patients, and then they needed another central line tray but the person they asked didn’t know what that was , so I got one and took it in, and then I wandered back to my office to go remind myself why I had been on that floor in the first place. Right- a diabetic was waiting to learn the mysteries of the glucometer. I had a diet coke, went back up, and did my spiel. For someone who’s not so into being a team player, it was weird that I felt so left out and lost.
We’ve all seen em. Some just garden variety ugly, some syndromic, some true craniofacial disordered. But what to say? I think my favorite is “oh he’s so alert!” or to comment on whatever cute toy is tucked into the stroller. But my go to pharse “what big brown/blue/green eyes he has!” was blown out of the water today by a mom who casually replied “yeah, they’re fake, but they fool everyone. Totally worth the two grand co-pay.”
Ok, so how do I tell the dudes that ignoring your diabetes can cause erectile dysfunction? I’m thinking, well, people who are sanguine about their big toe being chopped off are hard to motivate. Not so, says the husband unit. It’s all about the blood flow. So, if I can find a way to discuss this in an individual setting -( In a class, I’d be fine. No one is going to accuse me or misunderstand me in a class setting. I hope.)- if I could find a way to, uhm, bring it up to them, I could perhaps improve their insulin compliance. But no one in my department does, so I don’t have anyone to learn how from.
Complicating this is the low literacy/ low vision of these clients. In general they can’t or won’t read, so I’m dragging the vcr around the hospital as it is. If they were readers, well, there could be a hand out. Or I could send them to the ADA website. But if they were readers, they probably would be compliant diabetics, and I don’t get those clients. (Now there’s a dream job: compliant diabetics. They’d stroll in, display their fully filled out blood sugar diaries, trade recipes with me for low fat, low sodium,tasty stuff, you know. Then we’d discuss the best way to work in daily exercise, and then they’d stroll back out, their blood sugar better than mine. I don’t think compliant diabetics have a clinic, sadly.)
So, here’s the question, if they don’t care, why should I?