The Scene: Hospital Room
Act 1, Scene 1
Woman A enters a dark hospital room. Patient is lying on the bed, appearing to be asleep.
Woman A: DRACULA'S HERE!!! I NEED TO TAKE SOME BLOOD! (in a sing-song voice).
Patient: Aren't you supposed to come at 7?
Woman A: OH YEAH, YOU'RE RIGHT...SEE YOU AT SEVEN!
Woman A exits, leaving the door wide open. Patient tosses and turns for a couple minutes, then decides to face the inevitable and get out of bed.
Act 1, Scene 2
Woman A Re-enters the room, Patient sitting in a chair with his back to the window, reading his e-mail.
Woman A: I'M BACK!! HERE TO TAKE YOUR BLOOD!
Patient greets her and offers his arm to her ravaging needle. Woman A "sticks" the patient. He breathes through it.
Woman A: Oh my, I'm not getting any blood...that's a good vein...it should work, let me try some more!
Woman A does not remove the needle but adjusts and pushes further in. Patient is not stoic, he winces and wants to cry like a baby. He preserves his dignity by saying nothing. Woman A finally gives up and punctures another vein. She takes her vial of blood and flutters out of the room with a hearty, "HAVE A GOOD DAY!" Patient utters a wounded "you too" and goes back to his e-mail. [moral: never trust an eager phlebotomist]
Act 1, Scene 3
Dr. A enters the hospital room: Well, Daniel, the radiologist is not convinced that the angiogram pictures show that there is a dissection in your carotid.
Dr. A: We will get the CT scan and the TEE today.
Patient: What time?
Dr. A: It'll be later this afternoon.
Patient: I haven't eaten breakfast yet, can I have something?
Dr. A: You may sip water.
Patient: (on the inside) AAAAAARRGH! (on the outside) ok
Dr. exits room, patient defiantly stuffs a piece of pumpkin bread in his mouth and smiles with satisfaction.
Act 1 Scene 4
Patient sitting in a chair, reading
Woman B enters the room.
Woman B: Housekeeping!
Patient: Sorry that the bathroom is such a mess.
Patient recalls that the bathroom/shower room has a drain, but no slope toward said drain, thus the half-inch of water covering the floor where his waffle-sized towels sat soaking up said water.
Act 1, Scene 5
Patient sitting in same chair, writing a blog post, weak from hunger.
Man A enters the room.
Man A: I'm here to stick you! (cheerfully). You're my last one...I'm glad it's the end of my shift!
Patient: I just want you to know that this vein was tried this morning and it did not give up any blood. She ended up taking from this vein. This particular vein has enough track marks to convict me as a heroine addict. So, please be gentle.
Man A: Well, this vein (vein #1) looks good, I'm sure that there is blood in there. She just must not have done it right. I'm not going to hurt you!
Man A: Oh my! I guess I have to eat my words, there's no blood! I'm not going to take it out...it's right there...if I...can...just (as he repositions needle within patient's arm and drives in further). Well, I'm sorry, I'm going to have to put it in the other vein.
As Man A finishes with the drawing, Patient sees room begin to tilt.
Patient: I think I'm going to pass out...
Man A: Nurse!! Where is that nurse?
Patient: Could you please get me a drink of water.
Man A: Here you go...Nurse!!
Patient recovers without passing out, and hears Man A leaving say jokingly, "I'm not coming back to work again!"
[Moral: Never trust an overconfident phlebotomist anxious to go home]
Act 1, Scene 6
Patient sitting talking with a visitor.
Woman C enters the room.
Woman C: I'm here to draw your blood
Patient: See this arm? The middle vein does not give up blood, and the other one looks like a railroad track. May I suggest a butterfly needle?
Woman C: Well, let me take a look. Nope, this is a good vein (vein #1), they just weren't doing it right. They just need to go higher. Straighten your arm like this...
Patient meekly, yet stupidly, obeys, mostly because he wants to see if she can, indeed, get blood from this previously reluctant vein.
Woman C jabs the needle in and, surprisingly, the vein produces its bounty.
Womans C (triumphantly): See, you just have to do it right!
Patients nods weakly as the area around the puncture begins to bruise.
[Moral: 3 out of 3 phlebotomists agree, all the other phlebotomists don't know what they're doing!]
Act 1, Final Scene
Patient taps away on his laptop as he records some of the events of the day. There were more, much more important conversations and discussions that took place that has left him feeling drained, but he now feels a sort of cathartic release as he relives the bizarre happenings that took place in this small room.
He contemplates waiting another 28 minutes to eat since he can't eat after midnight. The TEE will be tomorrow. He closes his laptop, eats the rest of the pumpkin bread and drifts off to sleep.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
The Scene: Hospital Room