Turkey in the Bra

Most nurses have to work half the holidays.  It’s a fact of life.  That means, you’re also working with a lot less help on those days, not always the best situation.  Patients need the same care as any other day. Since Bud and I were both nurses, we just planned our celebrations around the holiday, not a bad idea, anyway, since our many siblings had other family to visit.   One Thanksgiving, I was the only nurse working in the hemodialysis unit, assisted by a technician.  I made sure my patients knew when they were scheduled, so their family could have an uninterrupted visit, hoping not to cut a family visit short.  It’s a bad idea for a patient to eat a heavy meal before a dialysis treatment, so I always encouraged them to have no more than a light snack, to avoid a vomiting episode.  Patients who eat a large meal are very likely to throw up during their treatment.

The patient I had scheduled for one o’clock just couldn’t resist the delectable Thanksgiving Dinner his family had brought from home.  He had turkey, dressing, green beans, and pecan pie.  After a preliminary conversation and pretreatment assessment, I asked if he’d had a snack before coming.  “Oh yeah, I had a little bite of turkey.”

I got his treatment started and all was well for a few minutes, then the truth came out about his hearty lunch, literally.  He started heaving.  The whole menu was presented, dessert first, since it was on top.  Pecan pie is not appealing the second time around.  Turkey and dressing came up next, followed up by green beans.  He filled his own lap and the blanket covering him, with plenty to spare.  As I cleaned him up and got him into a fresh gown, he served up seconds.  This time it was turkey,  green beans with a few bits of egg.  Fortunately for him, I caught most of it in a towel.  The rest splattered me. He felt much better with his stomach empty and went right to sleep.

I always had extra scrubs in my locker for just such an occasion. While the technician watched the patient, I ducked into the staff bathroom.  I peeled the disgusting clothes off, trying to avoid getting the mess on myself.  I scrubbed myself, but didn’t have a fresh bra.  I swabbed the drenched one the best I could with a washcloth, and put on fresh scrubs over my bra.   I knew I smelled sour, but there was nothing else to be done.

We finished his treatment, uneventfully.  Hours later I got home.  The kids told me I stunk.  The dog agreed.  He couldn’t leave me alone, burning to investigate the intriguing aroma. I couldn’t wait to shower. When I peeled off my bra, turkey and green beans tumbled out.  They’d left an imprint.  Bud was repulsed.  The dog was entranced, gobbling them right up.

5 Ways to Make Sure Your Child and His Puppy Have a Satisfying Morning (reposted)

  1. Let your kid eat in front of the TV.
  2.  Forget to put Vaseline on the doorknob so kid can open door.
  3.  Make sure your kid has a puppy.
  4.  Make sure your kid’s stomach and puppy’s digestive tract are both full.
  5.  Go to bathroom for a little quality time.
                                             John and Buster on a Better Day
John and Blackie

We’ve all seen articles by organized people enumerating methods to keep out lives well-organized, tidy, and rational.  Well, this is not one of those.  I’d be far more successful at writing “How to Mess Up Everything You Touch.”  My kids were always right ahead of me, making sure nothing was missed.  When John was three, I settled him on the floor on a big towel in front of the television with his breakfast on a tray to watch “Sesame Street.  Never a slacker in the appetite department, he always wanted milk, eggs, bacon, toast, and grits.  I always watched with him, ready to pick up his tray and cuddle him in his blanket after he finished eating. This worked well for months.

One sad day, I had to excuse myself for just a minute.  Naturally, I told John to sit tight till I got back.  Everything would have been fine, except the Buster the Dog wanted in.  No three-year-old could have resisted.  Buster surely thought he’d gone to Doggy Heaven when he found breakfast waiting for him, set right at puppy level.  Making quick work of my tidy layout, he spilled the milk, gobbled the eggs and bacon, and smeared the grits as far as they’d go.  In fact, it was so altogether satisfying and filling, he pooped his gratitude out on the carpet.  Sickened by the smell, John vomited on top of the whole mess. By the time I’d finished my business and got back to the living room, John was bawling at the top of his lungs and Buster was happily burrowed into the sofa, licking the jam off the toast.

I scraped up the worst of the mess and fixed John another breakfast, not because I thought he deserved it, but because it was the only way to assuage his loud and continuous grief.  Buster went back to the yard and I spent the next couple of hours catching up on some unplanned cleaning.

As a footnote, I noticed fruit flies buzzing around John’s toy box later that morning.  Digging deep, I found a rotten banana right at the bottom, but that’s a story for another day.  Just so you know, later that week I pulled a peanut butter and jelly sandwich out of the VCR.

5 Ways to Make Sure Your Child and His Puppy Have a Satisfying Morning

  1. Let your kid eat in front of the TV.
  2.  Forget to put Vaseline on the doorknob so kid can open door.
  3.  Make sure your kid has a puppy.
  4.  Make sure your kid’s stomach and puppy’s digestive tract are both full.
  5.  Go to bathroom for a little quality time.
                                             John and Buster on a Better Day
John and Blackie

We’ve all seen articles by organized people enumerating methods to keep out lives well-organized, tidy, and rational.  Well, this is not one of those.  I’d be far more successful at writing “How to Mess Up Everything You Touch.”  My kids were always right ahead of me, making sure nothing was missed.  When John was three, I settled him on the floor on a big towel in front of the television with his breakfast on a tray to watch “Sesame Street.  Never a slacker in the appetite department, he always wanted milk, eggs, bacon, toast, and grits.  I always watched with him, ready to pick up his tray and cuddle him in his blanket after he finished eating. This worked well for months.

One sad day, I had to excuse myself for just a minute.  Naturally, I told John to sit tight till I got back.  Everything would have been fine, except the Buster the Dog wanted in.  No three-year-old could have resisted.  Buster surely thought he’d gone to Doggy Heaven when he found breakfast waiting for him, set right at puppy level.  Making quick work of my tidy layout, he spilled the milk, gobbled the eggs and bacon, and smeared the grits as far as they’d go.  In fact, it was so altogether satisfying and filling, he pooped his gratitude out on the carpet.  Sickened by the smell, John vomited on top of the whole mess. By the time I’d finished my business and got back to the living room, John was bawling at the top of his lungs and Buster was happily burrowed into the sofa, licking the jam off the toast.

I scraped up the worst of the mess and fixed John another breakfast, not because I thought he deserved it, but because it was the only way to assuage his loud and continuous grief.  Buster went back to the yard and I spent the next couple of hours catching up on some unplanned cleaning.

As a footnote, I noticed fruit flies buzzing around John’s toy box later that morning.  Digging deep, I found a rotten banana right at the bottom, but that’s a story for another day.  Just so you know, later that week I pulled a peanut butter and jelly sandwich out of the VCR.

Green Bean, Ewwww!

EWWHolidays are rough on people who work in hospitals, since you’re getting by with minimal staff.  One Thanksgiving, I was performing dialysis on a patient not too long after he’d had his traditional Thanksgiving dinner.  I knew exactly what he’d had because he got sick and hurled it me.  By this time, I was a seasoned nurse and always had extra scrubs stowed in my locker.  Without gagging, I brushed off the bigger pieces, swabbed myself with soapy towels, generally sprayed myself with disinfectant, changed clothes, and got back to work, pretty much good as new. Continue reading

You Catch More Flies

The school was buzzing about the play.  The community was putting on a play at the school.  The adults, not the kids!  According to Sarah Nell, the snottiest girl in school, her mama was the teacher’s best friend.  Her mama was going to be in the play!  Maybe my mama could be in the play.  I flew home at noon to tell the news.  Mama was shocked!  She squashed that idea like a bug. “No, I’m not going to be in a play.  I am not interested in that kind of foolishness!  I have more to do than get up and parade myself around in front of folks like I think I’m something special. Now wash your hands and eat.  You’ve got to get back to school on time.”

I was very interested in that kind of foolishness.  “Well, can we go to the play?  It only costs a quarter for adults and a dime for kids. They’ll have an ice cream social afterwards.

“No.  That would be close to a dollar for all five of us.  Our rent is three dollars a month.  I am already doing Miss Lonie’s wash to pay that.  We don’t have money to waste on a play.  It’s going to take me all day today to finish Miz Watson’s dress.  I need the dollar I get from that to put on the bill at Miss Lonie’s store.  I’m hopin’ there will be enough scraps left from Miz Watson’s dress to trim that dress I’m makin’ for you.  I have two matchin’ feedsacks saved back for it.”  She went on with her budgeting plans as my spirits plunged, knowing I wasn’t going to the play.  I dawdled my way back to school not wanting to admit to Sarah Nell I wasn’t going to the play.  I needn’t have worried.  She wasn’t interested in me, anyway.

The evening of the play, I watched the comings and goings at the schoolhouse enviously, as long as Mama let me stay outside.  For once, living almost on the school yard was not an advantage, giving me a prime view of all I was missing.  Had I even suspected what I was missing, I’d have grieved even harder.  It seems Sarah Nell’s mother was in the middle of the performance when Sarah Nell swallowed a fly, along with her ice cream.  Panicking, she raced to her mother on the stage.  Just as Sarah Nell reached the heroine, she vomited copiously all over her, bringing the performance to an end.  There was no encore.