Wednesday, June 29, 2022

New Mascot: Shitbucket

     I realize, based on my work experience, that most decisions are based on politics and finances. And in hindsight, I can see this CARTI decision coming like a freight train, based on hospital politics. So while CARTI hurts like hell, we will still put our best foot forward, accommodate the tumor boards as much as we can without it getting too awkward, and continue to be the stellar group we always have been and strive to continue to be. Spite might feel good in the moment, but it doesn't really get you anywhere in the long run.

    I told a story in micro huddle today. Back when I did autopsies, we had a toilet bowl in the autopsy suites. A modified one really, it's a lot smaller but flushes hard enough to pack a punch. You never know when you are going to die, so no bowel prep is involved. You just might be, and often are quite literally full of shit. So you remove the colon, and hold your nose (sometimes Vick's Vapo rub is involved if it's really bad) and squeeze that shit out like an entire tube of toothpaste and flush it as fast as possible. Gloves, of course.

    I was too busy on Monday to visit the gross room, and when Jessica told me Tuesday what happened I was glad. I tossed my cookies at home Monday night (or the little bit of lettuce left from a meager lunch) after a late work meeting (bad GI days are rarer these days but I still have them) and if I had visited them I likely would have at work. Sims was in good form chasing negative margins on a tongue cancer Tuesdy and I visited the gross room four times. Oh, I also had a shadow - the boyfriend of Sophie Sanders. Laura asked me to indulge him, a rising Junior at Hendrix, and I was happy to oblige - fed her one of my UALR shadows Lawren's info since she wants to be a pediatrician so Laura can help her out.

    He was so polite and intelligent and respectful and grateful it was a joy to show him around. I like to try to visit my departments daily so I apologized for being AWOL on Monday as Savanna showed him the mastectomy she was working on and Jessica showed him a bulging gallbladder and some old interesting stones that had been collected in a jar over the years. And of course I pulled the brain out. It's pretty awing to touch a human brain.

    It's a good thing you weren't here, Jessica said, especially since you were feeling ill. We didn't need two messes to clean up. A guy came in through the ED and went to surgery without a bowel prep. The contents plugged up my sink and shitty water was backing up into Bob's - we had to call maintenance. Here, she showed my shadow Reece, is the offending colon (they have to fix overnight in formalin to get good sections). I explained to Reece and micro huddle that we most often get colons for colon cancer and diverticulosis/itis, but occasionally (volvulus, toxic megacolon) it's an emergency. Not enough time for a good bowel prep.

    Turns out Shaver fielded the plumber who was looking in the wrong place with a tiny plunger and took him over to the gross room. A tiny plunger, we LOL'd in a meeting today. It took a snake and cleaning out the p trap (sp?) to get all that shit out of the system. And when they opened the p trap, they put a bucket underneath that collected all of the shitty water. It smelled like, you know. And they left it there!! Luckily the solid blocking stuff got cleared by the snake but we had to dispose of the smelly offensive bucket. Jessica told Reece and I we have this colon to thank for our new gross room mascot. The shitbucket. I'm not sure who laughed harder me and Shaver or micro huddle.

    That's what the past few days, months, years have felt like. The shitbucket. I think everyone in the company would agree. Hell everyone in the world. But, we persevere. What else is there to do. Happy Wednesday, much love, E.


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