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I swear I don't get the world sometimes... - The Rancho Commons
Note to self: no whining, no slacking
aspiring2live
aspiring2live
I swear I don't get the world sometimes...
48 year old black female. Ex-boyfriend broke in, tied up her and her new boyfriend, then tortured them in front of each other. He cut her neck (too high on the chin to be dangerous), raped her, and stabbed her in the chest. He then shot and killed the boyfriend, shot her in the gut, and when she still didn't die, set the house on fire. She crawled out and survived (so far). He turned himself in a couple of days later.

38 year old white female. Drinking excessively while walking the railroad tracks, (she reported to the ER at the "outside hospital" [OSH} that she had 25 beers) she got tired and laid down. On. the. tracks! Okay, so OSH means whatever podunk hospital a patient stops at before being brought to us due to the severity of their injuries. Anyway, the ER staff reported to our hospital that she was being obnoxious and abusive to them.



Her: "What the *&%#* are you doing with my feet?!"
ER staff: You don't have any feet, you were hit by a train and they were cut off.
Her: Yes I do! *%&#&

She was tubed (on a ventilator) when we got her so we were spared. For now.

Is this normal stuff to you? I don't know because I see this all the time. I know, what I see at work is representative of hundreds of thousands of people out there, and I'm only seeing a few of the idiots, right? Is that what you would tell me? Because, I wonder if that's true. I ask myself, what if the idiots are in the majority and they are just usually incredibly lucky? It sounds not only reasonable at times, but likely. Think of the idiots you know, and we all know or have known them. Guys who drive drunk all the time. Or ride their ATVs, or fly around the lake in their boats, or water ski, or drive their snowmobiles. Drunk. I know, not everyone who is an idiot is drunk, or are they? I'm not so sure, because nearly all the idiots I see are drunk and/or high, or were injured by idiots who were drunk and/or high.

There is a certain amount of futility in this job, to say the least. Modern medicine allows us to save many more of the idiots, who will never pay their medical bills, so that they can have more chances to take themselves out, or to take out someone else, maybe even one of us who is paying for their last hospital stay. Cynical? No, that's the tip of the cynical iceberg. You should cut a wide path so you miss the rest of it. Thugs, and drunks, and junkies, oh my!

I have to avoid looking around and thinking, "Who among these is actually worth saving?" Because, that is not my decision, or anyone else's, for that matter. My personal belief is that God decides our paths, and we are not masters of our fate. I think the Trauma ICU backs up that view. Those that "should" live often do not, and those that deserve no less than death, sometimes live. From a strictly human standpoint, it sucks.

If I was God, things would be different. Probably not better, but different. First, I would institute the three strikes policy. For those doing really stupid things and failing to learn their lesson for the third time, there would be instant, severe, and permanent punishment. This brings me to The Piffle. Humans demanding instant, severe, and permanent punishment would disappear, probably with the proverbial lightning bolt strike from God. *Piffle!* I would initiate reincarnation as a form of punishment only, for excessively stupid and annoying humans. They would all come back as slugs, or roaches, or rats, or some other disgusting creature, loathed by the whole of the animal world. Oh, and they would fully remember having been human, and would know that they were whatever they were as punishment. And they would live that way for 100 years, unless someone poured salt on them. Or something. I haven't fully worked it out since the God position doesn't seem to be coming open any time soon. Oh, and if it was, I would be way down the list, anyway.

If I was Satan, I would encourage humans to be idiots even more. I would advocate lots of drugs and alcohol, starting in school so they adopt the habits for adulthood. I would advocate lots of unprotected sex with multiple partners, so as to spread disease. I would always advocate violence as the preferred solution to conflicts.

You know, I have to stop there, because if you have turned your TV on lately, it is hard to deny that there is a Satan, and that he's doing a bang-up job. (Should you be wanting to deny such a thing.) And I'm not trying to convince anyone one way or the other. But, if what is happening to humans the world over is evolution at its finest, I want nothing to do with it. Paint me primitively "religious" and leave me with my delusions. I'll be working on my "Will be a homeless veteran when the world ends, please help, God bless" sign.

Don Quixote was a visionary. Or, I need some sleep. Yeah, that's it.


Cut lyrics: Billy Joel, C'Etait Toi (You Were The One)
4 aspirations -{}- aspire with me
Comments
From: recycling Date: July 4th, 2004 10:00 am (UTC) (Link)
I could only venture a guess that you feel the way you do as demonstrated in this post sometimes..somebody doing what you do would inevitably have to, at times. Or all the time. I wouldn't even dare try to second guess the frequency of your emotions in this matter. And it would seem horribly senseless to fix people up, only to have them come in again, only to have someone else doing something equally as stupid take their place. Other than assuming the role of breadwinner, what other motivation could you have, day after day, when the slow realization that I'm not even really helping worms its inevitable way inside?

Maybe you should find a different line of work, maybe continue nursing but switch to a pediatric hospital, perhaps. Or something else entirely. Carefully of course, you have people depending on you.

Also I'm here to stress that you may really find painter to be a compelling person to communicate with. He's 40 years old and suffering from a perceivably unstoppable and malevolent manifestation of diabetes. It is very rare that I cry from reading a Livejournal, very rare indeed, but..
aspiring2live From: aspiring2live Date: July 4th, 2004 02:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Welllll, Jay, this is only the occasional manifestation of the dark side, as I'm sure you understand, because I read your journal, too. As I suspect you know personally, one usually feels better after posting something like this, then getting some much needed sleep. The world looks pretty crappy at 9:00am after 12 hours of standing on your feet and seeing some of the worst life, and death, has to offer.

It still seems odd to me that when I get up in the afternoon after working a couple of nights, I am completely comfortable, as for some reason, endorphins are peaked, and I feel almost euphoric sometimes. It is in this state that the night and the job are put in a much different, much less sinister, perspective and I can dealio. You know?

Different line of work. Uh, no way. Great pay; only requires a 2 year degree; I only work 3 shifts in a busy week; I have massive time at home with my family; it is much "easier" than working construction, or selling refrigerators; and, though you might not know it from my posts, I often enjoy my work, and often feel as though I've done something "worthy" and "valuable."

Pediatrics is an area I absolutely cannot work! It is an emotional "weak spot" for me, I guess because children are so innocent. They didn't drink and drive, they were just strapped in the back while daddy did. And I wish I could say that doesn't happen, but it does. Plus, having two children, I identify too easily with the emotions of the injured children and the parents. IOW, it tears my heart out. It eats me alive. When I worked the Burn Unit, we had peds patients as well as adults. It is one of the main reasons I moved to an adult ICU environment. Less emotional involvement, believe it or not.

I saw you plugging painter's LJ, and I've been there and read most of his 15 entries over the last three-ish years. And, as you noted, I took note of his age on his userinfo page. Also, he stated he felt like he belonged in a different age, and I so feel that way sometimes. So, in short, I'm watching him to see if he posts more frequently, and to evaluate him further. I'm pretty picky about who I add to my friends list because experience has taught me in my short LJ life that the wrong people on your friends list can make your LJ experience a lot closer to miserable than I care to be. After reading posts like this one from me this morning, I bet you can relate! :(

Thanks for your time investment, Jay. Thanks for letting me know you are out there, and that you think what I write is worthy of a comment from time-to-time. When you read a really negative, dark post of mine from now on, especially if it is about work, you can take it with a grain of salt. Usually, I am just over-tired, and need to leave some things on the altar of malicious negativity before I sleep and wake up better. It's better than drinking or using some other chemical to numb myself emotionally. It is.
From: recycling Date: July 4th, 2004 03:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
No, I totally understand getting in touch with one's dark side. As you well know my journal doesn't so much as have a dark side, as it is a whole other department of dark, a different bureau all to itsself. Taking these things with a grain of salt is something I typically try to do, as I know fully well your life on a whole is far more fulfilling than what you've mentioned in the confines of this post. I think more than anything I was referring to an "if and when the time comes where you want to get out, don't deny that and end up wishing you really did" sort of scenario.

I respect your decision with painter, it seems as though his journal (if he keeps going with it) is going to get progressively worse. Something about him makes me want to like him, so I do..but to be completely honest with you, considering the severity of what he's writing about, I really really feel like I'm going to need some backup on this one. That's why I was thinking of you, Bruce..you're a paterfamilias and have a good soul.

Is that weird of me?
thunderslug From: thunderslug Date: July 5th, 2004 06:02 am (UTC) (Link)
I talk about being a doctor from time to time...because there is so much complexity to the biochemistry/biophysics of the human form, and because I think I could do some good. And then I remember why I can't...your entries remind me, as well.

I was 12, spending the summer visiting my baby bro in the burn ward at Emmanuel; my baby sister had died a few weeks before. A two-year old was brought in, severe burns to the lower half of her body...her father had punished her by dipping her in hot water...boiling, apparently. And I knew, deep in my heart, that I was going to kill him. He got lucky; the burning rage didn't outlive his time in jail. Now I only hate and pity him, and truly hope that there is an afterlife, just in his case. I always wonder what the doctor who treated his hands did.

But beyond the willful, the stupid just gets to me...I'd spend all my time punching fresh wounds as an educational exercise; giving Narcan and Anabuse to random patients, etc. I still have no idea how you do it.

Everyone is judgemental; I was lucky enough to find a job where I'm *supposed* to judge. But to help everyone, regardless of merit...

And that's why *I'm* not God. ;)
4 aspirations -{}- aspire with me