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Minor Turbulence

I’m back in Ohio, this time for ICU rotation, and the week got off to a rough start beginning with the landing. On the first day I showed up naked; that is to say, without my phone, which really got in the way of storing my new coworkers’  numbers for future communication as I stumbled through learning a new workflow. That evening, I managed to screw up “taking a shower” simply by turning on the water. Unbeknownst to me, the shower head was aimed directly at the curtain and had an excellent flow rate. Turns out the curtain had caught on the edge of the tub, forming a sort of pipe to the outside world. By the time I realized what was happening, there was 2 cm of standing water on the bathroom floor. This led to me madly shoveling water back into the shower, using whole towels as sponges.

The following day, I made sure I had my phone and the floor was dry, but proceeded to leave behind my stethoscope, an oversight I only noticed when I reached for it during a physical exam. A panicked flashback revealed its location in my apartment: conspicuously sitting on the shelf directly above where I had hung my coat, so placed in order that both could be easily snatched during the morning rush.

Later in the week I went to the L&D floor to visit some of the people I know from the last time I was here. I brought M&Ms for old times’ sake and apparently couldn’t help also bringing my bad vibes. While unpacking the candy I realized one of the people I was expecting to see was missing, because somewhere between sending messages and my arrival, she had gone downstairs to the ED, a statement that took me several tries to parse correctly that she was a patient in the ED. Having previously made it through life without ever experiencing a migraine headache, she had been stricken with the “worst headache of her life,” a test question keyword for subarachnoid hemorrhage. Thus, my hospital tour extended to the ED, where catching up was interrupted by medical staff as she was cleared for discharge. Ultimately my friend was unceremoniously ferried back to L&D in a wheelchair by one of the OB/GYN attendings I worked with last year.

My apartment building seems to have some form of always-on heat, which leads to a less than comfortable ambient temperature for those of us who run hot. In lieu of a functional thermostat I opted to open the window; as it reached its maximum station, the crank handle fell off, leaving the window stuck wide open. Later during one of my rare workday glimpses of the Outside World, I noticed it was raining heavily and had to contact the apartment manager to try and close it before I flooded a second room in the apartment. They came by and “fixed” it, by which I mean they closed the window and gently placed the handle back into its socket. Naturally the first thing I did when I came home was test it…the crank promptly came off in my hand.

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