Monday, March 16, 2009

I feel Pretty

Nurse Meme was in her middle twenties and new to the metropolitan hospital. She was tall but thin. She had been trained in a much calmer environment. It was her first week on the job and had been assigned to the emergency room. She was excited at the prospect of being able to learn triage. She had been hired to work the night shift in one of the busiest emergency rooms in the Southwest. The emergency room at El Paso’s General Hospital was notorious for its volume and severity of cases.

The night started pretty tame several illegal aliens women had come to the emergency room in mid childbirth. This was years ago and they believed if they could have their baby in the hospital it would give them legal resident status. This caused an influx of women to brave crossing the border under the cover of night to make their way to the E.R. in order to give birth. Many didn’t make it all the way to the hospital and had them along the smuggler’s path. Others made it just in time to squat and deliver.

Even way back in the day there were gangs and gang wars. Not gang wars where they sang and danced like West Side Story. These gang wars involved knife and sometimes guns. They were violent and no one was singing ‘When you’re a Jet, you’re a Jet all the way…’ They were singing a totally different song that involved curse words barked in the Spanish and the broken English the street kids used. Nurse Meme could speak enough Spanish to get by and knew these words well.

The ambulances pulled up in the driveway of the E.R. and the nurses and doctors poured out of the building to help bring in the wounded. There had been a war and it was a bloody one. Nurse Meme grabbed the stretcher containing one young man. The emergency worker had a bloody towel pressed to the patient’s neck. Nurse Meme started her triage procedure. Sliced jugular high priority put this guy in room one. She moved to the next ambulance to find a stab wound to the abdomen. Also a high priority so again she dispatched the patient to room one. She moved her way through six different ambulances and looked up to see more injuries coming in by private car. It was going to be a busy night.

No one explained to her “colors” and not mixing the warring factions. She wasn’t concerned with that; she was concerned with treating her patients. She had everyone dispatched and ran into the now very crowded clinic area. She grabbed a chart which in those days were kept on large metal clip boards and made her way to room one. She heard a huge commotion as she approached and pulled back the curtain. What she saw disgusted and stunned her. Here in the emergency room where people came to be healed were two men standing wielding knifes. The nurse and orderly cowered in the corner. One man stood knife in one hand bloody towel pressed to his neck in the other. The other man was doubled over his gut wound but slashing out in anger and hate. The circled and stabbed and cursed each other. Nurse Meme stood stunned. They were here to get patched up yet they were trying to kill one another. What’s more there was no background music and Maria wasn’t singing “Tonight, tonight…”

Nurse Meme didn’t think. She didn’t plan it and she didn’t flinch. She yelled at the Jet with the neck wound. He looked up just as she came down on his nose with the metal clipboard. He screamed and dropped the knife. That is when the Shark decided he could make his move on Jet. Meme turned and stomped on Shark’s instep sliding her foot along his shin before crushing his foot. As he hopped on one foot still bent over she hit him in the back of the head with the deadly metal chart holder. The Calvary arrived just as Juan hit the floor. Nurse Meme stood chart holder poised for the next go around. The city policemen looked at both gang members bleeding and lying on the floor. Nurse Meme kicked the knives away from both men. She looked at the officers standing there and said “Next time could you take their knives away from them or just let them kill each other before they get here?” The officers stood there with mouths open as orderlies and doctors came in to put the two men back together. Finally one officer found his voice and said “Hey Jet, if I were you I wouldn’t get into another gang fight and get stabbed. You’re likely to get killed by this little nurse here if you come back.”

Nurse Meme didn’t have anymore trouble out of the Shark or the Jet. Truth of the matter she never saw them again. One can only guess they would rather kill each other than make another trip to the crazy skinny nurse in the emergency room. However, I do believe that she ended her night singing “I feel pretty oh so pretty…”
***Come back Thursday and I'll give you as Paul Harvey used to say The Rest of the Story****


Katherine Aucoin said...

Oh Nurse Meme was definitely a force to be reckoned with. I bet none of you ever back talked Nurse Meme or Trooper Bob!

Tatersmama said...

WAY TO GO, Nurse Meme!!!!

LiLu said...

I LOVE women like Nurse Meme! They are NOT to be trifled with... ;-)

Cher said...

I hope she didn't carry one of those clipboards at home!

The Texas Woman

Girly Stuff said...

That's great!

Sounds like they needed a little of that a little earlier in their lives.

Bee and Rose said...

We need more Nurse Memes!!! Our Tucson ER's are still like this!

Bob said...

Gotta love a woman who wields a clipboard like nunchuks.