Into this computerised tombola went my name, toward the end of the last century. For my surgical rotation, the computer decreed that I would be interviewed for a post at an unassuming district general hospital near my home town. I turned up, all nicely turned out, at the appointed hour. To my surprise, there was only one interviewer, a consultant surgeon named Mr Scabies. He showed me into a board room with a long table, and proceeded to direct me to sit at one end of it, while he sat at the other end.
I was an ICU RN at the time. I took a phone call from a Dr. For a “direct admit”. That means he has seen the patient and she is enroute to the hospital. He gave me her medical orders for medications, lab work and everything else. She should be here soon. He had just spoken with her and she was on her way in. She had been to her Dr. 2 days before for upper respiratory problems. He was treating her with antibiotics, breathing treatments at home and a few other things. She was just feeling worse. She called her Dr. Back and he sent her up to the hospital for a chest x-ray. She went back home after the x-ray.
The Dr. Got the phone call from the radiologist (Dr. Who reads x-rays). The x-ray showed a “white out” meaning both lungs are full of crap. Her Dr called her and told her to go immediately to the hospital. Then he called me. About 2 hours passed and she hadn’t shown up. I called Dr to let him know. He started trying to find the patient. About 20 minutes later she came walking down the hall with her hubby. I took her straight to her room, gave her a gown, helped her undress and get into the gown. She’s looking pretty good, colors good, speech is easy and clear. She doesn’t seem to be very sick. She and hubby had gone out to dinner and a trip to Walmart enroute to the hospital.
I took her blood pressure and couldn’t find one. I seriously thought the machine was broken. I went out and got another machine and asked another nurse to get me an IV and also call respiratory therapy for an oxygen set up and a nebulizer set up. I was out of the room less than 5 minutes. When I walked in it was obvious she had a significant decline in her health. I yelled out to the hallway for help and hit the code button near the head of her bed. She was unconscious and not breathing by the time help arrived.
Never caught her in the act at home but she left clues. We had been married at the time for 9 years when it came out. We both worked at the same company only different shifts,I was on day shift and her on nights. The thought of her cheating never crossed my mind until I noticed things were missing. Now we always had some condoms in our bathroom for when she was on her period for additional protection. One day as I was grabbing something from the medicine cabinet I hit the box and it fell out.
We must have been twelve feet apart, just the two of us. He didn’t know anything about me, as was clear from him reading my CV aloud as he went along, asking me meaningless questions about my experience. He was quick to point out that my research degree was in a field (elephant biology) which was unsuited to a career in surgery. I’m glad he drew my attention to that: for a while there I had thought it was a golden ticket. Ah, Mr Scabies, I can see nothing gets past your eagle eyes.