Monthly Archives: October 2012

ZOMG Stormageddon!

Well…I got home 6 hours early yesterday from Atlanta. Good thing I did, as the next plane was 45 minutes late, and the plane after that (the one I should’ve been on to begin with) was 90+ minutes late. Hartfield-Jackson Int’l Airport down there was nuts in advance of the storm, and Delta was tossing people onto planes as fast as they could. I didn’t get charged for going stand-by; I didn’t get charged for checking my bag; I didn’t get charged extra for nuttin’ yesterday. They just wanted me out of their city and back home as quick as I could be gone. Fine by me.

The weather had already started to close in by the time I landed, and the ride was bumpy. I’m sure the later flights were much worse, but the pilot only bounced us twice before settling us onto the runway, so I’ll count that as a win.

By this afternoon, there’d already been 2+” of rain in the past 48 hours, and that’s just the beginning. The wind hadn’t really even started to pick up yet much before dark. But once the sun went down, things really started rolling in from the east. Thot and I made a quick trip to the grocery, simply because lasagna sounded really good on a night like tonight. The store was quiet, and the shelves were well-stocked. It doesn’t seem like there was much panic all the way out here in advance of the storm, which is nice.

But as we were watching a movie and cooking dinner, we kept hearing the odd crashing and tearing noises from outside. I know I was outside once or twice, and I think Thot must’ve braved the elements 4 or 5 times at least (and deserves a medal for that!). My house is situated well into several stands of large, old Norway pine trees, most of which are 50+ feet tall. If they were all healthy? No problem. Unfortunately, many of the ones nearest the house have been damaged by Imprelis and are due to be removed, so I’m none too sure of how safe they are anymore.

Each time we heard a noise, it required a full-on expedition into the raging storm…garbed in weather gear and armed with flashlights.

No trees down.

Again, no trees down.

Still, no trees down.

Then, Thot finally found some shingles down off of my roof. Not a good thing, but better than trees falling. And given the cut on the shingles, probably just off of an overhang behind the kitchen. Of course, it’ll be until the end of the week before the storm is done and gone enough for a roofer to get up there…assuming I can get put on a list to get it fixed anytime soon, that is.

Of course, when he went to leave for the evening, Thot -did- manage to find one tree that had fallen. ACROSS THE DRIVEWAY. Luckily, it’s a long-dead tree, well-dried out. It was easy enough for us (with his bad back and my bad shoulder) to pull to the side. Of course, now I get to chop it up. Later. Much, much later.

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TGIF (for me)!

With my schedule and how my shifts are stacked, every other Tuesday night is my “Friday”, leading to my weekend. I’m off from now until midnight Monday night. And after these past few shifts, it’ll be a needed break.

Somewhere between the end of my shift Saturday morning and heading back in at midnight 16 hours later, the amount of patients through the ED went nuts. Wednesday? No problem. Friday? No problem. Saturday? Sunday? Tuesday? INSANE! Literally, in some cases. Adult emergency physicians usually see patients at a rate of about 2 patients/hour over the long haul. Pediatric emergency physicians usually see the kids a bit faster than that, given the overall slightly lesser acuity. EDs which are staffed with plentiful residents help to increase that number somewhat, but there’s still an upper limit. Seeing 6 patients/hour, hour after hour, shift after shift, is verging on the unsafe (if not pushing well into that region). No matter how good the nurses are (and they ARE), or how quick and agile the residents are (and some of them are just that good), it’s still on me in the end. It’ll be good to have a few days off.

But it’s good to know that my brain was working towards the end of my shift this morning. As I was finishing with one family, I asked if there were any questions. One of the adults in the room looked at me and said, “Yes. I have a question.” He looked very serious, very concerned, so I stopped and focused all of my attention on him. (By this point, my sense of humor had long since left the building…much like Elvis.) With a perfectly straight face, the gentleman asked, “Why don’t sheep shrink when they get wet, like my wool sweater does?”

Without even thinking, I snapped back, “Because you don’t put sheep in the dryer.”

He said, “Oh. Very good answer. I’ll have to think more on this,” and I walked out of the room to let the nurse finish the discharge.

I’m snickering over this now, several hours later. But at the time? Both he and I were completely straight-faced. I’m still not sure if he meant it as a serious question or not.

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