Sunday, September 26, 2010


No one, even if you enjoy your job, likes Monday mornings. Shit just goes wrong. You're not into a weekly routine.

This past Monday, like any other, was like that for me. It was just the kind of morning where you need to keep resetting your alarm for another 15 minutes of sleep, and in the end, you wake up raging that you need to now rush to get to work, while fighting with traffic and knowing that you still need to stop at Dunkin Donuts for your XL hot mocha, 2 splendas, skim, with a turbo shot. Slid into work at the :55 mark (usually I'm a good 15 minutes early, check my schedule, see which to truck I'm in for the day, and do my truck check before I even punch in) and the day started off like any other.

I was paired with one of my favorite mentors for my second one-on-one and we were off.

At around 11:30, we get a page for a transfer, standard, no needs. We show up to the hospital about 15 minutes early. Nurse is finishing up paperwork and the med nec. We're standing across from our patient's room, ready to introduce ourselves and ask for a sig, when, well... Shit goes down. Like MOVIE SHIT.

The room next to our patient's... goes into code mode. We hear it over the speaker. I look at my partner, he nods, and just to confirm what he meant, he mouths "go". Following his lead, I take off like a gunshot to the room and see this woman, appearing to be in her late 70s, not breathing. And I work. I get the bed down so that she's flat (I'm not sure if all hospital beds are like this, but ours are built and made to be able to do CPR on) and start going through the motions. I'm doing chest-compressions only at this point and humming "staying alive" in my head. I hear the rush of doctors coming, with the crash cart. I hear my partner yelling "DON'T STOP HIM, IT'S ADEQUATE CPR! DON'T STOP HIM!" and the doctors start to intubate. They stop me. Then the next thing I know, I'm seeing chest rise. The doctors have taken it from there.

I back away.

I walk past my partner, who I now see has an AED in his hand, head to the bathroom, and proceed to puke my guts out.

We don't stick around. We grab our paperwork, patient, and go.

I didn't think it'd get this cliche so quick.

Mondays mornings. No one likes Monday mornings.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Nope. I'm just awkward.

For as long as I can remember, I've always been an awkward person. There's always been little quirks, sometimes small things, as in how I word things on the Internet (I've been told twice now by two different people that they can in fact tell who I am when I'm -trying- to be anonymous, just from the way I type and word things)... Sometimes it's bigger things... I have a habit of walking on my tiptoes and it adds a sort of hop. It's something I've always done unknowingly until about 3 years ago when it was pointed out to me at my previous job... at which point, I acquired a certain unfortunate nickname... "Twinkletoes".


After that, I made a conscious effort to walk "normally" for the longest time to no avail. It didn't feel right. Then I stopped caring how it felt and just wanted to be seen as normal... and not have a awkward hop to my stride. If I focused, I could do it and then at some point, focusing became second nature and for the most part, I could pass off a normal walk... as long I kept it in the back of my mind somewhere to not let the hop take over. It worked... as I said, for the most part. Occasionally, in situations where I was forced to put all my focus on something else, perhaps because I was nervous, THE HOP WOULD RETURN.

The hop made itself known again at my job this past Friday. It returned with a vengeance.

My preceptor (I'll just call him Updraft, since that's what he calls it when he needs a smoke... "I need an updraft"... the first time I heard this, I thought the guy needed a nebulizer treatment, that is, until he whipped out his pack of menthols) pulled me to the side and asked me this:

"Hey... I'm going to ask you a serious question and I need you to be honest with me." Serious Updraft was serious. "Sure, man, what's up?" I asked, hesitantly. You always get worried when someone says something to you with an opener like that... Shit, I've only been on the job two weeks now and this guy is asking me something "serious"... What could have I possibly done? Oh wait, that's right... Earlier in the day, I almost forgot to get a signature from a patient, almost threw up on a patient due to not being used to riding in the back and having extreme motion sickness from typing up PCRs, and I almost dropped a patient... I know... I was readjusting but I caught him/myself from doing the unthinkable. It was a bad day all in all, truthfully and now I was about to get asked something "serious" by my mentor. Fuck. And then he drops this bomb on me:

"Do you have high functioning autism... or Asperger's? I only ask because of the way your posturing is, you happen to walk on your toes, and because you word things oddly in sentences. My son has it and has the same symptoms as you."

I was taken aback. I promptly said no and let out an uneasy chuckle... But then, I started to think about it a bit more and wondered if I did have either of those things? Had I ever been tested? Maybe I had and my parents were trying to protect me, because the symptoms were not -that- noticeable to the point where I couldn't lead a normal life?

It turns out that my parents thought the very same thing when I was young... And did have me full-blown tested for all sorts of things, including HFA and Asperger's.

Turns out... I'm just a fucking weird awkward kid. I could have told you that though.