Am here in the hospital, on call overnight.
In theory, there is a cot for me to sleep on. In practice, there will be no sleeping. Partly because too many of the patients are going downhill fast, and partly because the cot is absolutely filthy. There's either chocolate pudding on the sheets or... something that isn't chocolate pudding. And I'm going to insist it's chocolate pudding. Please let it be chocolate pudding. Or whatever, I'm not sleeping on it anyway.
Two families are here overnight, two patients who may or may not make it to the morning. One family understands what's going on, the other doesn't. The lesson here, drugs are bad news. In the private hospital, so many of the patients we see are there because of bad luck, twists of fate, illnesses beyond their control-- cancer they didn't do anything to cause, etc. In the public hospital, it was alcoholics when I was on regular floors, and in the ICU it's drug addicts. Normal 35-year-olds don't go into cardiac arrest. Normal 35-year-olds don't have liver enzymes off the chart. Under normal wear and tear, the body takes years to fail. 35-year-olds, even morbidly obese smokers, can still be doing okay. By 50, they may not be, and by 65 they almost certainly aren't, but at 35 the body can take a lot. Not if you smoke crack. Sorry. Forget about bringing kids to prisons to scare them into behaving-- bring them to the ICU and show them what these people have done to themselves. I do know some doctors who smoke, and don't understand how they can do it. I know doctors who drink, and don't understand how they can do it. But not even a moron could be a doctor and see the patients I've seen this week and decide that heroin or crack are safe enough to try even just once. You may as well throw yourself off a bridge.
In other news, my mother is trying to set me up with her friend's daughter's best friend (I think that's the connection), who just found out she'll be starting here as an intern this summer. We just became Facebook friends. So that's a start, right?