* * Anonymous Doc: Ugh, I Touched My Snack

Monday, May 28, 2012

Ugh, I Touched My Snack

I've been bringing food to eat-- for dinner, and then snacks for later-- during my night shifts.  Nothing too exciting, but if I know I have a little treat to look forward to, I'm less likely to stab a patient in the chest with a piece of medical equipment.

I spend a little time before I leave for work packing everything in its own ziploc bag, wrapped in a napkin.  Best are things I can eat without touching at all -- granola bars, bananas, little snack bags I can pour directly into my mouth.  Second best are things I can keep wrapped in the napkin and carefully eat that way -- cookies, a sandwich.   There is no third best.  I will not eat anything I have touched.  I know what lives here.  Aside from my cockroach friend (still here! yay!), of course.  I try not to touch anything, but I can't be 100% vigilant. Door handles, faucets, paper towel dispensers, patient charts.  I am contaminated the moment I walk in.  So if I touch anything, it's over.  It does not go in my mouth.  I've had a couple of unpleasant viruses over the three years, and have learned my lesson.

I was so excited about tonight's treat.  A homemade brownie.  I didn't make it, but someone did!  And as I carefully opened the ziploc bag and started to push the edge out to take a bite... somehow I pushed too far and it tipped out, fell into my hand... and, uh, nope.  Into the trash.  I'm probably crazy.  And what a waste of a brownie.  But I don't want norovirus.

18 comments:

  1. I understand completely! I'm try so hard not to touch my husband's dirty scrubs. While he used to bring them home all the time, he now leaves them at the hospital. Yet, every now and then I still have to wash them and I basically use rubber gloves when handling them and then spray the gloves with Lysol.
    I don't think I would've eaten the brownie either...

    ReplyDelete
  2. homemade brownie? made by the lady friend? please update. also what are you doing post-residency?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Is hospital really that "nasty"?
    i think my resident never took a shower before he came to see me. (too busy)
    but now i learn...lol~

    ReplyDelete
  4. "but if I know I have a little treat to look forward to, I'm less likely to stab a patient in the chest with a piece of medical equipment."

    Exactly.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sorry about the wasted brownie. I would've done the same thing. Perhaps you should've shared it with your bathroom buddy. I'm sure he would have loved it.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm moving into an apartment that a surgical resident lives in now. I'll be spending my first week disinfecting the hell out of that place!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Just sayin', the hungry intern next to you would have glady eaten that brownie you tossed into the garbage

    ReplyDelete
  8. Agree with the 7:23 Anon...is there a brownie-making lady? What's going to happen after residency? Do share!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I completely understand. I avoid germs like the plague. But I can/will eat things that I touch, only because I am an AVID handwasher. I wash my hands after almost everything I do. So whatever I eat post handwashing, is free of any germs I would've had on my hand.

    ReplyDelete
  10. You know, they have medicine that can help you with your problem.

    ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Did anyone else read the title as "Ugh, I Touched My Sack"? Just me?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL! You're not alone ;)

      Delete
  12. LOL! Yes, I must admit I first read it that way the first time too.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I recently acquired norovirus from the hospital I work in... and learned my lesson, but not after I caught the flu two weeks later (I did get the vaccine, but lo and behold, hanging out in a hospital I was exposed to a strain that I was not vaccinated against). LESSON LEARNED.

    ReplyDelete
  14. When I volunteered for a while in an ER, I would come home and immediately take off all my clothes, turn them inside-out, put them in the hamper, and get in the shower. No hugs and kisses, no saying hi to my doggies, no touching my mouth or nose or eyes. I've seen what hospital people do and it is FOUL. FOUL I SAY. I told you the story about the resident who licked baby-vomit before.

    I had norovirus on a camping trip a couple of years ago. It was memorable. There was a brief period of time where I thought I might actually die of pooping. And nothing is better than having to throw up while you're pooping. IN THE GODDAMNED WOODS, miles from civilization, with half the people on your in-laws' huge family camping trip pooping and throwing up all around you. This is why I will never go on a cruise ship.

    Better safe than sorry, is what I'm saying. If I get into med school, I will be joining you in the ranks of the paranoid.

    --kris

    ReplyDelete
  15. I was working in the ER the other night when I heard a man screaming at the top of his lungs. Turned out to be one of our Behavioral Health guests sitting bare-ass naked right on the floor in the main hallway. One of the other nurses said, "and THAT'S why the 10-second rule doesn't work here."

    ReplyDelete
  16. Ah, isn't hand washing and the lovely Super Sani-Cloth Germicidal Disposable wipes enough???

    ReplyDelete
  17. Crikey, I'm a HUC and just googled norovirus. Gross gross gross. I usually go home immed and change my clothes (I do not wear scrubs) ... and recently due to laziness I've kept them on and have gone to people's houses. UGH. I'm so ashamed now knowing what I could have done... thanks to the comments I just read, I'm going to be better prepared!

    ReplyDelete