Sunday, 17 April 2011

Night Shifts: Romance in the Gangrenous Air

Let me just start this off: This is not a love story. That is just my interpretation of what went down that fateful night in the Surgical ward . But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Let's start from the beginning and embrace the journey (the bizarre, strange, distorted journey)

It was a night shift and I was tired as shit (as usual). There were 4 dressings amongst other things that needed to be done and the resident wanted us to stay the night. Now I wasn't even supposed to be working that night, so one can imagine that my dismay was spectacular in size. I had 2 others with me but they were both girls and I knew for a fact, that they wouldn't want to share the load of the dressings with me.

Now I know what you must be thinking. Dressings aren't so bad. You remove the the old gauze with the old plaster and just pour some Betadine and put in some new gauze. It's mostly simple, harmless and quick. Not so in the Surgical ward of the ER hospital. No no no no. These people have bed sores. Pshh Bed sores? I've seen my grandmother get bed sores before. They're just discolored areas, why're you complaining Dr. A?

.........Bed sores can get infected. And when they get infected, they can either:

  1. Eat away the flesh of the person leaving an unbelievable 'raw area' behind as seen here (CAUTION: Not for the faint of heart. 
  2. Or they can get so bad that the person needs surgery to remove the dead tissue which is an even worse version of number 1.
Needless to say, bedsores suck, and you wouldn't believe the amount of people that die in our hospital over something as trivial as bedsores.

Anyways, that's when Girl came in. None of us had seen her before in any of our rotations but here she was, this blessed angel come to volunteer and help with the load. She said she was with us in the ER and they were closed (see earlier posts as to why ER has a wacky schedule of closing and opening) so she wanted to volunteer and help us out. She was spending the night too so she'd help in staying awake if anything needed to be done. 

AL-FUCKING-RIGHT! Volunteers are usually happy to do any work you throw at them. They're like slaves, only better because you don't feel guilty about abusing them. I had to go get blood from the blood bank so I told her to get started on the dressings and I'd come back soon as I can. 

Hour and a half  later (yes, I slacked off. Sue me.) I came back and there she was, talking to the patients, being over friendly and happy to help. I went up to her and asked how the dressings went. 
"Oh, I don't know how to do that but I wouldn't mind learning so can you show me?"
I grumbled but fair enough, she wanted to learn and I didn't mind showing her how it was done (because hopefully, she'd do all the rest. Yes Yes. I'm an ass) After going through one of the 'easier' patients and telling her what to do, we started talking about stuff.
"So, why aren't the girls helping you out?" she asked.
"It's alright, they find the work disgusting and they're still new interns so I don't mind if they don't do it at first. They're going to have to sooner or later."
"Wow, they're such wusses. I'm an old intern too just like you." 
"Oh no way? That's cool. Yeah, you know how the new interns look up to us. So we have to set an example."
"It's not like its a huge difference or anything. We're only ahead by 3 months or so."
"3 months?"

Bit of background info. I graduated late because I had to postpone one of my exams. So I should have finished 6 months ago, along with the rest of my friends. But now they're doing their residencies so I'm spending 6 months with the NEW interns. There's no such thing as 3 months. It's either 6 months or you're brand new.

"Yeah, ummm so I noticed you've got an accent. Are you not fully Egyptian?"
"Nope. Half Gulfie Half Egyptian. You?"
"Oh wow, I'm totally half Egyptian half Syrian. That's so cool! We're like the same!"
"Uh. Not really but I see your point. Anyways lets get done with the patient here."

Now this was my first alarm. She was obviously lying about being an intern. It only got worse from then on. The other interns and I started to notice that she hadn't really used a single medical term when describing anything.  Not to mention that she didn't know what anything looked like. She didn't know what a urine bag looked like. A Fucking Urine Bag. It's a god damn bag.  Things only got stranger as the night progressed. 
After the work was over, we were all sitting and talking, me on one side the girls on the other (because that's how shit rolls in a public government facility) and then she came in and sat RIGHT next to me. Hips were touching. Now I'm not conservative or anything like that, but here was this veiled girl that I CLEARLY don't know hip humping me. I got up and sat on another chair. She told me to come sit next to her. I told her I was more comfortable here thank you very much.  So the girls (the actual interns) decided to go to the kiosk and get some stuff to eat and drink, so they asked me if I wanted anything. 
"Some Chipsy and a coke would be great" I said .
They left and they took Volunteer girl with them. 
After about half an hour they came back and volunteer girl was no where in sight. 
"Oh hey guys, where's my stuff?" I asked hungrily.
"You'll never believe what happened. We got the stuff and just as we were about to pay, she freaked out and said NO I MUST PAY. So we let her pay and then she got a phone call and took it."
"So where is she now?"
"No idea."
"And she has my shit?"
"Goddamnit. Okay fine well she's gotta come back some time."

2 fucking hours later

"Sorry I'm late Dr. A. Here's your stuff. They didn't want to pay so I did. Hope you didn't mind. It's just that I was on the phone with my ex boyfriend. God, he's so mean. So are you single Dr. A?"
"Nope, have a girlfriend."
"Oh. Okay. Do you love her?"
"That's kind of private. Listen I'm going to go out and get some fresh air. Thanks for the chips."
And I left only to come back a few minutes later. There was a ruckus outside. A patient had died in one of the wards and all his friends and family were trying to knock down the door and kill us all. Normal stuff in the day of a doctor in the Kasr. Even the new interns got used to it. So I went back and told everyone to not go outside because of the crazy people. 
Volunteer girl screamed out loud jumped out of her seat, held onto me from the back (like a hug) and asked me to 'protect' her from the people.


I pushed her away and told her she'd be fine and we all slept in the room till it was time to sign out.  Now I had been talking to the other interns and we decided to corner her by telling her to come sign out with us when it was time to leave
. So we did exactly that soon as the clock hit 8:30 am. 
"Uh you guys go ahead. I've still got work to do here." she said.
"Ummm Volunteer Girl. We're the interns here. We know there's no work to be done. Come on. Let's go already."
"Uhhh. Okay. Let me just go to the bathroom first."
We waited in the resident's room for a few minutes. Then the funniest thing happened. She opened the door and RAN THE FUCK outside. We tried catching up with her but she was gone. Disappeared into the ether never to be seen or heard from again.

Now I talked to my friends about this. I had no clue what this girl was. My explanation was that she was some sort of news reporter trying to expose the inner criminal workings of the interns and the doctors inside the hospital. It was obtuse, but it was all I had.

A friend of mine then made things very clear to me.
"So she wasn't a doctor?" he asked.
"Hell no. She thought the blood picture report was a list of medication man! (one of the other stupid things she did that night)"
"And she was being over friendly with you that night?"
"Yeah. But that's because we're both halfies. Happens all the time."
"Think jackass. This girl came to 'volunteer' in the night shift, and was flirting with a doctor."
"Yeah, what of it?"
"She's looking for a husband dumb ass."
And suddenly, it all made sense. 
Her being super nice to me and super bitchy to the girls.
Her insisting on paying for my chips and coke.
Her making it clear she had no boyfriend.
Her touchy feely bullshit.

Apparently, this is not a one time occurrence. Alot of my friends have very similar stories of these 'night prowlers' looking for husbands who happen to be doctors. I can't help but think that, if this is a regular occurrence, it must mean that this has actually worked before. So to all you guys reading this who found love in the night shift in Kasr:

Make sure she's a real person.

PS: My girlfriend thought she was a ghost. Also a possible explanation seeing as how we never saw her again.

1 comment:

  1. Don't mock the ghost scenario. Remind me to tell you a story about that when I see you.
    PS: Abdelghanii tells that story better than I do.