Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! I decided to finish off 2008 by breaking my right pinkie toe. It was stupid-- I was putting away laundry and just managed to stub it hard on the corner of the bed. I've iced it, buddy-taped it, and have been taking ibuprofen when I can remember to. Most of the time, it's fine, but it has caused me to hobble around and try to heel walk on that side at work the last two nights.

Behold, the unhappy piggy (ignore the sad state of my toenail polish):

All in all, 2008 has been a great year: I fell in love, ran a half marathon, had a great Alaskan adventure, and have signed a contract for my first "real" job. My family and friends are doing well, and I really can't complain. Overall, I feel happy and confident, and can't remember the last time that I have had so many things to look forward to.

2009 however, is off to a violent start. I worked the overnight shift, and despite starting out with an empty ED, it was crazy. At midnight we wore party hats and toasted each other with sparkling cider. We potlucked, and waited for the chaos. It finally started at about 1:30. Multiple patients with multiple stabbings, several overdoses, too many head lacerations to count, and every kind of skull fracture/head bleed combo imaginable: depressed fractures, non-depressed fractures, subarachnoid bleeds, subdural bleeds, intraventricular bleeds with impending herniation. That last one is going to turn into the first homicide of the year... our charge nurse was joking at the beginning of the shift that there should be a door prize for the first homicide of the year like there is for the first baby born in a local hospital (yes, we are a dark-humored group).

I spoke with AG this morning, and he sounded in good spirits (although getting tired of lobster, poor boy!).

So here's to 2009: Bring it on!


~~Silk said...

Um, ouch! That foot looks hurty! Just the toe? Xray? Ouch ouch!

~~Silk said...

Curiosity - how does New Year's Eve compare to St. Patrick's Day?

ru said...

My foot is having sympathy pains; your bruise is a pretty color though.

I think you have to have dark humor to work at an ED, otherwise it can be overwhelming. So did you come up with a door prize? Perhaps a canned ham would be appropriate.

I am glad that 2008 has been good for you. It's been a big year for me too--bigger than graduating college, actually. Have a wonderful year, and make sure to write plenty :)

Kate said...

I am a good bruiser, which will probably mean blood thinners will not be such a great idea for me in the future.

From the picture, it does look like the problem is more in the forefoot, but that's just the way the blood has pooled. All of the pain is just limited to the base of the toe. It actually does quite well when I'm barefoot, it's just the wearing shoes that cause more bumping around that cause me to limp. I decided not to get it x-rayed because I don't think it's a compound fracture, and even if it was, I have never seen a fracture to a smaller toe require surgery or anything more than tape.

It would have been fun to x-ray, but everything is digitalized at my hospital, so I didn't want to check in and deal with the co-pay. We have a new c-arm machine (fluoroscopy) where we'll be able to portably take pictures for reductions and stuff, but it's not actually in the department yet.

As far as St. Patrick's goes, I have only worked it once, and while we saw a whole lot of drunks and cuts, the trauma wasn't as bad. I don't think that it has quite the suicide rate that Christmas/Thanksgiving/New Year's does, and people seem to drink more with their friends than around their family members that they already have poor relationships with.

The worst results from bar fight I have seen was just on a typical weeknight. Five people got stabbed-- one died trying to drive himself to the hospital and smashed up his car, and two of the other four had to go to the OR. That was also the night when the metal detector and security door failed and the waiting room was filled with an angry mob.