Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What were they thinking?

In my day, I've seen many bizarre things in the hospital workplace. Several years ago, there was the 75 year old female visitor of a patient who was clad in a short miniskirt that left nothing to the imagination. Nothing. We often found her in the bed of her critically ill partner. When we rounded on the room, which is something done as a group, she hopped out of the bed and began to flirt madly with the physician who looked like a frightened deer in the headlights. She was a one woman show--I'm thinking The Vagina Monologues--and monumentally overwhelming.

Of course, I've seen my share of body art done in places one would not expect. There was the man who had xoxoxoxoxo tattooed all the way around his personal appendage. Perhaps in his heyday it was the talk of the pub, but at his end, it was the talk of the stepdown unit. Hanging there limp, the poor thing was rather unimpressive necessitating the use of bright lights and magnifying lenses to make out the writing. I can't help but think that was one heck of a spot to elect to stick needles and ink and I wondered how wasted he was to even consider it in the first place. Since that time, I've occasionally reflected on how I want people to think of me when they look at my decrepit body laying in a hospital bed. Though I've a couple of tattoos myself, I've placed them in spots that aren't likely to draw too much attention.

Not long ago, I saw a patient ambulating the halls of the cardiac unit with a woman I presumed to be his wife, and his ten year old son. The boy was towing the patient's oxygen tank, helping his dad to walk. At first glance the sight warmed my heart and then the man turned the corner. On his tee shirt, in rather large print, was the proclamation: Experience Menage et Trois. In the first place, this man could barely put one foot in front of the other and in the second, it didn't appear he'd ever experienced a threesome. What was he thinking?

Try as I may to be nonjudgmental, occasionally, patients make me scratch my head in wonder. If it's ever me ambulating those halls as a patient, I'll not wear a tee shirt that proclaims I play with needles. Wouldn't want the staff to get the wrong idea now, would I?

15 comments:

SkippyMom said...

One of the reasons I hate going to the hospital.

Silliyak said...

Years ago I overheard a young women telling a friend she wanted a tattoo so when she was old people would think she had been cool. This gave me the idea (only) for a tattoo on the butt crack that said "Wipe Here" with an arrow

Denise said...

Back when I hung out with ambulance workers, we all said we were having D.N.R. tatooed to our chests. I alway said that I would probably get an idiot who think it was someone's initials.

You should come to Tucson. Some of things you would see...... and that's not even in the hospital.

Hope you are feeling better and are over your cold.

(Queenmothermamaw) Peggy said...

Oh that is a good story. I was a hospital nurse a few years back before all the tattoos got so popular. Of course folks had them but not to the extent they do today. Looks like your weather is similar to ours. It was 67 in my house this a.m. A little too cool for old bones and joints. Happy Easter dear Rudee and family.
QMM

Finding Pam said...

I can't imagine the sort of stuff you have seen while working. My first thought on the man's t-shirt was mabe he bought it at a garage sale.

My mother's last husband would buy things at garage sales. He would wear a pair of coveralls with a man's name on it. Of course it wasn't his name.

Happy Easter.

The Bug said...

When I was young I actually listened to the people who said, "what will that tattoo look like when you're 80?" Of course I was easily swayed because I'm slightly needle phobic. But I think I'd like a tramp stamp. If I could get it under general anesthesia.

Stephanie V said...

Definitely something to think about: that last view the world will have of me.

I had one second's thought over the tattoo thing a few yeras ago - it seemed romantic at the time - and promptly rejected it. Same reason I don't have pierced ears...it just seems wrong to me.

bettyjf1 said...

That's great! I've often worried about those moments.. GLAD I don't have ANY tatoos to cause a nurse to question my sense LOL

Charlene said...

You have just got to stop being so judgemental. SMILE

NCmountainwoman said...

I once had a patient whose pubis tattoo had the words, "Watch for the swinging boom." He explained about being young and drunk.

Gail said...

I want DNR tatooed on my chest.

Brenda said...

I don't have any tattoos. I never ever thought of getting any...so I don't get it. I don't think my kids have any, but some of their friends do. I do have a gigantic scar where I had 5 different surgeries.

Sandy said...

haha...fun post....

distracted by shiny objects said...

I had a patient once..."Sweet" and "Sour" on his nipples, "Joystick" on Mr. Happy...true story:>)

sapphireblue said...

I went to a concert once where there were a lot of older ladies with tatoos wearing tube tops. I thought about melted wax. Thus, I don't have a tatoo.