Sunday, July 02, 2006

An Apple A Day Keeps The Redneck Away

A public service announcement from Killer

A while back at the hospital a fellow nurse and myself were doing our nursely duties by cleaning a nearly comatose, post vehicular accident patient. I understand this sounds less than desirable, but this is my world. The patient in question had a tracheostomy. For the layman, this is a tube stuck into a persons trachea to offer a secure and stable airway for assisted ventilation. You may be more familiar with the popular movie procedure that involves a swiss army knife and a bic pen ( I recommend you try to put a bic pen in your mouth and breath through it some time. The movies are not always as concerned with reality as they are with theatrics, but I have
digressed.) The tracheostomy plays a key role in this story. As we rolled the patient to the side in order to clean the nether regions, she coughed, which in turn, blew the vent tubing away from the tracheostomy and sprayed the room with sputum. Now, for a large fellow, I can move pretty quickly when threatened with bodily harm or disgusting bodily fluids that have become airborne. I managed to duck and avoid contact with the flying phlegm, but my counterpart, who is newer to the profession, was not so quick to maneuver away. In her defense, she was the only person who maintained a firm grip on the patient in a therapeutic and professional manner. In my defense, she caught a ball of syrupy green sputum directly in the eyeball, I did not.
An extended break was taken in order to research what diseases can be obtained when using the sputum as the transferring mechanism. It turns out that none of the big ones, HIV, Hep C, or Mad Cow Disease, are passed on soley by sputum. A sigh of relief was had.
Another issue was raised when the patient's family was taken into consideration. The family members that had been frequently visiting were, for lack of a better term, extremely redneck. This was exhibited by the men wearing only wife beater t shirts with cut off jean shorts, and the women folk wore halter tops and short shorts. Even though there would be as many as five visitors present at a time, there was only a combined total of eight teeth in the room.
Using this as a gauge I began to tell my coworker that her biggest concern should be that she might catch Redneck. I have a firm belief that this is a condition that can be passed along under certain circumstances. The coworker in question is a fairly normal 24 year old female, but I started to become worried that she might start having intense desires to go to a Monster Truck Rally and marry her cousin. I decided it was my duty as her friend and a healthcare professional to help prevent this outcome. We decided the only way to help build her immune system to fight off Redneck was to do as many non-redneck things as possible. It primarily focused on eating Sushi, avoiding farm animals and repeatedly telling herself that, "I hate George Bush."
So far this has worked. It has been several months and she still does not think Jeff Foxworthy is funny, so the prognosis is good. I feel I was uniquely qualified to handle this case since I was born and raised in the deep Southern region of the U.S. and have yet to contract Redneck myself. There are simple steps to take to avoid catching Redneck on a day to day basis. Don't walk around outside barefoot, you might step in some tobacco spit and it could seep into a cut in your foot and that is an almost guaranteed transmission route. Always cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough. If you don't then other Rednecks might mistake you for one of their own and gather around you to discuss hunting and/or fishing. This is a high risk for transmission only because in such high doses Redneck can become airborne like tuberculosis.
There are several other useful tips to avoid catching Redneck, but I have to wrap this blog up. Another fellow nurse of mine, who is from San Francisco, just sat down next to me with a People magazine. I have had a cold recently and since my own immune system might be compromised I need to move away. I don't want to catch Gay.

1 comment:

mom said...

who the heck would leave San Fran voluntarily to work in Memphis? I know it can't be the money that lured him there, he must have been kicked out; so maybe he's not gay after all.