Monday, June 30, 2008

It's Ebola, Now You're Gonna Die

This has happened before. Must be all the rude transplants from Ohio or something [late edit: this is a local joke, if you are reading this from Ohio, I'm sure you are a very lovely person and please, ya'll come back now, hear?] because my momma would whip my behind with her wooden rice spoon if I ever was so rude to a complete stranger.

The scene, the line at a local store. The time, well enough past my bedtime this morning. My attire, a rumpled pink scrub set with matching hospital ID tag.

Complete Stranger: Eww. What is that thing on your arm?

Me, groggy, sleepy: Huh? (look down at arms, they look like my arms)

CS: That. (points) That big red lump.

Me: Oh, that! That's a PPD bleb. It tests for tuberculosis.

CS: (leans back) You got TB?

Me: No, I work in a hospital and we have to get tested for TB every year.

CS: Why?

Me: Shut up, I'm tired and I have a sore throat.

Oh, wait, I just thought that. We aren't allowed to be rude while in uniform. FloGale would haunt us and give us bone spurs and hurt backs.....wait..hmmm.

Me: Because there is a higher risk of exposure to TB when you work in a hospital so we are required to be tested once a year, more if you work with patients who have or who are at high risk for TB.

CS: But why is it all swoll up like that?

Me: Because I just had it placed half an hour ago and there is an initial local reaction.

CS: But won't you get it if they keep injecting you with it every year?

Me: OMG how fucking stupid is the general public?

Sorry, Flo, just kidding again.

Me: No. They don't use live TB for the tests.

CS: It looks gross.

Me: Thanks.

I guess I should have been happy that CS just wanted to point out how freaking gross the small round spot on my forearm looked. Most people want to show me some infected weeping boil or something equally as nasty and ask my opinion. Or tell me about their hemorrhoids. Or ask me whether they should be taking this or that medication.

Like I'm supposed to freaking know. If you are over 10 days old, I don't know what to do with you.

This is why nurses will kill you if you blow their cover in public, especially when there are old people around.

Thor sez: I yarked up a hair ball in the hall, can you take a look and tell me what you think? I'm thinking I need a better grade of cat food and three times a day brushings, followed by a catnip party.

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