The Heart Implant Journal
5 Dec 84
I swear! More problems with ICU”s “little Margie.” Things feel like they are straining at the seams. One-upmanship is going on with Margie now. I talked to Debbie about her last night and she said “little Margie” is about to be assassinated by the ICU and the CCU both. She called her a few choice names and wanted to know if I thought we should do anything about it. Lord have mercy. We have enough problems. The last thing we want is for that wretched Polly to sense any discord. She reminds me of the wicked witch of the West (or was it the East?) At any rate…the nasty one. I told Debby to hold tight, and just wait. Timing may be our allay. She is setting herself up. I also told Debby to not shoot until you can take deadly aim. I did hear that somewhere, sometime, and it is a good adage to keep in mind. She agreed, and when I went out to take report, several other nurses in CCU were so pissed off at Margie for various other offences, that they were loaded for bear. She had apparently, amongst many other things, been a blatant camera hog the day before. Apparently every time she saw a camera she got in front of it. It reminded me of the reporters on TV that are trying to make a report and in the background are these idiots waving and carrying on trying to get in the picture. Well, that’s Margie, only in a more subtle way. Lord, after writing all this I wonder if every segment of society is just a lot of people fighting to be king of the hill. Lansing is before the cameras all the time and did nothing surgically in the performing of the implant procedure itself. DeVries was responsible for the surgery and aftercare.
Dr. Gray was at our hospital until the artificial heart prospect came along and darned if they didn’t boot him to Jewish, and import Lansing and his foreign doctors from Jewish to us. And I don’t want to forget to mention…POLLY! Anyway, Dr. Gray just did another heart transplant (human to human…not the artificial heart) at Jewish. But it has been much overshadowed by our implant. Dr. Gray is a good man, quiet and competent. Not the showman that apparently was required for our project. He just didn’t have a big enough head for Humana. I’m glad he was able to do the first heart transplant in Kentucky though. He had his bit of time in the sun. God knows he deserves it. It pissed Dr. Lansing and his team off so bad it was a mighty gloomy day around Audubon. The day Dr. Gray stole their thunder and came through with the first transplant before Lansing’s team got any done was like a sad day in Mudville. He beat Lansing by three weeks. I, and all the nurses on our team cheered for Dr. Gray! There is just no love for Dr. Lansing and his doctors from Iran.
Taking care of Schroeder is really getting to us. He is just such an abusive man. Not just to the nurses, but to his wife as well. He is a hick and has been catapulted to what he sees as glory and is insufferable. The nurses now refer to his room as “the hole” and no one wants to work in the hole anymore. It was a real rush and privilege at first and there were other nurses who told us they would work with the artificial heart patient just for the experience, with no pay. We had to almost sew our lips shut in order not to say: HAVE AT IT! All he does is moan and groan and cough constantly. He orders everyone around like he is the king of the hill. And what started out as a challenge and carried fear now has turned into a chore with an ungrateful jerk. He is so obnoxious he has had his wife bring in a ring-a-ding bell to set at his bedside. He likes to play the game of telling the nurse to sit outside his room and then he rings his stupid bell and we are supposed to come like some dog! Now he’s constipated. Complains all the time and in no polite terms, let me tell you. We have had several staff suggestions on what to do about it. But…when they stood him up the next morning he solved his problem all over the floor.
All in all, I’m beginning to dislike Schroeder and I don’t want to feel those feelings. In some ways he has to be considered special, for all the obvious reasons. I really do try to keep this in mind, although the frustrations are many. I have asked for weekly meetings to talk things over with the other nurses on the team, and many have also asked for the same. We know that we need to have continuity of care, and a chance to air our feelings. But Polly has squelched that. She said if anyone had anything to say we could come to her. Yep! That’ll be the day! So on we go, one day at a time, and things keep getting worse.
To be continued…