Tag: Fiction

Status Epilepticus

flying cadeucii

The girl seizes. Her body torques and twists and jerks about like a snake trapped on an electric fence. She flops back and forth on the gurney before us, her pale forehead glistening with sweat, her brown hair wetted black from the effort of muscle contractions that threaten to tear apart her tiny frame.

Trauma Room Two is silent save for the gluck-gluck-gluck of her gagging as her jaw and teeth grind and bang together out of control.




Her body screams with each shimmy and shake.

Her father stands next to me. He strokes her head with trembling fingers, running them through her damp hair, trying to keep the strands out of her grimacing face. His fingers move in time with the rhythmic nod of her skull as the tonic-clonic seizure ratchets and cranks her body. I take a deep breath. I start my chant.

Break seizure break.

Break seizure break.

I say it in my head, I say it in my bones, I say it in every part of me, keeping time to her dance.

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Please Choose One

flying cadeuciiPlease choose one:

The three words blink in front of me on the computer screen.

Please choose one:
Patient is-

Male     Female 

I click FEMALE.

I watch as the auto-template feature fills in the paragraph for me based on my choices.

Patient #879302045

Patient is: 38-year-old female status post motor vehicle accident. Please acknowledge you have reviewed her allergies, medications, and past medical history.

I click YES.

Have you counseled her about smoking cessation?

I click NO.

A little animated icon of a doctor pops up on the screen. His mouth begins to move as if speaking. A speech bubble from a comic strip appears next to it.

“Tip of the day: smoking cessation is important for both the patient’s health and part of a complete billing record.”

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