Tag: Philip Allen Green

Data Druggies

We are data druggies.

We spend our days like desperate junkies crawling the carpet, sifting through the shaggy strands of patient histories with shaky fingers in search of facts. Every word our patients utter we feed to the never-ending demands of the electronic chart.

We find a fact and we enter it. The database grows. Someone somewhere adds another question we are supposed to ask our patients. We get back on our hands and knees. We start sifting once again.

Have you been to the continent of Africa in the last twenty-one days? Click. Do you or a loved one feel threatened at home? Click. How was your experience today? Click.

In the background the blood pressure cuff inflates, the quiet hiss filling the room. The monitor beeps along with the patient’s pulse, each ding another penny tossed into the ever-growing bank of patient data.Continue reading…

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.

Continue reading…