Work tales

Well I’m months behind in this again, but here we go.

I love my job. Really love it. Working as a clinical pharmacist in a hospital really ticks all the boxes of what I want to achieve professionally, and to some degree personally.

Throughout my illness, work has always been something that I aimed to return to, and for someone with no motivation, that little motivation was something to take seriously.

So getting back to any job was a boon, getting back inside a hospital on official terms was exciting, and returning to work in the emergency department was beyond awesome!! I’m very happy, and there are some opportunities coming up that could be thrilling so hopefully things are going to stay on the up and up.

But you know what a return to the emergency department, hereafter the ED, means, don’t you? Stories! Of course I do not violate confidentiality. You will not ever learn names, dates, ages, addresses, significant medical details etcetera. But there are some adventures that must be shared for posterity’s sake.

Like, for instance, the case of the the missing front plate.

When you walk into a cubicle and find a guy with four missing front teeth, you don’t expect him to be…well…old! Right? Or am I ageist, or whatever they call discriminating against people by their age? I just figure that fist fighting and knocking out teeth is more of a teens/twenties/thirties-if-you-really-still-haven’t-grown-up thing, right? Not so much a mid-70 year old. Anyway, a man missing 4 front teeth. Turns out the teeth were the reason that he had come into hospital. He tipped out his morning medications into his palm as usual, got a glass of water ready, threw the pills into his mouth as usual and swallowed them down with the help of the water as usual. What was not usual is that he hit his front plate with the palm/side of his hand as the medications went in and swallowed that down too! I’m not talking he choked on his 4 teeth attached to a metal bracket and coughed them up, and I’m not talking he retched on them and vomited them up…I’m talking swallowed them down past his choke reflex, past his gag reflex, then through his oesophageal sphincter and past this into his oesophagus where they got lodged!! The sphincter and oesophagus by the way are very small – have you ever swallowed too big a piece of meat through your sphincter and down your oesophagus? Painful! I don’t actually even know how the teeth were physically able to happen down through the sphincter! The surgeon was very nervous about the idea of the plate having already perforated the oesophagus. Either way, perforated or not, that oesophagus had to be opened up to get the plate out, and I understand the surgeon’s nerves about that; contents of the digestive system should not be mixed with the rest of abdomen: strong acid, bacteria, half digested matter are meant to be contained and infection was a real risk. But let’s not lose the punchline of the story in the details: the guy swallowed his teeth right down into his oesophagus!!

Well that’s just one to keep you going. There’ll be more, don’t worry about that! But I wanted to send a little something your way to say thank you for reading, sorry it’s been so long, I’ll once again try to keep it a bit more regular this time, and chat soon!

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