A medley of drunk conversations
-Lou Reed is dead! I can’t believe Lou Reed is dead!
-Really? I hadn’t actually heard, it’s not like you’ve been saying it all night.
-What am I gonna do if Bob Dylan dies?
-I dunno, what will you do when Bob Dylan dies?
-First David Foster Wallace and now Lou Reed.
-LOU REED IS DEAD!!
-You’re in Medicine too?!
-YEAH! I just, JUST decided to stay in Medicine.
-What were you going to switch to?
-I was so close to switching to English and Maths –
-English and Maths!
-ENGLISH AND MATHS!!
(much hugging and jumping around)
-I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU DO COCAINE!
-WHAT’S COCAINE LIKE?
-CAN I DO COCAINE WITH YOU SOMETIME?
-I hate all men, myself, and all girls.
-In that order.
-In that order.
-It’s so accurate!
-Hey, can –
-Can you all keep it down? It’s –
-It’s really late, and we have neighbours. OK, night.
Conversation between “Mary” & “Anne” on train to Thurles.
Mary: awful weather we’re having isn’t it? I was only saying to John the other night, we’re lucky we haven’t been swept away altogether!
Anne: Bloody disgrace is what it is Mary! I can’t go anywhere. I haven’t been to the hairdressers in 2 weeks – sure my hair is an inch grey!!
Mary: ah would you stop it Anne, sure mine’s just as bad, if not worse! I don’t know what I’ll do.
Anne: Come here, isn’t that one of Bridie Ryan’s young ones? Up there to the right; long curly hair, big nose and glasses, do you see her?
M: Ahra that couldn’t be one of hers, sure they’ve not left school yet.
A: I’m tellin’ ya that’s one of Bridie’s, that’s Marie Ryan, I’m nearly certain it is. Sure isn’t one of them doin Teaching in St. Pats?
M: That’s right! Sure didn’t I get the ear blown off of me when she got the offer! She only rang to rub it in, that her one got the Teaching and our young one missed it by 5 points!
A: Ah it’s an awful unfair system the Leaving Cert business. And it puts so much pressure on them I think!
M: WHIST! She’s comin this way – look at the size of her, Jesus Christ she looks bloody Anorexic!
(Tall slender girl passes)
A: Hello love.
M: now didn’t I tell you it was her! God she’s the spit of the father anyway.
A: do you think so? I would have said she looks more like her side of the family.
M: Ah no she’s the spit of Paddy’s younger sister, ah what was her name again?? Ah you know the one who had the affair with that solicitor fella from outside Kildare.
A: I know who you’re on about – I don’t see it myself to be honest. Tell on anyway about the affair, I never heard that!
M: ah you did, she used to be goin up and down to Dublin for these meetings, apparently she met him there! They said he was only married about 3 years when it all started. She herself was newly engaged to Mary Lowry’s eldest fella.
A: Ah would ya stop! Christopher Lowry? Sure he’s the nicest fella you’d ever come across, what in the devil’s was he doing with her?
M: Haven’t a clue Anne to be honest with you, but sure didn’t the fool take her back when he found out about it all! The feckin’ eejit!
(Girl returns passed the women to her seat)
A: She’s a good looking one alright isn’t she?
M: didn’t get it from Bridie’s side anyway! Each one as ugly as the next!
A: and yet they all managed to snatch good lookin’ fellas with huge incomes!
M: Are you finished with the paper Anne?
A: I am. Nothing in it anyway Mary, all doom and gloom!
*Intercom: We will shortly be arriving at Thurles. Thurles Station next stop*
M: Have you everything?
A: I do Mary. Who’s collecting you from the station?
M: I told John to get me at 6. He’ll be like a hen on a hot egg havin’ to wait until now
A: ah ‘tis only 20 minutes late, he’ll be grand. If I get any gruff from my fella all hell will break loose I’m telling ya!
M: Listen mind yourself Anne, I’ll see you at some stage during the week
A: Bye Mary, God Bless.
Man: Wait, are you taking another selfie?
Woman: What? Just smile.
Man: No, you just took one over there.
Woman: No, this is for instagram. Just smile.
Man: Look, it’s cold, let’s just go.
Woman: If you had just smiled before, we would have gone already.
Man: Ok, fine, let’s do this.
Woman: No, it’s fine, I already took it.
Man: What? Can I see?
Woman: No, let’s just go.
I was already late; I was two patients behind where I should be, “why did the bus have to be late”, “why did that nurse in A&E have to distract me” and to top it all off, here he was, Mr O’Brien, one of the vains of my life, a serial offender. He was a homeless gentleman, who treats the hospital almost like a hotel. I really don’t have time for this, can’t they see I’m very busy. I took a quick look over his medical notes and then I walked down the corridor of the cardiology ward towards his room. It’s hard to describe, Mr O’Brien, his face was weathered and haggard looking, his cheeks were flushed, he was unshaven, with clumps of that morning’s breakfast still dispersed throughout his beard, I thought to myself “he can’t be too sick if he’s able to eat breakfast”. In the room there was a distinctive scent of stale urine which wafted from his cloths that were stalked in the corner. All I could think was how could anyone live like this? As I entered the room I took a deep breath partly to avoid the smell, but also to prepare myself for his usual spiel about having pains in his chest.
“Right, Mr O’Brien, you have pains in your chest”, “really”, “on your left side, you say”, and “your experiencing some light-headedness?”, “very interesting”. “Grand so, we’ll keep you in overnight to keep an eye on you”.
However I thought to myself, one night and then he’s out, we need that bed for someone that actually needs it.
After I saw Mr O’Brien, I met with my boss in the corridor, and he smiled as I walked towards him, “I see we have Mr O’Brien in again, anything of note”. “No, I think he’s just up to his usual tricks, it’s supposed to freeze tonight; he’s probably just looking for a warm bed”. “Are you sure, that don’t I need to see him?” “No I think, he will be grand, I reckon he’s just looking for attention”.
Then next day, as I arrived up the ward, I was greeted by chaos, the nurses were racing down the corridor, one of the nurses, ran up to me, “come quick, it Michael, he’s had a heart attack”. I thought to myself, “who’s Michael”. I then said it to the nurse, “who’s Michael”, “He’s one of the patient admitted him yesterday”, “I don’t remember admitting any patient named Michael”, she must be mistaken, I’m sure I didn’t admit anyone called Michael. We head down the corridor, towards the room, where Mr O’Brien had been the previous day. I was now certain that she was wrong, someone must have admitted someone else after Mr O’Brien was discharged, this is someone else problem, I really don’t have time for this, I’m too busy. I halted, mid-corridor and said to the nurse “I really think you have the wrong team” “I didn’t admit anyone called Michael yesterday” “someone else must have admitted him”, “it’s not my problem, it’s theirs”. The nurse was infuriated at my callousness and lack of urgency, “You definitely admitted him, its Michael, Michael O’Brien, you admitted him yesterday”.
Then it hit me, like a steam-train, it hit me so hard, it almost knocked me off my feet, the realisation that maybe Mr O’Brien’s chest pains were not just a figment of his imagination, had I missed it, he had had textbook symptoms, had I allowed my prejudice affect my judgement. Had I prioritised my own time over the time and needs of one of my patients? I began to get overcome my angst, the fear of what was going to happen to me, what would I tell my boss, what would be the repercussions of my action.
I entered Mr O’Brien’s room to find my boss stood over his bed, with a defibrillator in his hands, his sleeves rolled up and beads of sweat had formed on his forehead. Mr O’Brien lay in the bed, with a sheet pulled up over his face. My boss looked over at me, the disappointment completely evident from his face.
Did this patient died because of my prejudice, my poor observation skills or due to my neglect?