Thursday, February 15, 2007


Today was just one of those days where I didn't have time to eat. Between taking care of my sick patients, seeing new consults from other physicians, and finishing my operative cases for the day, I barely had time to go to the bathroom, let alone eat.

A full bladder is more miserable than an empty stomach, so if forced to make a choice, I always go with the bathroom.

After a full day of running around, I finally found some time to get a bite to eat. I hadn't eaten anything in about 7 hours. It got to the point where I was so hungry, that I stopped feeling hungry, and then got hungry again. Anyway, since I hadn't eaten or drank anything, there was nothing to pee out, so I now had time to eat. Except when I got down to the cafeteria, they were closed for cleaning.

So I trudge over to the vending machines. I've got a 5 and a 10. Nothing else. But then a resident I kind of know walks by.

I debate for a second whether or not to borrow any money from him. I hardly see this guy around the hospital, and I only know him peripherally, but just enough that he might loan me a dollar. As I'm sizing him up, he makes eye contact.

A fatal mistake, as I ask him for a dollar and he feels obligated to give me one. And with that borrowed dollar, I buy myself a Snickers bar.

As I'm walking towards the elevators to continue my afternoon rounds, I unwrap the candy bar, take a bite, and savor it. My stomach is now doing jumping jacks of joy. I'm lost in chocolate candy bar bliss when a man stops me for directions.

The first thing that kind of irks me, besides being stopped, is that he's standing too close. This guy is definitely one of those people that has no idea about personal space.

Man: Can you tell me how to get to the ICU?

Me: Sure. You have to take a different set of elevators. Follow these signs over here [I point to the signs on the wall] to the set of elevators located on the West Tower. It's on the 4th floor.

Man: West Tower?

And as he was saying "Tower", a small shower of spittle flies out with the letter "T". And out of the many, one droplet catches my eye, and I follow its path as it arcs in slo-mo from the man's lips to my candy bar.