Just like last year, I had to work on 4th of July. This year, however, was a boring, normal shift. Which was a blissful change from the insanity of last year's holiday.
There are some things in health care which don't happen very often. So when they do, people generally shrug and say "guess it was about time." However, when several of those things occur on the same night (and the moon is full to boot) people start muttering more loudly.
Last year, on the 4th of July, I was six weeks pregnant with the Mimi, and having morning sickness. (Although I was completely in denial about the possibility of pregnancy, as I wasn't as sick as I'd been with the first one.) In addition to that, I also had a very strange patient load.
One of them discovered the hard way that yes, you can be allergic to Benadryl. Thankfully she survived the experience just fine.
And then there was the pregnant teenager who was having a sickle cell crisis...
But the patient who sticks out the most in my mind from that bizarre holiday weekend was the one I'll call "Joe." Joe learned the hard way that alcohol impairs your ability to tell if venomous snakes make good pets.
Joe was a local college student. And he and his buddies had been out drinking to celebrate the nation's independence. As alcohol is a diuretic, he soon had to heed the call of nature. (Bet you can guess where this is going...) As he was using the bushes, he saw a small snake.
(Wait, it gets better!) Because he had pet snakes at home, he thought this one might make a nice addition to his reptilian menagerie. So he tried to pick it up--and got his hand bitten for his troubles. After instinctively stomping the snake to death, he realized it was a copperhead. Although still lightly "buzzed," he had the presence of mind to put the dead snake in a Ziplock bag for official identification.
Arriving home, he had his mother drive him (and the dead snake) to the emergency room. By the time he got to my floor, his hand and arm were swollen to about four times their normal size. But after several days in the hospital and a round of CroFab , he was recovered enough to go home.
I really hope Joe had a much better 4th of July this year!