Saturday, March 10, 2012

Vaseline and other DanGeroUs Ingredients!

I have extolled the many uses of vaseline on here before, haven't I? The virtues of the simple, cheap product are endless and a main staple in my life.

It helps dry heels. Put on socks though at night to trap the stuff from ruining your 6ooo thread count sheets. I don't have those, but I imagine you wouldn't want to ruin them. And you want the vaseline to stay moist on your feet.

The blessed tub of light yellow greasyness helps dry cuticles, exzema, dry knees. It's amazing, I tell you! It outperforms ANY moisturizer on the market. Period. Greasy, yes. But it works. And it comes with aloe in an equate brand from Wal-Mart for change you can find in the parking lot or your couch.

So you can imagine when I was at EIRMC, had hustled over there without some chapstick, and was finally so parched on my lips that when I requested the simple, cheap, ordinary componenet; was shocked to have the nurse reply with a well rehearsed sigh and explanaation

"The hospital doesn't carry it anymore."

The comment came out sincerely apologetically.

But being a bit disoriented and surprised that it was taken off the shelves along with the current medication shortages I became somehwat confused as this fact mulled in my head:

"A hospital without vaseline?"

The kind nurse continued:

"If ya think about it," "Petrolleum. Pet rol." She slowly sounded out the last sylablles for emphasis.

Immediately I bit my lip and was transported to a classroom at some point in my history of education, and tried to rack my brain for understanding.

Here's what happened:

First I thought of Maverick gas station. Gas going into a car, yeah, a fire could light up.

Second thought came of these oil refineries in Salt Lake City that I passed daily on my commute to work in the city; the plumes of smoke going up into the air- adding to the bad air quaility, I guess?

I couldn't quite get a grip on why I couldn't use the stuff to put on a "wound" in the hospital that had actually come from a Dr. order. So I squinted hard and was in front of Einstein, writing on his chalk board about the Relative Theories and Light Speed

and it just made me feel stupid. (I didn't quite understand math that well in school.) so I sat in my bed looking at the nurse confudlled. A word I made up just now.

Thankfully, she gave me some time to wrap my mind around this complex math equation dealing with Petroleum Jelly and its unavailability in hospitals by jabbing a needle in my arm.

At this, my mind was transported to a middle eastern country, where there were innocent looking buildings where they built bombs. And lining the walls of the building were all the tubs of vaseline; stockpiled. Most likely purchased from Wal-Mart at a discount price!

Why those dirty..... I began to think. But then was reminded that I still needed some vaseline.

"So what should I do about such and such?" I asked the nurse while she stuck another vein.

"We have ky jelly." She said encouraginly, a little bothered I was interrupting her while she worked no doubt. --Ya gotta concentrate on those veins, ya know.

Wincing a little as the needle struck valve or nerve, I tried to explain how the jelly wouldn't work under the situation:

"Isn't that water based." I said with a slight dizzy spell coming on.

"Well, of course." she said as she pulled the unsuccessful attempt at a vein from my arm and pressed a cotton ball to the red polka dot surfacing on my skin.

"Can you hold this?" she asked as she gathered the materials for I.V. placement up and I held the cotton ball tightly to my skin to prevent a big bruise.

Shifting gears, I asked if I could have a heating pad. She turned around quickly, narrowly missing my nose with the syringe that had my blood on it and said disappointedly: "Ohhh! There are only 2 or 3 of those that "rove" around the floors. And besides we'll have to have the Dr. okay that. They are actually called K-paks."

Another confusing moment came across my face and I felt like I was in Mrs. Taylor's Honors English class trying to dissect a sentence.

"Sooo.. that's a no?" I gave my best guesstimate.

The happy, bubbly, helpful nurse threw the contaminated waste in the red recepticle and said: "Of course not! We can write this down on your dry erase board, and when you Dr. comes to see you, you can talk to him about it."

She grabbed a black marker and scribbled: KY Jelly, K-Pak and then my last request; some Talcolm powder on the board and skipped out of my room. Meanwhile two different people came in and took blood and talked about a blood transfusion or something.

This got my attention, since I'd had an I.V. already placed in the E.R., had a nurse try a few times and fail to get it in another location, and had already given blood samples that didn't seem to fit the bill for a transfusion.

When I asked my nurse why, she assauged my fears that it wasn't me they were giving it to but the old lady across the hall!

But when anotherm white jacketed person came in and went for my arm, I garnered all my mental faculties and said; "Now, I know my blood count is off a bit, but do you think it warrants or is necessary for a blood transfusion?"

She told me the Dr. Ordereded it. My nurse came back in and I tiredly relayed this mix up to her, and she exclaimed: "Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh! They must think you are the person's across the hallway!"

As if we'd both discovered the math equation Einstein developed at the same time, we rejoiced in the light bulb moment for a few brief milliseconds.

My eyes got big with excitement at this achievement, I nodded and then croaked out: "Well, maybe we ought to tell them [white coat people] to go get her/his [person across the hall] blood match, just in case we have different blood types?" I sat waiting for her analysis of my postulation.

"For Sure!" she said happily and exited the room.

Feeling that same way the guys in Houston do when they get a Shuttle back to earth safely, I laid my sweaty head back onto the bed to rest. I half debated calling and telling my parents about the fiasco, or texting it. But then just opted to tell them whenever the right moment arose. Like on our next family vacation when there is a quiet opening for a funny story, or lull in the conversation, as we sit around the camp fire.

A few days later the Dr. came in and approved my requests dry erase board request. However, on the last one, the talcolm powder request, he looked up at me from his chair through his round spectacles and asked lawyerishly yet kindly; "Now, Why do you need the Talcolm powder?"

Immediately I felt like I was in co-horts with those vaseline hoarders in the foreign country hoarding our vaseline in shelves along the walls.

However, I garnered the strength to tell the truth; that it was nice to help me feel dry.

Well, that's the Reader's Digest version of my explanation. But the whole while I was telling it I remembered a story a nurse had told me years ago about a little baby that had inhaled it while getting a diaper change; ended up dying and she'd said she just banned it from her home for safety reasons. So this was whirling through my head and I wondered if this might be like the vaseline and had been banned from the hospital. I took my chances- stuck to my guns, and asked for the powder.

As I waited for the verdict,I bit my lip and waited.... He was scribbling some stuff on my chart and so I had to kind of wait a minute but then....

He said 'Yes'!!

I felt I'd won a very important trial with the Supreme Court of our Nation! It was an exhilerating feeling and I could finally understand the pride lawyers derive when justice is actually achieved in our court system!!

After this conversation, this "win", a very interesting heating pad came to my room. An LPN from another floor brought it into me. It was a moisture-type contraption, with two clear tubes leading to and from a light green corrugated, rectangular piece of plactic-ish material.

However, it did supply heat when plugged into the wall. No wonder it was named "K-pak", because it had no resemblance to a heating pad other than the virtue that it supplied heat.

I wrapped it in a towel, to keep it from burning or whatever, or maybe I was trying to be sanitary about it all since all 8 floors shared the 2 or 3 K-paks available. And then I put it on my stomache to ease the discomfort. It was also attached to a machine that looked like a humidifier. No wonder all the fuss, right?? We are talking heat, electricity, and moisture. All dangerous things and better warrant a good reason!

And You won't belive this! Eventually some KY was brought in. It didn't really work. But after I told the Dr. about the need for a stronger healing agent, he said my mom could smuggle some of my vaseline into me! Wasn't that nice? I felt a bit guilty going against the Petrol dealio, but heck, the Dr. okay-ed it! I felt like a bandit breaking all sorts of protocol!!

Some powder from the Nursery level on the floor first floor came a day or so later. On it in big letters was a sticker, indicating who and what it was for. I felt sorta sheepish about that but my nurse made me feel better.

That day's nurse was male, 6' 3" teddy bear of a person who wrestled in college and even took a national championship! We joked about all the red tape of the previous days, the blown veins, the vaseline crisis, KY Jelly, and the powder.

"Wulp, here's what I can do." he said in an authoritative take charge attitude and leaned in to whisper; "I can go down to the vending machine and just get ya some water." He looked both ways, checked the hallways for other co-workers then continued: " Bottled water. Filtered bottled water! And ya can just pour that on your wound!"

"You'd do that for me?" I asked leaning in closer to him and staring directly into his eyes.
He firmly nodded. But put a finger to his lips. I nodded as well and said:


As he left my room, carrying the tray of my hospital food, which made it look like a mouse's in his big pawed hands. Before he left he'd written on my dry erase board, that was a few days behind what day of the week it was and my goals for my stay; that I wanted to GET OUTTA THERE.

A year later the Dr. came in and saw his note up on the white board, gave the "go ahead" to release me with a scribble of a pen, dusted the cob webs off my hair and eye lashes and left the room.

Ya-hooooo!!! Can you imagine how excited I was? And can you imagine the wax build up in J's ears that piled up the whole time I was gone? I HAD to get the heck outta there so I could examine them, take a dangerous Q-tip to them and clean them out for crying out loud!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Disclaimer: This is a tall tale. Some events, people, and circumstances have been fabricated for the benefit of the author. Please note that nothing sharper or smaller than your elbow should be inserted into your ear.

Also note, I did NOT ask persmission for any pics posted in this post. Wal-Mart, Sinclair, Einstein, please notify me if I need to find a lawyer and face any sort of ramifications, etc. I am too ill to take a pic of the refinery in SLC, or of my vaseline in the bathroom. Please understand. And Einstein, well, I think he'd be okay with me using the pic because he also struggled in math and did have quite a sense of humor. But.... I am infringing. I'm sorry. Can I plead the 5th... ??

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