I almost killed my patient today!

Thankfully, it wasn’t my fault. Thankfully he wasn’t real but rather a robot. And thankfully, it was just because my professor pushed a wrong button.

Still, it was terrifying when he stopped breathing. “Are you still there Mr. Jones? Can you keep breathing for me? On no! Please, please just start breathing again!” Once he did start breathing he said something like, “I feel I could die.”

“Me too,” I responded. My Prof. started laughing at me… I think she has forgotten how scary it is when you kill your patient in front of your professor.

Once he started breathing, my professor came in the room playing an angry wife. We both lost it when she stuck her lip out at me. Apparently playing the angry, upset, exhausted, hungry wife of a dying patient is pretty fun, and funny when your poor student looks at you in horror when you start yelling at her.

I don’t think I failed the simulation, though. Which is really good. ;)

“What a lot of funny people it does take to make a world”

My major is special because it combines science and people skills and integrates them completely together. It makes it difficult when it comes to testing because people skills aren’t exactly measurable. However, the program also throws us into the path of many different types of people.

Between clinical patients and professors alone we have to use a multitude of communication techniques and people skills. One of our recent assignments was to go out into the community somewhere, find a senior citizen and interview them.

Where on earth was I going to find a senior citizen? There is one couple at church over the age of 70, but I wasn’t going to use church as a means to do my school it on Sunday.

So, I started looking around for senior citizen communities. This afternoon I called one up and asked if I could go there and talk to anyone sitting in the living room. They gave their OK, so I put on semi-professional clothes and headed over.

When I first got there, the living room was virtually empty. “Great,” I thought, “there’s no one here to talk to!”

There was one lady, but she was very interested in her medical bills. I interrupted, though, and asked her if she had a few minutes. “Sure!” she said. I guess it gets pretty boring sitting in that living room.

I talked to her for a while. She was 82 and had COPD, was on O2, and had grown up in IN. I asked her some of her favorite memories from high school and she told me about the dances they used to have at lunch time in the recreational room (they danced the Jitter Bug! All I could think of was Cheaper By the Dozen.) She met her husband at Indiana Beach during a big dance there one summer, and a summer romance turned into a marriage of almost 30 years before he died in ’79.

Right about then, another, slightly younger lady come and sat on the next couch over. (I never found out the names of these ladies. The first lady I nicknamed Flo and the second I nicknamed Gypsy, which I think was actually her nickname. ) Flo told me that Gypsy was really the one to interview, so I asked her if she minded and she said, “Oh no! Go right ahead.”

And boy, did Gypsy have an interesting story. She was married four times (one of her husbands, #3, just disappeared and was never found, either by Gypsy or the police.) She had breast cancer (which ended marriage #2), lost her first born son in an accident (ending marriage #1) and attended every class with husband #4, who was deaf, while he got his bachelors and doctorate. She took care of her baby brother, a Marine who was in the honor guard of Jimmy Carter, went to Vietnamn twice, and came home with nurses training, (and who went on her first date; the guy never asked her out again) until he died of cancer.

I asked her about her favorite memory of high school too.

“Oh my!” she giggled. “Well, let me tell you. I was out late one night with some friends. It was a Saturday night and we were driving one of the country roads off of 25. There were four of us, Rags, Diane, myself, and Tommy. It was Rag’s car and he accidently hit a skunk. Well, he and Tommy got an idea. So they wrapped the skunk up in some rags from the trunk and stuck it in the car. Then we drove over to West Side High. The boys left us in the car and they strung that dead skunk up on the flag pole. You see, we went to Jeff and we hated each other!”

To this day there is still bad blood between Jeff and West Lafayette high schools. It was an interesting afternoon, to say the least.

What a funny lot of people it does take to make a world.