Friday, 2 November 2012

"Yo! Morse!"

Pittsburgh A lovely city
This blogging thing cracks me up.
I post a throwaway post outlining a somewhat nauseating segment about anal sacs and
I think we have all found our level.
Anyway it may surprise you to read that I can be rather squeamish especially when eye and finger injuries are concerned.
Of course I am generally not at work.
I was taught many years ago, when you are faced with something unpalatable on the ward
It works.
Try It.

Many years ago I had the opportunity to go to Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania on some work experience. As an observer I arranged to see the acute spinal injury care within several health care facilities around the city and in one slightly surreal moment I found myself in the ER of a huge teaching hospital watching the massively complicated multidisciplinary care of a guy who had sustained multiple gunshots injuries in a drive by shooting.
I have never seen so much gore in my life, and politely kept well out of the way until my guide, a doctor wanted to point out to me one of the more juiciest gunshot wounds in the minutest detail.
I declined with a smile and for some reason, in way of explanation I actually said to a hushed room
"No thank you..I'm English*!"
Yes.....I can be a real pussy!
* btw
I used to get the bus every morning from my lodgings in the old Polish quarter of Pittsburgh into the city centre and the passengers,(predominantly black service workers) got used to this slightly gauche Brit fumbling about with his dollar bills at the ready. and used to call out hellos when I got on.
They were not used to meeting many English people and used to refer to me as "Morse" which always tickled me greatly ( the tv detective was popular there in 1991)


  1. I'm not good with blood, Lady Magnon despairs.

  2. I was up a high scaffold once, and - fro some reason - started talking about blood to a colleague, not realising that he fainted at the very mention of it. I just caught him before he went over the edge.

  3. I wondered why nurses always wore that expression - I assumed it was constipation.

  4. Wow you got to do work experience in a great place Mr Morse !

    My most random posts get the most readers... I think people Google a lead word & get led to our Blogs ... so then, what were people googling yesterday ... Dog's arses ?!

  5. My youngest son who has just been promoted to senior charge nurse in theatre just loves all the muck and bullets of operations. Since being promoted he spends a lot more time at a desk but still can't wait to get in amongst the blood and gore.


  6. I agree the strangest things attract a crowd, though I didn't realise anal glands would be one of those things? I am pulling a face when I think about it.......icky!!

    Gill in Canada

  7. I wonder how many others are sitting in front of their computers right now, reading this and squinting, breathing through mouth!

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  9. I think I have an iron will....I have had to deal with many bloody injuries of my own and friends over my life, I never actually pass lout until it is all over and all is

  10. I've never seen anything as gory as that and I wouldn't want to. I think I'd feel just as queasy and English as you. I'd probably ran fast in the other direction.

  11. Pittsburgh is a nice town...eldest daughter went to University (Carnegie Mellon) there, so we visited many times. Because of it's history as a steel town, it has a bad rap as dirty, manufacturing city, but there are lots of beautiful neighbourhoods.
    My brother is a profiler of violent crime scenes - I can only begin to imagine the amount of blood and gore he's experienced and yet still manages to be a quiet, gentle man. Some can do it and some can't I guess - bless those who can!

  12. I also went to Pittsburg on an artists exchange in 2007, and I went on the contraption pictured. It was nerve-racking! I had an amazing time, the highlight of which was visiting the Andy Warhol Museum.
    I am not good with gore - thank goodness we are all different.

  13. Not being "English" I thought Morse was a combo of Moose and Horse.

    No, John, I'm not awake.

  14. Can't handle blood, stink or vomit.... I deeply admire those who can.

  15. One summer when I was a student at university I had a job as an OR orderly. One of the 'bonuses' of working a night shift is that you could 'stand in' during operations if you wished.
    One night there was an attempted suicide who had slashed his wrist. The doctor proceeded to explain to me all of the details of this surgery while performing and saving this kid's life! I loved this job! No squinting necessary for me.

  16. I can take blood and gore and always found animal necropsies fascinating.. but a human vomits...I'm outta there!
    Jane x

  17. Vivisection, gunshot wounds, anal bleeding, you name it I don't have a problem with it.
    Until the list scrolls down to eye boogers. Talking with someone who is cleaning out the corners of their eyes makes me want to retch.
    I spend the rest of the conversation intently focused on their hands, wondering where the slime is going to end up.

  18. I'm with Jane and add animals to that. While the gore I can stand, I also can't handle seeing a scalpel cut through skin (a seeming requirement on doctor shows).


  19. I lice less than an hour from Pittsburgh and it's a great city to visit...lucky you spending some time there at different hospitals...

    my hospital is a small community one so not much blood and gore...darn...I enjpoy seeing things put to right...must be while I like going to surgery...

    Give me a bone sticking through flesh, fingers dangling from the hand , necrotic toes falling problem...but snot running out of someone's nose will make me gag and run from the door...can't even listen to Blue Oyster Cult musinc becasue of that song...

  20. A book group I belong to meets up in strange places. This year it was Pittsburg and I missed it. But I've been to West Virginia and Maryland thanks to them!

    Had a short stint in our OR. In less than a week I'd been in for a gsw, a four car pileup and a drunk driving the wrong way down a freeway. I don't live in a particulary violent or dangerous city. Just had the luck to be in a major trauma OR. I'll never forget catching the very young constable before he fell as he was waiting for the bullet to be found. I think it was the surgeon calmy tossing the woman's intestines on her chest that did him in.

    Can NOT stand feet or mucous!

  21. I've never understood the British's problem with blood or the word itself. Wonder how it got started. An English blogger friend even has problems with the name of the beautiful flower "Bleeding Heart". I guess it is somehow taught generation to generation. There is surely no problem with crude language which would be a no-no in my birth family. Interesting. As my mother-in-law sometimes stated: People are interesting. I add: But, they leave me wondering.

  22. My hubby's favorite story to trot out involves a crime scene where where there was an ear on the coffee table, another behind the couch, a part of a chin on the sofa, etc. I no longer flinch, simply because it gave him too much pleasure. I hated that contraption in Pittsburg and refused to ride on it, or watch my babies go up and down in it when we visited years ago. Blood, broken bones, gore - fine and dandy. Heights, not so much.

  23. I am not good with gore or most body fluids, really. In part the visual, but i think more so, the smell does me in.

  24. you're funny. :) a bit squirrelly, too.

    thanks for finding my spot - i had to google carol from 'the walking dead' as i don't watch that show. i will take that as a compliment as i think she's beautiful and i love her ultra-short hair! :)

  25. I don't think emptying anal glands on the dogs is an occasion
    to squint and breathe through your mouth John - doesn;t bear thinking about.

  26. Hi there from Pittsburgh, Pa. Lived here most of my life. I am also a nurse who worked in the same large teaching hospital you describe, lived the dream you described. And yes, GSW are daily problems. Not much bothers me, just sick kids, crying and sobbing kids. Can't stand it. Sorry I missed your blog.

    1. hello Celkalee
      I do love your city small enough to be friendly favourite building/area is the Cathedral of learning....
      loved it....
      thank you for visiting
      how did you find me>?

    2. Hi John, I heard about your blog from a quilting friend. Always enjoy your adventures. The Cathedral is iconic in that it represents the multi-cultural components of the city. When it was built the community was asked to donate. Somewhere in that giant tower my name is written on a card stuffed into a box. My Mother was very sensitive to community affairs! If you ever come back, you must call, we can have lunch, my treat!

  27. Oh this and the last post are making me nostalgic for my long past nursing days. Once a nurse, always a nurse, eh.

    "Squint a little and breathe through your mouth"...I remember being given that excellent advice when I was a junior in the TB ward, doing the "sputum round". I won't go into details!

  28. They have one of those in Aberystwyth!

  29. I lived in Pittsburgh for seven years while I was in graduate school; it IS a lovely city. I'd definitely move back there.

  30. I worked for a large regional health care facility in an administrative role. I am not good with blood, as I soon discovered in the observation theater of an OR. They were doing cardiac bypass, and invited some of the administrators to observe this life-saving procedure. In the olden days of this surgery, they opened the chest and sawed through a few ribs...

    I learned what the term Vasovagal response was that day. Right after I was brought back to consciousness by one of the nurses in the observation deck alongside me. Yeah, I can be a real pussy too...


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