Mullberry Whine

poured out before bed

My Singing Voice

“Why are we whispering?” the bleary night float intern asks.

My sigh sounds more like a wheeze.

“We aren’t,” I reply in my very best breathy gravel.  “I just have no voice.”  I feel my larynx burn.

“Oh no!  Poor Mullberry!  Wait, how are you going to present your patients on rounds?”

“Good question,” I say froggily, just as the team room phone rings.  Out of habit I pick it up but stop mid phone-to-shoulder nestle when I realize my mistake.  The intern giggles and nabs the phone away.  “A-Team, this is Kelli,” her clear voice rings out.  I’m jealous beyond – well, spoken words, anyway.

I lean back in my creaky desk chair, feeling like the stool we fixate on during GI rounds.  I’m cold, but diaphoretic, light-headed, but heavy with that sticky brand of sick-tired, and my upper respiratory track feels as if a swarm of trigger-happy fire ants have taken up residence.  I stuff a bottle of Germ-X in my pocket next to the tissues, grab a handful of gloves, and affix to my sweaty face a bright yellow mask to protect my patients from my hazardous breath.

The good news – all my important viral swabs came back negative, so I don’t have to worry about staying out X number of days per hospital policy and then making those days up on random inpatient teams weekends during my outpatient month.  The bad news – I may feel on death’s door – heck, I may even be on death’s door – but the clerkship powers-that-be expect my eager attendance today.

I pass a familiar nurse in the hall and smile at her from beneath my mask.  “Good morning,” I say just as loud as I can muster.

“Oh, hey Mullberry….why are we whispering?” she asks quietly.

Sigh-wheeze.

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This entry was posted on March 20, 2012 by in Finding Humor, Life, On Pediatrics, Taking Care and tagged , , , , , , .

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Creative Commons License
Nothing under the table.
***
The views expressed on "Mullberry Whine" are NOT intended to diagnose or treat disease.
***
The med-ed related stories described here are based on real events. Details have been changed in accordance with HIPAA de-identification guidelines to protect confidentiality.
***
Mullberry Whine can be enjoyed daily; there is no unsafe quantity. Real wine, though, should be enjoyed in moderation. At-Risk Drinking for males under 65 is defined as >14 alcoholic beverages per week or >4/day, with >7 drinks a week or >3/day being the cut-off for females under 65 and for anyone, male or female, who has graced this planet for 65 years for more. Drink Mullberry Whine like there are no consequences. But drink alcohol responsibly. Your friends, your family, your health-care provider, and your liver - heck, ALL of the organs in your body - will thank you.
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