Tuesday, March 10, 2009



Hello, my name is Jack(ie) Bauer and I’ve been saving the laboring world…..one epidural at a time.

And it was with great excitement that Saturday’s “episode” could have been called 23, thanks to Daylight Savings Time.  I’ve never been more excited to give up an hour of my life.


I don’t watch 24 but from what I understand Jack Bauer and I live parallel lives…. we both save the world.  Him from bad guys and me from labor pains.  Similar?  I think yes!

“I'm federal agent Jack Bauer, and today is the longest day of my life”

Funny, that’s exactly what I think every time I do a shift of 24 hour OB call!


Here’s a few things I typically encounter in any one shift:


Patient:  “I don’t like needles”

Me looking at THIS on their back:



Me thinking to myself: “Whatever”



I sometimes have the opportunity to brush up on my 9th grade Spanish.  Dolor = pain.  Ta-da, that’s it.  Oh, and I can ask where is the bathroom.  Which isn’t really pertinent here.   

I have noticed that when I have a Hispanic patient that speaks a little English, I am suddenly in a heated game of Charades.

Envision if you will:  Me standing, pointing at her belly asking “dolor”, then pointing to my back saying “epidural, no dolor”.  And for some reason I talk louder like that will make them understand.

Hey, Jack Baeur doesn’t speak any other language, why should I?

(Have no fear, I do use translators and we also have a cheat sheet to get proper consent.)


And the one thing I have to endure, that I’m sure Jack Baeur doesn’t, is pregnant women with an attitude.

Just this weekend I had a patient tell me, “this is ri-DIC-a-lous!”  (sound it out and that is exactly how she said it to me).    She wanted me to know that her legs were hurting because they were numb and she was not happy about that. 

Me: “So let me get this straight.  You don’t feel any of your labor pains and your legs are numb but they ‘hurt’?”

Patient: “Yea”

Me:  “It seems as if our epidural IS working properly and if the painful numbness continues to bother you as much as you are telling me, then the only thing I can do is turn off your epidural pump”

Patient:  “I’m good” 

I never heard back from her and she delivered a few hours later--- pain free.




Jack Baeur….he ain’t got nothing on me!  He wouldn’t make it working my 24 hours!


Teresa said...

Let me be the first to thank you for your service to our country.

While I have never been chased by terrorists, I have encountered labor pains and been rescused by your wonder drug.

You, my friend, are administering doses of God's mercy and kindness one (big, fat, gigantic, monsterous) needle at a time. So, thank you for that.

Deanna said...

You are way better than Jack and braver too! He has never had to face down a woman in labor... a terrorists trying to destroy our Country is nothing compared to a woman in labor! Ha!

Kirby3131 said...

I've never needed the assistance from someone like you, but if I ever did find myself pregnant you'd be my best friend!

The Southern Family said...

praise you sweet woman. I m not sure I could hold my tounge. That tattoo thing: hilarious!

Muthering Heights said...

Forget Jack Bauer! When I'm in trouble/labor/same thing, I would take you over Bauer any day!

The Source said...

Ummm...I went through two labors more terrified of the epidural than the pain. Then had twins and wised up REAL fast! You're hilarious and I'm glad there are folks like you out there to put up with nuts in pain!

Blue Castle said...

You made me laugh - thank you for that. :) Love the people with tatoos being scared of needles. Duh.

Shannon (muzbeecrazy.com) said...

Great post! I'm sure you have to bite your tongue a lot. I know I do and that's just in the world of radiology! I can't imagine women in labor!!

IRENE said...

Ha! You're an angel, and even angels need a sense of humor. It goes a long way!