My darling niece, Danielle Knosalla, just posted a photo of my nursing class on our Graduation Day. We’re FB friends. Some of you have expressed awe and wonder at my seemingly amazing memory. For the record, I’m sure I couldn’t tell you who ninety percent of the people in that picture are. In fact, I’m not sure that’s really me.

Here’s another tidbit for you, I can’t remember anything about my Pediatric rotation. Okay, I can remember a couple things: I had a Pediatric rotation, and I dressed up in a clown costume once. I have a vague memory of this, but that’s all I have. I can’t remember anything about any of the kids I took care of. That’s about all I can pull out of the memory vault. It’s as though someone had redacted most of the actual events, for reasons unknown to me.

Neither can I recall any of the details about the childhood of my daughters. Oh. Lea says we weren’t married when her girls were little, so that explains a lots. I have two stepdaughters, Gwen Markes Henson and Abigail Zorawski. We’re FB friends, too. Gwen was fifteen when Lea and I got married. Abi was twelve. They are, without a doubt, two of the most perfect people on this planet, but that’s only because I’m not their biological father. If I had been, they both would’ve been screwed up beyond all hope because I had been cursed by my Mom.

I was a terrible human being when I was young. And one day my totally exasperated mother looked me in the eyes and said, “You just wait until you grow up and have kids of your own–they’re going to be just…like…you!” Yep, she hit me with the Mother’s Curse, of all parental curses, it’s the most powerful. It scared the hell out of me. I made sure I never had any kids. Birth control. It was the one responsibility I took seriously even when I took nothing else seriously.

Another rotation I have difficulty remembering is the ER. I do have a few memories of my time in the ER. It was the only rotation that we were required to work the night shift. It makes perfect sense. When does all the weird shit happen? At night, of course! So we hung out in the ER during the Witching Hours, when the kooks, the crazies and the zombies come out.

For someone who would spend half a lifetime hanging out with kooks and crazies, I don’t remember running into anyone resembling that description during my ER rotation. I do remember hanging out with the ER staff, shooting the breeze and drinking coffee. And I remember talking to the oh-so-incredibly-cute Diane Hanson, and agonizing over whether to ask her out or not. The nuclear meltdown that had once been my relationship with Cynthia ‘Fatass’ Jamieson would play a significant part in my decision not to ask Diane out. And then there was Rebecca.

When I was in nursing school, I was totally infatuated with the oh-so-beautiful Rebecca Ann Brown. If you look at my nursing class picture, Rebecca is the back row, five girls to the right of me, or she’s the second from the end on the right hand side of the back row. I became a cardiac care nurse because of Rebecca. Even at the time I knew it was a stupid thing to do.

I had asked Rebecca out, more than once. She rejected my advances for a few reasons. One, I was roughly ten years older than she was. Although she didn’t endorse as a reason not to date me, it could’ve played a part. Two, I was a nice guy, but… For the love of God, just kill me! was my response when she uttered this line to me. Three, she already had a boyfriend. Of course she did! She was the eternal goddess of nursing, she could’ve had ten boyfriends if she wanted, and I wanted to be one of them.

Alas, it would not be, and I would suffer from an acute broken heart. I considered going to the ER, then decided against it. I doubted the ER staff would be able to do much to help me.

My ER rotation produced one hallmark memory. An older looking woman brought her thirteen year old daughter in because of the incredible abdominal pain the girl was complaining about. Her mom looked to be a lots older than a woman with a thirteen year old should look, and that was most likely related to her alcohol consumption.

She was clearly inebriated the night she brought her daughter in. Apparently mom didn’t spend much time looking in on her daughter because an ultrasound revealed the cause of the girl’s abdominal pain. The young girl was pregnant, and about to deliver.

Her mom evidently hadn’t cursed her–she was so eager to provide her mother with grandchildren, she had been having sex with her mother’s boyfriend.

The ER staff whispered all kinds of curses at the drunken mom. They were so angry! I had seen this reaction from the ER staff before, but on that occasion they had directed their anger toward…

Yep, you guessed it.


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