Porter Girl, aka “The Juice” asked about my nickname.
I will tell you.
My nickname is…. wait for it….
I know. It was given to me in residency. Makes me sound a lot more bad-assed than I ever was.
Why this name, you may ask?
First thing you have to know is that I have red hair. Is it real? Is it fake? I have posted the answer to that elsewhere. Do you remember? For this story, though, that doesn’t matter. It only matters that it is red.
The next thing you need to know about is hospital “Code” talk.
If a baby is stolen, it is called a Code Pink. Don’t worry. That didn’t happen very often…
If someone poops where they should not have, it is called a Code Brown. Interestingly when someone pees where they aren’t supposed to, we never called it a Code Yellow. I wonder why…
When someone was crashing in the hospital, though, it was called a Code Blue and was announced over the intercom. Everyone would run to the patient room announced with the code. The first doctor to get there got to run the code. CPR, intubation, and everything. I was a fast runner but those codes terrified me. I thought if I could get more experience it wouldn’t scare me as much. Didn’t work. It still scares the ever livin’ bahjeses out of me.
I had a reputation for being tough. No nonsense. Mainly that was because I could somehow find a common ground with some of the most difficult patients. Someone was making problems? They sent in Code Red. At times that meant cussing someone out. I was pretty good at that. I could do it in a nonthreatening way with a smile on my face that eased tension and made patients laugh. It was like magic.
Sometimes it meant hugging or crying with someone. I was pretty good at that, too.
More so it meant listening. I was extra good at that. Listen long enough and everyone will tell you what is going on.
Soon, the difficult patient was not difficult anymore. I am not sure anyone cared how I was doing it. They all assumed it was simply extra swagger and bravado. It wasn’t. I didn’t share my secret. It is good to have a reputation. But the truth was, I just really love prickly people.
So there you have it. My bad-ass nickname.