I’ve got 99 problems and a rehab nurse ain’t one, motherfuckers.

You know how you feel when you see a situation starting to develop and you just know it isn’t going to work out very well for one of the people involved?

The Katie Couric interview of Sarah Palin comes to mind.

You know it’s going to be ugly, you cringe a little inside for Sarah and, if you’re me, you don’t even try to hide the smirk on your face when Katie wipes the floor with her, in the sweetest possible way, of course.


As you know, my artistic genius Mom (with great hair) and I are now in Tampa following her gauze-related hip fracture and our subsequent dramatic midnight Medevac flight out of Mexico last week.   Mom had hip surgery (a partial replacement of that bulbous part of her right hip) on Wednesday and then she was transferred to a rehabilitation facility (a/k/a “skilled nursing facility”) on Sunday.

And.  I’m not sure how else to put this, but, I kind of feel a little bit sorry for the nurses (well, not just the nurses) here at the Rehab Center. 

I’m Katie and they are all Sarah.

(keeping in mind that my sister, whose name actually is “Sarah”, is possibly even more “Katie” than I am, but she is at work and I am here, at the Rehab Center, unfortunately for all the other figurative Sarahs, cuz I’m about to go all Katie on them, and I’m a lot crankier than my sister.)

Here’s what all you Rehab Sarahs (a/k/a medical personnel) should probably know at this point:

I’m The Caregiver With The Dragon Tattoo, y’all.

I’ve been doing this shit for years.

And it isn’t just the number of years of caregiving that I have under my belt, people.  It’s the sheer volume of totally traumatic, emergency, fucked-up situations and spectacularly inept medical care providers.

I’m a caregiving ninja, if you must know.  If they gave out a black-belt for caregiving, I would be sporting one (with sparklies, of course).

My signature line is now Kimberly A. Tempel, Esq., Caregiving Ninja and Probable Blackbelt.

But don’t let the “Esquire” part scare you, Sarahs.  And all those qualifications following “Esquire” were much harder to obtain (albeit arguably less expensive) and required much more bad-assery on my part.  The fact that I’m a lawyer is the least of your worries, trust me.


Here’s what doesn’t slow me down:

  • cancer, bitch
  • a language barrier ( “no comprende?  let me put it this way, paco…”)
  • lazy emergency room personnel (in any fucking country, bring it ON)
  • cocky doctors who think they don’t have to explain anything (you can tell me now, or I can follow you around and become exponentially more difficult to evade until you tell me, so you might as well do your fucking job and tell me now, k? 🙂 )
  • national security (I’ve got an artistic genius coming through NOW, step aside or suffer the consequences, little man with a big gun…)
  • international emergency management (don’t even try – my track record is fucking impressive)

And there’s MORE:

broken bones, neutropenia, blood transfusions, brain surgery, seizures, morphine allergies/overdoses, incontinence, insomnia, intractable depression, high anxiety, psychosis, too much medication, not enough medication, the wrong medication, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, neuropathy, heart palpitations, numb toes, drug-induced amnesia, malfunctioning pulse/oxygen machines, blood clots, c.diff., superbugs, MRSA, Medicare regulations, discharge planners from hell, hallucinations, ambien-related sleep-eating/walking, x-rays, CT scans, MRI scans (no, asshole, she won’t be drinking the horrendous crap you want her to drink, thank you very much for asking), PET scans (yes, Mr. Medicare, you will be paying for this one…), lost doctor’s orders, misplaced prescriptions, contraindicated drugs, driving to the hospital, driving to the pharmacy, driving to the other pharmacy, running out in the middle of the night for strawberry-pecan blizzards and/or fried chicken, running out in the middle of the night for Coca-Cola, fruit, crema con fresas, translating Mom-speak to the Doctors/everyone else and Doctor-speak to Mom/everyone else, ascites, abdominal tumors, brain tumors, kidney tumors, throat tumors, impacted bowels, diarrhea, adult diapers, adult diaper rash, disappearing Doctors, nasty nurses, sweet CNAs, waiting for tests, waiting for results, waiting for Doctors, waiting for elevators, driving wheelchairs, driving wheelchairs while carrying other stuff, hair falling out, hair growing back, hair falling out again, good news, bad news, no news, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, therapy therapy.

And that is just the tip of the iceberg.

I may not be a Doctor or a Nurse or a whatever-else-you-are, but I’ve been the only person standing between one of YOU and the premature death of my artistic genius Mom (with great hair) (and other people who I love) caused by a careless mistake on YOUR part on more than one occasion and I’m not about to stop being vigilant now.

I may have 99 (or more) problems right now, but you, Rehab Sarah, ain’t one 🙂



p.s.  I may be a middle-aged white girl, but I love me some Jay-Z – He’s got 99 problems and a bitch ain’t one, dontcha know.  http://youtu.be/nq1kCyrX71M

p.s.s.  Thanks for all the good wishes and positive vibes — Mom is hanging in there and I haven’t killed anyone yet.  It’s all good.

p.s.s.s.  I don’t want to sound like I don’t respect Doctors and Nurses and other medical professionals – I do.  I could never do their jobs.  I also think patients are consumers and are entitled to question the decisions of medical professionals and be fully informed of all their choices, regardless of how busy the “professionals” are.  I also think that hospitals and rehab facilities are critically understaffed and I think that is dangerous.  I don’t like it and I don’t think we have to just accept poor care because the Dr.’s and Nurses are overworked.  I don’t know what the answer is, but our current way of doing things is NOT it.

p.s.s.s.s.  I keep thinking maybe I should try to be on/in BlogHer, but then I put things like “motherfuckers” in my headlines.  And I like it.  🙂

p.s.s.s.s.s.  NaNoWriMo — heavy sigh.  Maybe next year….?


Filed under Cancer sucks., The Caregiver with the Dragon Tattoo

8 responses to “I’ve got 99 problems and a rehab nurse ain’t one, motherfuckers.

  1. Mary Jordan

    Kim! You go, Girl! Warrior Ninja Caregiver Extraordinaire!!!!

  2. Awesome. You keep fightin’ the good fight. There are a lot of the old vestiges out there of “whatever the doctor/nurse tells me is right and I have to do it because the doctor/nurse said so.”

    No. Fucking. Way. People totally need to be an advocate for themselves (or have a loved one be an advocate for them if they can’t do it) in a medical situation. As you said – they are overworked. Mistakes happen. Assholes also happen. You need to stay vigilante on both fronts.

    And don’t ever take motherfuckers out of your headlines. I like it too.

    P.S. – Nanowrimo? I don’t have a tenth of the shit going on this month that you do and I don’t think I’m going to pull it off, either. So don’t feel bad.

  3. Ha – I just realized I said you have to stay “vigilante” instead of “vigilant.” Oh well, either way…

  4. Sue T

    Re: the insert — all sooo draining.
    All power to the caregiver … but take care of yourself, too.

  5. irene

    everyone should have someone like you with them going thru something like this (cancer/bitch – that’s good). your mom is lucky to have you. you’re the best. even if you weren’t doing all the stuff you do do for your mom, you’re still the best! i can just see you hunting down doctor’s and taking on lazy ER personnel waking everyone up! good work. its so important that you are you mom’s advocate. there’s a specail term in the jewish religion for what you’re doing – it escapes me now b/c i’m way too tired (emotionally, pschologically – that’s freudian – didn’t mean to type that – i meant, physically. anyway, you’re just the best kimmds- no way ’round it, absolutely no way.
    p.s. will try and send you an email/update shortly, next day or so.

  6. It’s like we are twins!! Can I get a sparkly caregiving ninja black belt too? Because I have totally earned one.

    My husband had hip replacement surgery 10 days ago…..not that I am counting. So far I have only gone Momma Bear on two nurses but I’m pretty sure I made at least one of them cry.

    When it comes to medical stuff…..no one wants to fuck with me. Advocates are critical to recovery and I am a super advocate. Sending your mom good thoughts for quick healing.

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