Wisconsin War Bride Diary I, Chapter 8

Problems at Work

I can only do so much. Last night I was cornered by a new hospital administrator I didn’t know. He was a young good looking guy who just came on staff. This guy was attempting to be frisky. He acted in a coercive and harassing manner. I tried to get this guy away from me; but he kept cornering me and wanting to essentially be intimate. I flat out told him that there were other ways to address women; and he wanted no part of conventional dating. I had already decided I didn’t want anything ever to do with this guy. I’d kill him right now if I could stay out of prison. Why did he need to work here in Monroe, Wisconsin. A little farm community is generally not where these guys live. Or is it? I distinctly remember Hester Vaughn’s story from Marquette University history class. She was a gal who was fired for becoming pregnant by her boss in the early 1900s. Her baby died; and she was accused, convicted and sentenced to death for infanticide. The Pennsylvania governor pardoned her after finding the true facts and having voices from the Women’s Christian Temperance Movement fighting this action. I don’t have these strong forces for me in St. Claire Hospital. Maybe this guy will just go away. If he doesn’t, then I’ll be accused of being promiscuous. He won’t be seen as a leach. Sometimes you cannot win as a woman. I do know women that have reported guys for this maladaptive behavior in the workplace. It goes nowhere because the guys deny it. Everyone assumes the girl flirted or acted in a promiscuous/provocative manner. I’m not certain what to do. Maybe, this new guy will just wither away. I had to essentially kick him away from me.

If I told my mother what happened, I don’t know how’d she react. Mom was a foster child from the East Coast with unknown parents. Thankfully, Dad picked her out of the millions of other gals within the world. Mom knows what brutality and hard living are about; but I’m not certain she’d get this sexual harassment action by the new administrator (hospital CFO). I liken the fact that I feel I made him lay off me after my kick. I, however, have to work at the hospital. I choose to ignore this guy. He may make life very uncomfortable for me. Brutal men have a way of treating women profoundly unfair. Yet, no one really believes a woman when they discuss how men don’t act civil when they want something more than friendship. It all seemingly is brought upon the woman because they’ll become accused of acting sexually provocative. The gal who is harassed will essentially be guilty because they’ll be accused of starting the affair because of acting in a sexually promiscuous manner. There are no real rules for this behavior by men v women. Apparently, you are to work this out yourself. I’m actually concerned this guy could rape me. He was mean, abusive, had firm and not loving words. I’ve never experienced this prior. I’m scared because I walk home; and some of these misfit guys may follow.

The reality is that no living person would believe me if I was raped. There is only starting post World War II suggestions by women to address sexual harassment in the workplace. Sexual harassment can happen anywhere. I hear about it, but you think nothing of it until it happens to you personally. Now, I cannot sleep. And I need to sleep with double shifts, call in for obstetric emergencies and nursing shortages. I love my job and coworkers. We are caught in a frenzy of the baby boom. It won’t end until someone develops better birth control. Basically, one encounter with a guy and it seems that all of Green County, Wisconsin becomes pregnant. We have many shotgun marriages with pregnant Moms. I don’t worry about that because my job is to deliver a healthy baby and Mom. I’ve delivered so many babies recently that I’ve become the defacto obstetrician if they cannot arrive in time. Evenings and weekends are tough on our physicians. Our docs need to be available at all hours. Labor and Delivery (L and D) is such a disruption to their family life. They enjoy the practice of bringing a newborn baby into the world. What an experience. I just need my sleep and need to get this monster guy away from my thoughts.

I heard from a couple college friends. They have become interested in having a yearly reunion to discuss issues. I now have have issues. They assuredly would inform me to kick this monster harassing guy harder. That may propel him to acquire his prey as a tough conquest. What am I thinking. I’ll ask the librarian, Dot Asper, if she has any books on how to treat a guy that is attempting to jump on you. Then again, maybe I shouldn’t. If Dot spreads the word around Monroe that I’m being harassed, then many will think I’m provocative and started this mess. You cannot win as a woman. If I inform the hospital CEO, I feel he’ll ignore me, think about firing me or I’ll never receive another raise. I’ll be thought of as a trouble maker. If I inform Mom, she’ll maybe think I’m sexually provoking these guys. I don’t know how she’ll feel. Thus, I’ll just say nothing and move on. I’ve heard that some girls carry a knife, gun or blinding spray. That is extreme; however he could stalk and rape me. I am scared. I don’t know where to turn. I could move to Janesville or Beloit; but he may chase me there. I’ve never been scared of any guy; but this guy is totally weird and appears like a serial killer. I just want him to go away; but I know he’s just starting.

We were met by an avalanche of “Moms to be” last evening; so I stayed late. One Mom incurred a terrible perineal 4th degree tear from the vaginal wall through the rectum. It required an hour and a half for a slow meticulous repair. This avoids a future rectal vaginal fistula (connection where feces comes out the vagina). I’ve seen poor repairs following delivery; and if not stitched correctly, the entire vagina is injured for life. This affects future deliveries and having sex appropriately. Thankfully, that is all that happened. Most of our Moms are bottle feeding. We’ve had strong advocates of breastfeeding that come into the hospital. Many of these advocates simply push their views upon women. Most of the grandmas have done bottle feeding and their babies are well. There are some studies regarding illnesses, growth and development and overall health of the baby that would make women consider breast feeding at least a few weeks. The strong advocates of breastfeeding are mandating 1 – 2 years. This is extensive; and would simply attach the baby to Mom forever. The freedom that a Mom needs would be lost. I actually understand both sides; and allow Moms to make their own decisions. The breastfeeding helps considerably with birth control; and that may be the most important reason to breastfeed. Many women cannot handle another baby at this juncture in their life. No woman has that much support to maintain a litter of puppies. The thought of this is compelling and loving; however, the issues would become finances, sleep, no life and being dumped (happens). Essentially, breast feeding may be a better way to go to control your life as far as family numbers. There is always talk of hormone therapy, abstinence, better condoms and natural methods of birth control (cervical mucous checks). None of these alternative methods at present are 100% effective at birth control. Breastfeeding actively is nearly 100%. Thus, I’ll consider breastfeeding despite the drawbacks when I get there. Many women inquire deeply regarding breastfeeding; however, even as a head OB nurse I do not have personal experience to match the upcoming stressors these Green County women face. There is still a need to have a baby male to take over the farm or cheese factory. Women that have a string of female younglings unfortunately are under pressure to produce further. Many women marry guys that need work and actually work well on these farms and cheese factories. I’ll worry about this when the time arrives (nothing on horizon).

I’m back thinking again about this monster CFO administrator. His name is Glenn Fog. He’s actually formally asked me out and I refused. I don’t want to see this guy who has probably all women as his prey. Maybe with time he’ll be arrested, removed, or even die from his actions. He’s sick in the mind and cannot afford to probably lose his job. I’m certain he’s done similar actions wherever he’s been or worked prior. I don’t really care about this except I’ve got to maintain my watch because this creep is all over the hospital. Any nurse, nursing assistant or secretary is totally vulnerable. We have leagues to travel before this problem is addressed or even discussed in our society. It is ultimately the girl’s fault because she is provocative. Sad, but that is our culture in America at present. Maybe the subject is not discussed because it will provide other men an opportunity to prey upon innocent women. I’ve discovered that all problems in life are not solvable; and this sexual harassment is definitely a big unsolved issue. I’d toss this guy to a mountain lion cage if I could. He’d be torn apart piece by piece. I want to stay in Green County because it’s my home; however, if this creep maintains this behavior, I’m in Chicago, Illinois.

Potentially, my pregnant sister can be of help in this situation. Maybe, Mary has been in the same situation. I cannot forego my opportunity to discuss it with someone. If I bring it up at the hospital, then it will be a “he said/she said” losing scenario. If I discuss it with Mary, she may inform Mom. Then Dad will intrude; and since he’s on the hospital board, it will become a big deal with no proof. People (even gals) will accuse me of being provocative and soliciting this guy upon me. Nothing could be further from the truth. Therefore, I’ll just remain quiet and ensure this rat stays away from me. Glenn Fog will maintain a black memory in my brain; but with time it will go away if he goes away. I don’t want to work in the same building as this guy; and if it becomes impossible, I’m on my way to Chicago by bus.

I shopped downtown for a new dress after work. The Monroe square is all we’ve got to purchase clothes. Otherwise, a gal must drive to Madison or Rockford. This involves time, gas and no guarantee that they’ll have more attire than Monroe, Wisconsin. We have Mongomery Wards, and that is about it for dresses in Monroe, Wisconsin. I want a Rockabilly blue short sleeve evening dress with Nine West high heeled brown shoes. I’m certain the Monroe square would not have anything close to these shoes and dress. I can order; but then again Mother may see what I’m ordering and disapprove. I’m an adult and again need to move out so my parents cannot 100% intrude upon my life. I’m stuck at home for now and will continue to get lost in work. The hospital social will only make me look as good as Montgomery Wards. That will have to do. And I don’t have a date; so I’ll attend solo. It’s unbecoming but not unheard of for a girl to ask a guy to an event such as this. My parents would both have heart attacks if they know I asked a guy for a date. They wouldn’t know how to react and I’d be calling our primitive ambulance to rescue them. That idea is intriguing, but I’ll just hold off on that and work on Plan B.

I’m in deep sleep and our phone rings loudly at night. I answer along with the other party line neighbors. I’ve complained to Dad about phone line sharing, and he contends we need to be frugal. The other end of the line has a person breathing heavily. I think it’s a prank at first, but now I know it is Glenn Fog, the marauder from work. I can never prove this, but this guy is a total monster. I want him out of my life. I’m packing for Chicago, Illinois tomorrow. There is no doubt I need to escape. Mom enters my room after I was able to answer the phone in the kitchen. She wants to know what is happening. I’m crying and screaming. I know this Glenn Fog creep will never leave until I’m dead or conquered. I’m leaving for Chicago, Illinois tomorrow. I tell Mom this and now she cries. Dad gets out of bed and wants to know what is happening. I tell him the truth and he says he’ll take care of this new administrator as soon as reasonably possible. I remark it will be a “he said/she said” scenario with nothing resolved. Dad says he’ll discover some other terminable events; and ensure this guy is removed not just from the hospital, but also from the community.

I’m reassured that my parents are on my side. The telephone company says without extreme difficulty they cannot trace the call from last evening. The neighbors on our party line come to our house in the early morning wondering if we had anything to do with that breathing guy on the phone at 0200. We deny involvement so as to not spread a potential false rumor. The neighbors (Hubers and Bertrands) are now scared. They have kids who may be attacked by this guy. Monroe, Wisconsin is so old school that many people never lock their doors or cars outside. They even leave keys within cars since people are so trusting. That has now because of the late evening/early morning phone calls. The Hubers say they will consider locking their doors at night. We can only hope that Dad can get Glenn Fog out out of the community rapidly. I feel an attack coming. I’m shaking while at work; and everyone knows there is something wrong. I already have pulled my suitcase to travel to Chicago. I cannot stay here with this monster administrator preying down my throat. I don’t know what to do. Now I need sleeping pills; but don’t want to get dependent on these drugs. How else can I sleep without leaving town?

Labor deck is extremely busy today. This will temporarily keep my mind off of the stalker. I’m loving delivering baby after baby with understandably late obstetricians and general practitioners throughout the county. Docs travel from as far away as Brooklyn or Belleville. They can do the perineal repairs while I attend to the baby. The babies are so incredibly cute and loving. I love to hear cries immediately. It lets me know junior is within the world and everything is working. Parents love to hear crying and screaming additionally. They need support when occasionally we have a baby with multiple birth defects. A rare case occurs when we cannot resuscitate the baby due to a collection of birth defects. It’s a general good thing that the baby is not brought back to the real world. I hate to see it; but the baby is far better in heaven than struggling forever with unmanageable defects. Medicine is improving daily; however, it cannot avoid the severe defects that cause ultimate death. I hate to see premature labor which we cannot stop with alcohol. These babies so struggle with respiratory distress syndrome because their lungs are so undeveloped. These little guys (if they live) are transferred to the University of Wisconsin in Madison (40 miles). Most premature babies ultimately die; but medical changes have an increasing number of babies that live. If we could only stop labor in its tracks and preserve baby within Mommy.

It was an incredible long day. I’m exhausted and fall asleep immediately. I wake up suddenly at 0200 the next day with our phone ringing. It can’t be the hospital because I’ve trained my replacement head nurse for the evening. We’ve been ham and eggs regarding placement of times when one of us is always needed at the Obstetric Ward at St. Claire Hospital. The Catholic nuns, who essentially administer this hospital, insist on heavy duty RN labor coverage. My paycheck reveals the overtime strongly. I can easily handle the responsibility because I love what I’m doing. I’d be 3rd string RN at an obstetrics ward in a Chicago hospital. I’m thinking to distract the phone. I’m certain the neighbors on the party line (4 of us) have decided it is the hospital wanting me. I stumble out of bed and this guy is again breathing heavily. My parents come into the kitchen and Dad grabs the phone and recites a stern warning. Unfortunately, this creep has hung up. There is no present technology to trace the phone call. Dad says he’ll take of this matter totally today with the Green County Sheriff and hospital board. Unfortunately, I’m not able to return to sleep because of this stalking creep, Glenn Fog. I awake at 0530 from near sleep and get ready for work. I require make-up, mascara, new ironed uniform and cap (required), bath and deodorant. I also need teeth brushing, shaving, earrings (silver), hair redone (ponytail), and God forbid, tampons.

I require a good 25 minutes to walk to work and arrive at 0655. I clock in on time; and out of the corner of my eye, I see Dad talking to the Green County Sheriff and hospital administrator. Dad, as President of First National Bank in Monroe, doesn’t tarry. We need to end this strife immediately. I may not live to discuss this further. I scurry up to the Obstetric Ward. Shift change is happening and nursing is super busy. One gal is being rushed back into a Caesarean Section. I automatically go with her, obstetrician, surgeon and anesthesia. The patient is delirious from twilight anesthesia (Morphine/Scopolamine/Phenergan intramuscularly). She’s breathed down with halothane (new inhalation anesthetic and intubated (tube in windpipe). Her caudal catheter with infusion of lidocaine for labor will not work for a surgical delivery. The local anesthetic block is far too low. We need a local anesthetic block up to her breasts essentially (spinal anesthesia). There is no time for another regional anesthetic technique as the baby has heart tones (what we can hear) in the 30s. It requires 30 seconds to extract the baby and he is very blue. We suction the baby and give oxygen blow by technique. He’s grunting and retracting. We then bag/valve mask the baby; and after 5 minutes he’s crying, pink and loving life. Thankfully, we can deliver babies that would automatically die (along with Mom) surgically. What a gift!

After the Caesarean Section, I receive a note to immediately go to administration. I walk briskly and the police and hospital CEO are present. They want a story; so I tell them exactly what happened at what time. They are both in shock; because the perpetrator, Glenn Fog, has had a stellar record. He has been exemplary in his hospital duties. Fog has been estranged from his wife. Thus, not unexpectedly I will have a difficult/nearly impossible chance to get this guy ousted. It’s my word v his word. Guys in senior positions feel that girls attract guys; and gals are therefore responsible for uncomfortable non professional behavior on the part of males. I’m certain my dad had an immense amount of story telling about Glenn Fog. None of this can be proven. I proceed to spill my beans how this guy I don’t know essentially sexually assaulted me. He stalks me wherever I go in the hospital and I’m receiving breathing male voices at 2 AM on the party phone line at home. This has happened frequently and the neighbors don’t pick up the party line. The administrators say thank you; and we’ll all move on. They will monitor the situation because Glenn Fog has categorically denied any of the allegations by dad and myself.

It’s hard to proceed further in life with a stalking sexual predator lurking. Perhaps it is good that I’m living with my parents for the present. I’ve gone round and round about moving out; however, now I’m really scared. I don’t know how to handle the pressure. I also am concerned about walking home from work. I could be in a grocery store, Turner Hall or anywhere on the square with the monster revealing himself. Should I carry a gun? If I shoot him, I’d be prosecuted for manslaughter. If I don’t, he’ll probably kill me. I know a bad guy’s eyes when I see them. Glenn Fog has the strong makings of a serial killer class IV. I’m trying to envision a method of escape from this guy; and it is nearly impossible. Perhaps a good book would help. I travel down to the library and see Dot Asper. She wants to talk; and she has always the best Monroe gossip. She reports the usual happenings and then asks me about Glenn Fog. Dot has heard that this guy is a town monster and wants some facts from me. Since her and I confide secretly with one another, I spill my beans. Dot says this guy roams a bit in the library; but never checks out a book. In fact, he has no library card. Why would a guy come into a library to just roam around without a purpose. Guys are different, but not this different. He’s a creep and I’ve instructed Dot to take precautions.

I wander onto the next topic with Dot regarding a good book. Dot has already steered me into Capture the Castle (a great read). And now she is showing me 1948 George Orwell. This is what life will be about 40 years from now. I cannot wait; but at least to a degree this will keep my mind off Glenn Fog. Dot is an attractive lady who was in love with Bernie Sattler. However, due to the religion differences, the marriage never occurred. Unfortunately, Dot also was meant for college but stayed in Monroe to help her ill parents. She is a perfect catch for any eligible guy. Monroe is quite limited; so we’re both stuck in the same position. I’m already on track to be an old maid. At least I’ll have Dot Asper to confide my personal revelations. We get along great and agree after work on Saturday to have a beer at Baumgartner’s, the old Swiss establishment on the Monroe square. Dot is such a perfect individual. I’d see her as a University of Wisconsin Homecoming Queen with a football player attached for life. I’m not understanding many things in life at present. I want the best for myself and my friends; but presently I’m struggling with religion with bad things happening around myself. I know and understand everyone reaches difficulties with life; however, I want some real positive things for my friends, family and myself personally. I don’t feel I’m asking too much. It would be nice to have a steady guy; if he’s the right guy. At present, I feel Dot Asper and myself will be Monroe, Wisconsin old maids. Maybe, that is how it was meant to be.

I also know my first cousin, Suzanne, in Chicago, Illinois, is becoming a nun. This will carry on a Zuercher tradition of sharing God strongly within their lives, taking vows of poverty and living to God’s chosen will. There was a small amount of peer and family pressure for me to enter the convent. I’m a cracker jack personality; and that would be unbecoming within the convent. This would not be me. I have strong faith; however the spiritual life is not me. We have so many relatives that are within the Jesuit ministry. If you’re not a cheesemaker, then you’re a Jesuit in the Zuercher family. I’m an anomaly being a nurse. Perhaps my life would have been much simpler being a nun. Maybe, I’ll marry a master cheesemaker. Life isn’t always easy; but it can be tougher dealing with obstacles that need surmounting. Glenn Fog is an obstacle that must be erased from my life. I could plan a killing; but that would place me in prison or in the electric chair. Thus, I cannot continue to place barriers upon myself from removing this guy. There are legal methods to prevent him from being around me. I’ll consult an attorney tomorrow. I won’t discuss this with my dad. I’ll just do it.

I arrive back at work in the morning at 0655. There are inroads to obtain the best evaluations; and the very best is to be on time for shift check-in. Lateness on a chronic basis is not the very best manner of alleviating the risk of being called off from work, fired or scorned by colleagues and peers. I want to maintain my steady path of leadership and set an example by showing up at the hospital on time. I want to work late if required so as to keep a very healthy attitude for patients and nursing. I’m always thankful of the work opportunity St. Claire Hospital provides. I virtually have everything here that a nurse would want. Some of the larger hospitals are beginning to have more intensive or critical care units, post op staging of patients that are not quite ready for the floor, and emergency rooms in large cities are expanding beds and medical skills. We’ll never have these luxuries because we are still a small hospital. We can, however, expand into a compact efficient unit. We can obtain the needed education to offer patients the very best services. Eventually, few patients will need transfers. I want it all; and I’ve got it all medically in this small rural hospital.

Ultimately, I need the guts to walk into a lawyer’s office and plead stalking, intentional infliction of emotional distress or sexual assault. The attorney will assure me that I have no case without unequivocal proof. I have no real proof other than my word. In a rape case they have sperm that can be analyzed. Glenn Fog didn’t rape me; but he came close with his actions. I will need some type of proof to allow me to bring him to the forefront and become fired from his job or placed within the Green County Jailhouse. I’ve checked a few records to determine who the attorneys in this community will take a case of this magnitude and genre. Most are general practice attorneys and good friends of my parents. If I discuss this with Dad, then he’ll recommend not seeking an attorney because I don’t have proof that this monster did anything wrong. I’ll keep trying. I want a peaceful life; and I cannot have it until I witness Glenn Fog removed from Green County, Wisconsin.

I actually obtained some sleep tonight and awaken to a phone call asking me to come to the hospital as soon as possible. It must be a difficult birth; or it could be some other type of disaster. I quickly dress without the usual gal extras. Dad drives me to the hospital and says there are complicated issues trying to prove Glenn Fog is causing the sexual harassment problem at work. Dad and I both have heard of other gals being threatened in and out of the hospital; but it’s very difficult to prove. Unfortunately, it seems it is impossible to prove because it is “he said, she said.” Many of my obstetric nurse colleagues think Glenn Fog is a nice guy and wouldn’t harm a mountain lion. Other nurses at St. Claire feel he is a schmuck; and it is only so long that he won’t be caught. We all hope it is just Mickey Mouse stuff; and not hard core sexual assault and battery. At least I’m in the same boat with other females at work. I know my Dad generally takes care of matters. It helps that Godfrey Zuercher (dad) is on the hospital board. I know that employers cannot just fire people on a whim. What if the employer (hospital) is wrong? In this case they are not wrong; and removing Glenn Fog from this county should be the administration’s utmost priority.

After being dropped off at the hospital, I run upstairs without checking in with the time clock. I can get to that task later and write my time in. I collect myself and ease into the obstetric ward of typical hurriedness. I’m asked to provide Simpson Forceps in room 6 for twins, alcohol IV to stop a labor in room 5 and call the blood bank for room 4. Room 4 may require a postpartum uterine surgical D and C (dilation and curettage). I don’t actually envision this gal saving her uterus barring a miracle. She is pouring blood; and her obstetrician is considering ordering a hysterectomy. This would mean the end of fertility; however something needs to be completed quickly. The intramuscular medications have not helped this poor first time Mom stop bleeding in Room 4. Thankfully, the baby is well. Since I had the Milwaukee inner city experience, I recommend to the nurses to aggressively massage the uterus as in a pelvic exam. Using both my hands I demonstrate the actual procedure. Since the bleeding is so heavy, surgery is ordered stat (immediately). I maintain my position above all the rest of my duties and head Obstetric RN. I can see the Mother and Father crying with no further kids on the way – barring a miracle. I squeeze Mom’s uterus with all my power. Suddenly, the massive bleeding stops. I won’t let go until the obstetrician returns. He’s discussing a hysterectomy with the family. I pull the new balloons we’ve ordered for postpartum bleeding. I have a uterine balloon ready; and the obstetrician walks in with a smile and says we have found a cure. He places the balloon into the uterus and fills her cavity with saline through the balloon. There is no post partum bleeding now; and the medical team can rest. The OB nurses are now crying because we’ve not only saved Mom’s life, we’ve saved her fertility. Mom will maintain the uterine balloon for three days. I love obstetrics. Maybe, when I become old, I won’t love this specialty. At present, there is not a better hospital unit to be a substantial team player.

I’m charting the events in Room 4 and a multiparous more than one zero prior deliveries) Mom arrives in a rapidly progressing labor. There is no time for any anesthesia or baby preparation. She’s in the hall on a gurney. We instruct Mom to open her legs and push. We immediately see a small baby with considerable hair. He’s occiput posterior (sunny side up). That’s adequate because Mom will push baby out before a turn is needed. We instruct Mom to push; and with simple pushes over the next couple minutes, Mom delivers a 7 pound baby boy with a skull of hair. He is cute, has brown eyes and won’t quit crying. Mom is bottle feeding and we’ve initiated proper nutrition. The family is ecstatic. Mom has six girls at home; and this is the first baby boy. This little guy already has inherited the family farm. Though the custom in Green County is to turn the farm over to the male, the practice is changing. It definitely is a shared practice if the daughter marries a prospective farmer. This family couldn’t be happier. I’m already invited to a baby shower after the birth since Mom needs more boy items. We see everything in obstetrics; mostly good, but occasionally clinically less optimal. I’m not bored; excepting my social life. That will improve with God and friends/family. I’m quite happy when at work. It would be very nice to return home and find a nice guy to confide your day at work. Now I’m thinking Chicago hospital work again. Mom and Dad would plummet if I left.

I have an immense amount of nurse charting. I cannot clearly get this Glenn Fog creep out of my mind when I’m not rescuing Moms and babies. My personal needs are secondary to my growing list of patients. In medicine, the “me” becomes secondary. Medicine demands all my efforts directed at the new Moms and babies. I cannot allow anything to interfere with my delicate and all encompassing work as the head obstetric RN. I love my RN and ancillary staff. The obstetricans and general practice docs from all over the county are wonderful at work. Occasionally, without sleep, the physicians can be grumpy. In general, compared to surgical colleagues, the obstetric staff is wonderful in all ways (personally and professionally). I wrap things up and am asked to stay late for an inservice on oxytocin. This is the new hormone to stimulate uterine contractions and also allow use to contract a uterus to prevent hemorrhage after delivery. It is not on the market formally. Some physicians want to use it sparingly for bleeding complications and to stimulate labor. We definitely have a need for both uses at St. Claire Hospital. I want to be on the cusp of exciting new medical advances which are safe. The studies on oxytocin are incredible. I can’t wait for the drug’s use.

I’m rushing to get my charting done before I leave (many days it can be two further hours). A code (someone is dying) is called by the hospital operator. Generally, the operator informs everyone of what room. The operator just keeps saying Code Blue (near death). Suddenly out of necessity, the hospital operator says the code is in the administration department. As a head nurse along with the other ER nurses and any available physicians in the hospital we all race to the administration department. The door is locked. How could a code be called in administration if the door is locked. The situation is not making sense. Suddenly the hospital operator reveals herself to the committee of saviors who are about to initiate a resuscitation with no patient. We actually have no dying patient. The hospital operator is so excited that she cannot speak. I ask her to slow down and she says it was administrator Fog. He called and said he was killing himself; and that he was in his administration office. I could only say (Oh, My God!). Since it’s early evening Friday and no administrators are present, the janitor breaks the door lock and we enter. All the lights are off; and down the hall it says CFO Glenn Fog on one of the doors. The door is locked and we cannot enter. The janitor unlocks this door additionally. It’s all dark so I turn on the lights. There is nothing here; but it is eerie. I sense something “bad.”

The hospital janitor opens the closet door as a policeman sweeping the area. There is Glenn Fog hung from the ceiling light structure. He’s obviously dead and isn’t moving with fixed dilated pupils. We break the rope and lay him on the office floor. The ER doc says he’s dead and it’s not worthwhile to initiate a chest thump or resuscitations. I stare at this monster of a guy. I’m both happy he’s no longer a threat to my nursing colleagues and myself. I’m saddened by the loss of life; and life is a precious gift that we acquire spiritually. I weep, walk away, check out and walk home with blood and amniotic (baby/Mom fluid) stains on my white nursing uniform. I walk the long way home by Recreation Park and notice a Mom and four little ones playing on the swings. I smile and say, that’s what I want. Life can be good.