Skip to content

First, Do No Harm. Unless You Feel Like It!

Hey! Who wants to hear some good news? Like, for example, Obama officially becomes President tomorrow, and it’s going to be really super inspirational, and when I was at the airport today they were playing one of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speeches on a TV, and this man of color, I think he was in his mid-twenties, sort of left his post at the coffee stand, where he was working, and sidled up to the TV, and turned it alllll the way up, so that King’s voice was ringing throughout the terminal and the man stood there, quietly, very solemn, and I was like, this is history, this is what this particular moment in our history looks like, and I almost cried and vowed to be kinder and more self-vigilant and to expand, consciously, on the amount of work I do to make the world better day to day and… awwww, screw it. I knew I shouldn’t have read the news today! What is this crap? 
So, a lady went to the doctor to get the strings on her IUD shortened. The nurse practitioner, AKA Sylvia Olona, AKA Defendant Olona, AKA Nurse Judgington, pulled the damn thing right out. Now, I don’t personally know how much it hurts to have a surgically implanted device yanked out of your tender ladyflower, but on the scale of 1 to Like a Motherfucker, I am imagining it rates fairly high. So, that’s one strike against Nurse J. 
It gets better! While the defendant was no doubt swearing and clutching her abdomen, Defendant Olona explained, chipperly enough, that “I personally do not like IUDs. I feel they are a type of abortion. I don’t know how you feel about abortion, but I am against them.” 
“Gee, I’m so happy we’ve gotten to know each other better, Sylvia. Now, PUT THAT BACK IN MY CROTCH BEFORE I STAB YOU TO DEATH WITH IT,” the patient (AKA plaintiff) probably did not say, but should have. Then, Defendant Olona patiently explained that, since her patient’s choice of birth control conflicted with her own personal beliefs about what should and should not go in a vagina, she would not be inserting a new IUD. 
Say, guess who can’t get fired? Yes, thanks to President “My Name’s Ironic, If You’re In Third Grade” Bush and his farewell fuck-you to the becervixed population, Plaintiff X can sue Olona and the Rio Rancho Family Health Center all she likes, but the people who (bewilderingly) hired her cannot simply get rid of her because she is a bad nurse and a terrifying person, or the center will risk losing its funding. Want another quote from Defendant Olona? Here you go: 

Defendant Olona stated, ‘Everyone in the office always laughs and tells me I pull these out on purpose because I am against them, but it’s not true, they accidentally come out when I tug.’ 

Ha! Ha! Olona might be intentionally and consciously causing her patients physical and emotional pain due to her unwarranted and reprehensible attempts to control their bodies and deprive them of reproductive choice! Oh, the quirks of modern medical life! Oh, it’s just like an episode of Scrubs! Ha! Ha!
Anyway, I have decided that I must be a part of the solution, not simply a person who reports on the problem. Therefore, I have decided upon a course of action that I believe to be one hundred percent effective: I am going to become a surgeon. I only hope that this does not interfere with my religious beliefs of Amputology! 
Yes, it’s true, I’m an Amputologist. You see, I believe that long ago, when we were all souls trapped in the Spirit Volcanos of Scalpulon, we were chosen to incarnate upon this earth in order to become wiser and learn to use very sharp knives. Our adversary, Regenerato, believed that our human shells were not fit for this great and terrible knowledge. Therefore, he sends his emissaries, the Starfish People, to deceive us and keep us from using the very sharp knives that are our birthright. The Starfish People look just like us, with one exception: if you cut their limbs off, they will grow right back! It is important to unmask these Starfish People. Therefore, if you ever encounter someone in a very deep, drug-induced state of passivity – like, say, anesthesia induced for the purposes of surgery – you should cut off something of theirs, maybe a finger or a hand, or (if you are really in doubt) a leg or two. If it grows back, you’ve found a Starfish, which must be destroyed; if not, a sister or brother human, who can sport their human limblessness with deep spiritual pride. 
Now, I know what you are saying: would my Amputologist morals not conflict with my duties as a surgeon? To you, I say: they would not! Oh, there might be some giggles in the break room about my tendency to lop the limbs off my patients, but really, these are my personal morals, which are beyond question, and are also not at all grounds for me to be fired. Anyway, it’s not as if I’m taking all of these calves and forearms off on purpose – they just come off when I happen to hack through them with a bone saw! It’s all very innocent and religious, as you can plainly see. 
Anyway: me. Medical school. Surgery. It’s going to happen. I can’t wait to get my first patient! And, Sylvia? If you ever need treatment? I think we can manage to take you on pro bono. 
[UPDATE: Oh, OK, the clinic is not publicly funded, apparently, so they can totally fire her. So I found their phone number and called to see if anyone would tell me how keeping her around fit in with their – totally noble! – mission of providing family planning services to women in their community! I got me a voicemail. So, while you should NOT HARASS FAMILY PLANNING CLINICS BECAUSE THAT WOULD MAKE YOU A TERRIBLE PERSON, doing a little citizen journalism can be quite enlightening. I guess they just keep her around for laughs! Good to know!]


  1. Kelly wrote:

    Well, I kinda relate to her a little because there were all those times that someone got shot, when I was never trying to shoot them, but my tugging on the trigger of a gun just made it happen somehow. I mean no way I should be held responsible for that obviously.

    Also I feel insanely guilty now that I realized my lack of sex is actually a form of abortion. Ack!

    Tuesday, January 20, 2009 at 12:56 pm | Permalink
  2. ParaKat wrote:

    My uterus shuddered in fear when I read this.

    I had to be put out for the insertion of my IUD because my John Cleese-esque gyno said it would hurt me too much because I’d never given birth before. I can’t imagine being awake for it being taken back out.

    Seriously, if I were that woman I would have kicked the nurse in the jaw and then stepped on her neck, saying “OMG I’M ABORTING YOU SEVERAL YEARS TOO LATE BITCH”. Or something like that.

    Also — ACCIDENTALLY ARE YOU KIDDING ME. Ask my ex, that shite is impossible to do.

    Tuesday, January 20, 2009 at 10:05 pm | Permalink