Not Very Valentine-y But Whatever

Most people associate Valentine’s Day with hearts, flowers, balloons and enough chocolate to give the whole world a sugar high. Me? I started thinking about leeches. I don’t know why.

So working where I do means I see a bunch of stuff on a daily basis that most people would only see in the movies. But despite seeing some of the sickest burns ever and all the crazy emergency stuff I’ve seen the doctors do at bedside all in the name of saving a life, what I saw yesterday was one of the nuttiest things I’ve ever seen.

I saw my first ever medical leech.

Without getting too much into detail, one of the interns we had in the past came back as a covering resident and decided that we needed to rock it old school so she wrote an order for a leech. Ya heard me. Leeches. As in, those little squirmy blood suckers.

Dude, I was so excited.

I was hopping up and down waiting for them to arrive and promptly squealed like a freak when I saw them. They kind of reminded me of really squiggly, yellow-brown-and-green striped worm shaped noodles that undulated. A lot.

My coworkers all crowded around me and the bottles and the commentary started to fly about their appearance. One of them even helpfully said “Hey Bonnie! Look! You could probably eat them for a snack”!

Thanks, you freaks. Just because I’m Asian does not mean I’ll eat anything and everything. For a second, I was reminded of a joke PK told during a show and Naka’s adventures in eating uh….some of the more colorful delicacies of the world.

It probably didn’t help my case much when I broke a tongue depressor into makeshift chopsticks to try and get those suckers out. Get it? Suckers? Leeches? Har har har. I’m so funny.

I finally managed to get one of them out and then the epic battle began of trying to get it to attach to the patient. Either I’m super retarded (don’t answer that) or I had squeezed the leech a little too hard because it didn’t seem to know what to do. I was beginning to think the leech was a boy because it didn’t want to ask for directions nor did it take any of the help I was offering it (read : sticking what i thought was its head directly on the source of blood). Seriously. Come on now. Be a big boy and just suck it! ….that sounded so wrong.

Aaanyway, it finally figured out what it was supposed to do and began to eat. A lot. I left it alone to do its thing because I know I don’t like being stared at when I eat. I wandered out of the patient’s room and tended to other matters….like staring at the rest of the leeches in the bottles. I had decided to name them all Seymour. I’ve no idea why Seymour. It just came out and what made me laugh was that about 30 minutes after I named them, all the family members, my coworkers and the doctors started calling them Seymour also. In hindsight, I realized I shouldn’t have named them but I’ll get to that in a moment.

A little while later, the family came out of the room cracking up and told me not only did it finally eat it’s fill but it was making a run for it. I go into the room and, sure enough, Seymour One was halfway down the patient’s leg in an effort to run away. Nice!! I managed to capture it and was wondering what to do with him when I remembered that we’re supposed to dispose of them.

Now, for all you people who don’t know, you dispose of medical leeches by sticking them in a big bath of alcohol. Not a bad way to die when you think about it. I feed you a big, fat meal before getting you really drunk and then you dissolve into a bloody gooey mess.


I immediately wanted to save them all. I had gotten attached to them the minute I named them. Get it? Leeches? Attached? Har har har. Okay, but seriously. I wanted to take them home and….I dunno. Stick them in a fishbowl or something. But my friends pointed out the problems of feeding them. Dude, I’m not about to bleed myself so that they could eat.

Hm. Problem. Uh oh… poor Seymours!!! 😦

I was so sad to see Seymour One turn into a big bloody blob. I was about to cry when he was dissolved and I said a little prayer for him as he made his way to the Big Blood Bubble In The Sky. I prayed that he would come back as something better than a leech and that he would be happy.

To Be Continued.

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