There’s A Lie Stuck In My Craw…

Back during the healthcare debate, President Obama was touting the great job nurses had done for him and his family while he had a daughter “in the hospital for three days with meningitis”. THERE IT IS. The lie. I was perturbed that there was a nurse smiling at his side, taking the podium to speak on behalf of the bill in the first place, but I was angry that every word that falls out of this man’s mouth is a lie! I AM a Nurse. I am a BSN RN–meaning it took me at least 4 years to complete the degree. I have a minor in microbiology, as well, so I understand “germs”. It is not possible that his daughter was hospitalized for 3 days with meningitis. First, a definitive diagnosis of meningitis is usually 24-36 hours in the making. The child showed symptoms for probably 12 hours or more before it was evident that it was more serious than parents thought, resulting in the trip to the doctor’s office, or to the emergency room. On arrival at the ER, the physician will do a spinal tap to see if the spinal fluid is cloudy–indicating infection, possibly meningitis. Often, it is not cloudy, and must be sent for culture and sensitivity testing. Culture is the growth and Sensitivity is finding out what will kill it. If it is viral there are not many things to use, because there are no antibiotics for viruses. Often, interventions involve treating the symptoms as they arise. And, viral meningitis is not over in 3 days. It can be lengthy, and it can lead to serious brain damage, though bacterial memingitis is usually longer and more serious. The shortest stay I’ve ever seen with a viral meningitis is 12 days. The average is close to 8 days, statistically. Now, there are bacterial infections that cause meningitis. Haemophilus Influenzae type B was a common bacterial infection that could become nasty very quickly leading to sepsis and meningitis before they had vaccination for it. Shortest hospitalization for that–7 days, without the meningitis. 12-21 days with it. These are relatively SHORT stays for meningitis. I had one pediatric patient that stayed in the hospital for over three months being actively treated for meningitis of a fungal nature, and then a few more weeks after they placed shunts in his brain for the damage it caused. A second flare up, caused by an as yet unidentified bacteria, resulted in a stay of close to 6 months, and replacement of the drainage shunts. Meningitis in infants and children–even healthy children with strong immune systems–takes awhile to diagnose and treat. It is more serious, with longer admission times than those of adults. So, the LIE was that his daughter had meningitis. “Suspected” meningitis is possible. Ruled out as some other infection and discharged home on the third day is very likely. But NOT meningitis. I absolutely LOVE how this man can pull a sick child example, or testimonial from some constituent out of his ass at the drop of a hat. Each time now, I listen for the “lie” and in most every case, it is something embellished to the point that it became a lie if it hadn’t started out as one. Then, to see that “idiot” grin on the nurses next to and behind him, and as they nodded agreement it seemed to give credence to his every word. I don’t know why it took me so long to say something, as I have been irritated by this particular scenario for the entire time between when he said it and now. I put on the bull shit filters and the lie detectors every time it is my misfortune to have to listen to him speak. BUT, I have to listen. I have to know what he is lying about today, so I can make my defenses for tomorrow. I will advise any who want to take it… Do not assume that all nurses are equal. There are many nurses that pass the license test. There are several levels of difficulty for that test, and several levels of education for the nurses. Believe me that there is a difference between an A+, High Honors graduate, and a C+ graduate–even though they both passed the board test. A nurse that made a C missed a great deal of information. And, I honestly believe that was the level of the dupe that stood behind Obama that morning, grinning ear to ear, and nodding her agreement as he lied and embellished his story to make it seem that somehow her insignificant self and others like her were important to him. He lied on top of lying. I have never read anywhere else that anyone else noticed this particular lie. I just wanted to put it out there for the general knowledge. I guess he subscribes to the Rahm Emanuel adage “never to waste a good crisis”. Hey… If he is not above using his kids to garner sympathy and support for his political gain, or the upper hand in the health care debate, what kind of man is he REALLY?


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