Things my coworkers don’t know about me

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The lovely editor of Scrubssent me suggestions for a couple of essays. One of them was “What does nobody at work know about you?”

The fact that I have a blog and that I write for Scrubs is something a couple of people know, so that won’t do. What does nobody know? Given that we talk about everything from cellulite to belly troubles at work, often in graphic detail and over lunch, it was a bit of a thought experiment. But here goes…

1. Nobody knows that I absolutely hate giving IM injections. It’s not often that I have to, thank Heavens, because there’s nothing worse than feeling that skitchy-pinch sensation as a needle goes through skin and into muscle. It sets my teeth on edge every time.

2. Nobody knows that toes freak me out. Seriously: You could come into my unit with a pulsating mass under your chin that’s your carotid artery about to blow, and I would be sanguine (pun intended). You could avulse the end of every finger and I would not cringe. Tonic-clonic seizures are old news…but have a broken or chipped toenail and I flip my lid. Back when I did orthopedics in addition to neuroscience, the patients that I dreaded taking care of (because of my reactions, not because of the people) were the folks who’d had bunion surgery. With bunion surgery, there’s a pin coming…out…of…I can barely write it…the end of your toe. Whew!

3. Nobody knows that, on days I think will be difficult, I dance and lip-sync to old David Bowie music in the mirror at home, prior to putting on my makeup.

4. Nobody knows that I’m painfully shy. Professionally, I can and do approach anybody at any time. Personally, it’s a whole different matter: I decline invitations out with regrets because the last thing I want to have to do is meet anybody new or hang out with a mass of people, only some of whom I know.

5. Nobody knows, though I’m sure some suspect, that I have six sets of scrubs, all identical, that get rotated and washed in order. This is not because I’m obsessive-compulsive about my scrubs, but because I’m brainless in the morning and having no variation makes getting dressed easier.

6. Nobody knows that I have no tattoos. Nobody’s ever asked.

7. Nobody knows that occasionally, briefly, for just a moment, I want to strangle every pulmonologist I see. I try to keep my murderous urges on the down-low.

And that’s really it. There are no huge secrets on my unit, only the normal day-to-day ones, like who pulls the corners of their eyes tight to see how they’d look with a face-lift, or whose ideal Friday night consists of a pan of fudge and the first season of Moonlighting. True, I haven’t told anybody about my super-secret identity as SuperNurse, but I think the phone booth I keep hauling onto the unit is cluing them in.

So…spill it. What are some things nobody knows about you?

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