That’s better…

I feel much more human now that I’ve had twelve hours of basically uninterrupted sleep, a shower, and food that wasn’t prepared in a styrofoam cup. That gets old pretty damned fast, I assure you.

So.

Yeah.

I can say, with great sincerity, if that was a minor, not particularly impressive, slow-moving-and-not-that-strong hurricane, I’m not in any hurry to experience the other kind. It rained. A lot. For twoish days and change. It blew down trees. We lost power at the morgue but, fortunately, the building actually has its own limited-duration power-generation capacity due to our special refrigeration needs and the fact that losing power during snowstorms here is a pretty likely thing, too, so nothing thawed out. I was on-site for the duration, because trying to go home wasn’t really an option — the mayor declared a state of emergency fairly early on due to both the rivers that run through this city being forecast to flood at record-breaking levels, ordered non-essential traffic off the roads, and, well, me getting home wasn’t actually essential. I had packed a boogie-bag with some changes of clothes and a travel kit of necessaries in it, and caught a couple hours of sleep in the staff lounge during the course, but mostly I worked. Paperwork, some arrivals processing. Dr. Weller instructed us not to actually start any more advanced procedures until the power situation stabilized.

Which actually left us — and by us, I mean myself, two of the other pathologists, the bereavement counselor who elected to hang with us in case distraught people showed up looking for missing family members, and three of the deiners — with a lot of time to sit around and freak each other out with “no shit, there I was in the morgue” stories.

Don’t look at me like that. There are whole websites devoted to the weird stuff that goes down in hospitals and associated facilities — my personal favorite is and will always be ER Stories’ “bizarre” section — and I assure you that the morgue is no exception. The fact that there’ve been, max, 25 documented cases of Lazarus Syndrome since the ’80s does not mean that every facility I’ve ever been in doesn’t have somebody on staff who knew someone else or who had a family member who knew somebody that witnessed a cold cadaver sit up and ask where they were ten hours after being declared medically dead. It’s pretty much the morgue urban legend, though there are others that get passed around like cherished family stories from Christmases past. Some of this stuff is just too freaky to be credited as anything other than the produce of a wildly overactive imagination — but there’s also some stuff that’s. Well. Plausible.

I took notes. ^_^

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~ by Dr. Nate Harada on September 1, 2011.

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