Sunday, May 3, 2009
Scrubbing In Again
We're planning the launch party for CRITICAL CARE, here in my home town--noodling ideas regarding setting, time of day, date, refreshments, door prizes, decor . . . and theme. Since this book is a medical drama, I offered to dress appropriately in scrubs and stethoscope.
My actual wardrobe for more than three decades. Though I never signed novels, I did scrawl my name on patient charts, surgical consents, 5150 (psychiatric hold) forms, blood transfusion checklists, and more than a few plaster casts. Plenty of practice.
And even after almost 5 years of formal retirement from the ER, I'm comfortable in scrubs. I think. I confess to using my remaining sets as jammies . . . then paint clothes. Which means, ironically, that I must now order new scrubs for my career as an author of "medical hope opera." Today I've been perusing online catalogs, trying to decide style, color, drawstring or elastic. It gave me more than a few scrubs flashbacks. You see, back in the day, I was quite the fashionista in glamorous outfits that were:
Baggy and shapeless, with highwater or trip-worthy pant legs, useless pockets , skimpy sleeves, drawstring waistbands and a traditional color range of blue and green. In hues of : Not-yet-Washed, Faded-into-Oblivion, and Hopelessly-Stained-by-Iodine Soap-and-Leaky-Ballpoint-Pen. Topped by:
Vests: I became the Queen of Vests in my ER. Sewed my own in prints like: Chili Pepper, Easter Egg, Christmas Package, which (quite practically) reversed to Autumn Harvest, 4th of July flags, and Halloween Pumpkin.
Jumpsuits: while, though cute, were a royal pain to negotiate on a 45-second bathroom break between Code 3 ambulance arrivals. I'm lucky to have survived at all.
Cute-sy socks: A fashion statement which perks up any drab scrub set (and ugly, practical white shoe)--and is also prone to Iodine stains. And has the same bouquet as junior-high gym socks after after a grueling 12-hour shift.
Glamorous hairstyles: Do NOT ask me about my Princess Leia braids. Or the time I foolishly got a spiral perm the night before work. And did an impression of The Bride of Frankenstein for a subsequent humiliating and endless shift.
Custom scrub top: Silk-screened from an incredible sketch of our entire Methodist Hospital ER staff. Day shift, PM's, Night Shift. Friends and teammates (wacky, loyal, incredibly skilled and compassionate) front and back, on this one-of-a-kind scrub top. A weird and amazing idea. A salute to people who touched countless lives. And the only article of scrub clothes I've ever kept.
Scrubs. I've worked in them, worn them during a bank robbery (another don't-ask situation), slept in them, laughed in them, cried in them, prayed in them . . . lived in them for most of my adult life. Clothing worn by some of the most amazing and compassionate warriors I've ever known.
And now I'll be pulling them on again, to launch my new Mercy Hospital series, starting with CRITICAL CARE which releases June 1st.
I'm suiting up to bring my readers pulse-pounding stories of medical drama and hope. Can't wait.
Stay tuned for upcoming details . . . I'd love to have you scrub in with me!