Definition of LITERAL
a : according with the letter of the scripturesb : adhering to fact or to the ordinary construction or primary meaning of a term or expression : actual <liberty in the literal sense is impossible — B. N. Cardozo>c : free from exaggeration or embellishment <the literaltruth>d : characterized by a concern mainly with facts <a veryliteral man>
Perhaps I’m being petty, but the misuse of the word “literally” is annoying at best. In the context of an enabling family member referring to the enabled patient on the stretcher, it really chaps my hide. In reference to the patient with the headache in room 6, my tolerance for semantics has reach it’s tipping point. The doting husband felt compelled to hunt me down at my work station and throw furry eyeballs at me until I could no longer continue to ignore him beyond a socially acceptable time frame.
“Can I help you?”
“My wife, she’s dying in there. . . LITERALLY.”
Perhaps I should have prefaced this with the understanding that we do, in the ER, have patients who are actually dying. And while bed 6 was in pain, she was not, in fact, dying. At least not according to any objective measurement available to us in western medicine. (Some might argue that we are ALL dying, a little bit every day.)
Adding to the emotional trauma of literally dying was the report of 10,000. That is, 10,000 out of 10. That is, 10,000 on a pain scale of 1 to10. Once we got her down to a reported pain level of 10 out of 10, I felt a remarkable sense of accomplishment, having logarithmically improved her pain level by a multitude of 1000.
Lots of things on the burner at Alchemist, but I just wanted to give a shout to the Han River Riders, who are a group of ex-pats with a collective passion for cycling in South Korea. Here’s the custom cycling jersey we did for them. Requested colors were blue, red, white, and black–the colors of the Korean flag.
Got a new design coming down the pipe for the Alchemist retail store too. Camo theme. Not kidding. Pics to come.