Several days ago I experienced my first moral, ethical, and familial medical dilemma. It was a trifecta of dilemmas and even now I am overwhelmed by the weight of it all. My extremely uncomfortable eight months pregnant wife wants an epidural.
Moral dilemma: I have no morals, skip this one.
I am a registered nurse. As a registered nurse I am constrained to only those duties I have been personally trained for or am legally able to perform as dictated by the nurse practice acts. Five google minutes later and I am instantly met with disappointment after reading our state’s nurse practice guidelines. According to the state of Washington only a physician may administer spinal nerve blocks or epidurals.
It will take me years to complete this training before partaking in the simple pleasure of stabbing people’s spines with giant needles and would all this be worthwhile given the extensive medical training necessary to obtain it. Years of training would be required to obtain the training necessary to perform the skill within the time I needed it (five seconds ago). I suppose I could also continue with advanced education in theoretical physics to learn the secrets of time travel necessary to take me back to the time I would need the skill, but would I even want it then. It was the ultimate paradox. I fell into a deep depression lasting only seconds long (I’m a good self soother).
Some of you may argue at just how deep a deep depression could be when it is only seconds long, but what would you know. Personally, I think the severity of a person’s depression (no matter how fleeting) can only be determined by the object (me) and is therefore subject to that object’s subjectivity and not the objectivity of all other objects outside of that object. The confusion of the previous sentence and the fact you are reading this on the internet (where all truth resides) only enhances my statements validity. Plus, how depressed could anyone be when only one paragraph ago, they accomplished one of there lifelong goals: successfully use the word paradox in a complete sentence. So there! Back to epidurals.
Obviously, I would not be able to perform this procedure myself, but would I even need to. The black market is full of useful services and goods. If there are black market babies, then there must be black market nerve blockers to protect the discomfort of mothers housing other babies. All I need are black market doctors to perform black market nerve blocks, but now as black market purchases increase, the need to perform black deeds to finance it all also increases. Now a black market nerve blocker and black market doctor require the quick money obtained through prostitution, drug smuggling, people smuggling, or God only knows what other horrific deeds were necessary to purchase these black market nerve blocking services within the time I needed them (again, five seconds ago). It was a battle between two strong moral imperatives: my professional obligation to do no harm and provide respect to the nursing field by not becoming a drug smuggling prostitute and my familial obligations towards my long suffering wife at the parasitic, but adorable hands of my unborn daughter.
Was the alleviation of my wife’s pain worth losing my job after illegally performing an epidural on my soon to be paralyzed wife at the hands of an unlicensed doctor after becoming a drug smuggling coyote who dabbled in prostitution. It was tough to tell. One thing I did know: nursing was temporary, but marriage is forever. Familial duty always trumps professional duty. Plus, my wife scares me sometimes. Now if you’ll excuse me the cocaine I’ve hidden between my ass cheeks underneath these extremely uncomfortable assless chaps I use for prostituting myself is really starting to chafe and daddy’s gotta earn.