Courtship of Chandra

Doctors frequently marry nurses. Since young doctors spend most of their time around nurses, this is intuitive.

All the resident physicians get a reputation in the hospital. I guess it is just natural. I believe I had a good reputation with regards to patient care. I later learned that I did not have a good reputation regarding relationships with nurses. I was considered a player. I found that interesting because I had never even dated a nurse. The first nurse I dated I ended up marrying.

I had been in Toledo for five months. I was an Emergency Medicine resident. The first year of the Emergency Medicine residency is spent rotating through the major hospital specialties. I was scheduled for my surgery rotation for November and December. The resident is responsible for all the patients on that service. Residents alternate being on call with the other residents on the service and spend the night. For November, call was every fourth night. For December, call was every third night due to vacations. My shift would start about 6 AM and end about 36 hours later.

Early in December, I was called to the Neuro Intensive Care Unit. A nurse was concerned about a green drainage coming out of a patients G-tube. A G-tube is a gastrostomy tube. It is a tube inserted through the abdominal wall and into the stomach to feed a patient who can’t eat otherwise. The drainage was nothing that needed addressed in the middle of the night.

Chandra worked the night shift in the Neuro ICU. The attraction was immediate. She was about 5’4” and thin, couldn’t have weighed more than a nickel over a hundred. Her hair was golden blond and framed her face. Her smile was contagious. She was friendly and offered me popcorn, the common snack throughout the hospital. We talked for a few minutes. After that, I would make a point of passing through the Neuro ICU every night I was on call to make sure they had no issues before I tried to take a nap. At least that was my excuse. The nurses knew otherwise. Chandra and I would frequently have long discussions in the break room. The other nurses, I later found out, would cover her patients for her.

Chandra stated more than once that she didn’t date residents. That certainly delayed me from asking. When December came to an end, I figured that I had to ask because my next rotation was three months at The Toledo Hospital. We would not cross paths.

I asked her if she would like to go to dinner with me and she said, “yes”. Later, I learned that the other nurses in the Neuro ICU said, “It’s about time.” We went to dinner at a restaurant named Frank Unkles. She had the stuffed mushrooms.