Nurse Life: The Pocketbook

Yesterday my husband and I went out with some friends.  I wore a long sundress, and of course it had no pockets.  I didn’t want to be burdened with carrying a purse, so I left everything at home.  I think it makes you feel a bit naked to not have pockets, or a pocketbook with you when you go out.  I kept thinking that I had forgotten something, but didn’t.

In my years working as an ER nurse, I have heard many, many interesting stories.  I have seen and heard about ways of living that are NO WHERE near to the way that I live, or have ever lived. (Both good and bad really).

Here’s a little tidbit I have learned. Many prostitutes do not carry a purse either, or so I have been told by many of the prostitutes that I have cared for over the years.  There is often so safe place to store your purse when you are working. You can’t just lock it up in your desk drawer and get to work like many other women do.

I once had a prostitute come to the ER because she had her heroin needle stuck in her vagina.  She was working and the John decided to stiff her on the cash after he got what he wanted.  He then called the police and bailed on her.  When she heard the police coming, she stashed the needle in her vagina for safe keeping, thinking she would just retrieve it later.

However, it turns out that she couldn’t get the needle out by herself. The cap had come off and so the needle was sticking into her, causing a lot of pain.  So, when she told the police that she had a needle jammed into her crotch, they released her to seek medical care.

She shared the story with me as I checked her into one of the exam rooms. She started by saying that she had “a needle stuck in her pocket book.”  I said, “pardon me?” I had no idea what she was saying to me.  Why would she need to come to the hospital for a needle in her purse? Or so I naively thought. She then explained to me, in great detail, the area of her body that she referred to as her pocket book. After finally understanding the story, I gathered everything the doctor would need to remove the offending needle from her “pocket book.”

We found a few more items when we went spelunking.  She really did use her vagina as a pocket book! As a matter of fact, we found a $20 dollar bill(freshly earned), a key to her apartment, a rent receipt, and of course the needle.  The doctor set all of the items on the mayo stand, but placed the needle into the sharps container as it was a used sharp and needed to be disposed of.

She was LIVID!  She wanted the needle back!  I explained that since it had been used and removed from her vagina, we really did need to dispose of it properly.  After ranting and raving for quite some time, she finally accepted this and took to gathering her other items off the tray.  I quickly gave her a plastic bag for her to place her things, not wanting to go diving into her pocket book again any time too soon.

So, as I was looking around for my pocket book while out for dinner, I started to laugh to myself.  I do this often lately as I reminisce about some of the more humorous stories from my nursing life.  I realized that I did indeed have a pocket book with me, I just chose NOT to use it for that purpose.

So, when your mom told you not to put your hands near your mouth after touching money, do you think she knew about the Pocketbook trick?





60 thoughts on “Nurse Life: The Pocketbook

  1. Oh my god! Trust me to read this on my lunch break! That is bloody hilarious!

    Well maybe not bloody. Yuk.

    I’ll get my coat… excellent story!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a story. What a life some women lead. Thankful that my pocketbook is external and strapped around my neck!! And that I have always been able to provide for myself and my children legally.

    I had some crazy dreams last night and woke up thinking of you. I was in Germany in my dreams, with my daughters when they were little girls, and we were trying to negotiate through customs. I woke up exhausted and frustrated. Living abroad can be exciting and challenging. Wishing you a good week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I too am thankful for having many pocket books that are separate from my body and I too have been able to provide for my daughters w/o selling myself to do it.
      Life abroad has been very exciting and at times challenging. Thanks for the well wishes!


  3. I’ve never done ER nursing (thankfully – I’m not cut out for it) so I’ve not heard of using body parts as a pocketbook. Though we did have a patient whose balloon full of cocaine burst in her vagina and had to be rushed to the hospital with an overdose. I suppose she was simply storing her stash in a ‘safe’ place!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, that’s some story! I had never thought of his use 🙂
    I have similar interesting, in a completely different vein though, from my years working in a jail for men aged 18 and over. Life is so interesting sometimes and everyone has a story to tell 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh my gosh, what a story! My grandma always called her purse a pocketbook. I thought about her for a split second until I read further, LOL! Holy smokes…we really don’t know where that money came from, do we? <wink?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m sure you’ve encountered some amazing things in your profession!! My husband always refers to my purse as my pocketbook, but maybe when I tell him this story, he’ll stop!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Your story did not surprise me. When I was younger I spent 6 months working part-time in an ER. There are some priceless stories you pick up there that very few people would hear in going about their daily lives.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Oh I was crossing my legs as I read this! Even though it sounded funny it is sad to think of these women and what they go through and that they don’t know there is a different kind of life they could have – perhaps they don’t want it either. You must have some stories to tell from your nursing career. I will always think of this story now when I hear the word pocketbook. How did she fit it all in? 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing with us and linking up at #MLSTL. I’ve shared on social media and see you next week! Have a beautiful day xx

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Oh that made me feel just slightly ill – we have no idea how the other half lives (unless you’re a nurse!) I’m going to think twice every time I take cash out of my purse now because you’re mum was right!

    Thanks for linking up with us at #MLSTL and I’ve shared this on my SM xx

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I read the story and all the comments and I have to say I totally agree that hand sanitizer is now a MUST for handling cash. I mean, you hear the thing about “you don’t know where it’s been” but this is some kind of something. I can’t imagine what it must be like to go to work everyday and know there are people living on the edge of society, in places their childhood hearts likely never thought they’d be. You have to have a big heart to be a nurse, so I imagine this would be super hard. And yet, just as you say, this is some kind of crazy situation. I mean, a fanny pack maybe? I believe the word “pussy” originates from the Old English meaning “pocket.” So, really, the prostitute is just taking things old school.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Made me laugh and took me back to my time working in the sexual health clinic after my first back op. My god, I learnt so much as a 21 year old about to qualify nurse!! Being just off Tottenham Court road, majority of clients were prostitutes & rent boys and yes, I did learn about the “pocket book” trick…along with some pretty dodgy piercings (some of the conversations with the rent boys were hilarious) amongst other things. As a student In the ER (A&E here) we had a man rushed in with severe lacerations to his manhood…..within minutes a woman was rushed in unconscious with a nasty head injury…and the same surname. Married couple celebrating his birthday with a blow job in the kitchen, when she had an epileptic fit and the only thing to hand to get her locked jaw off was a frying pan, which hubby used to hit her over the head! Happy Birthday, sir!!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I am NEVER going to think about pocketbooks (or, as someone with a medical condition who has to self-inject 3 syringes of meds 3x/wk, used needles) the same way again! And you better believe my used sharps are going in my sharps container and NOWHERE ELSE!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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