Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Missing Mom

I worked the day before Mother's Day. I saw that a fellow nurse had gotten a new patient via ambulance and went into the room to help out. I looked at the patient and knew immediately that he would be admitted to the hospital. He was a really down-to-earth older gentleman and fun from the get go.
I grabbed some supplies to start an IV and draw labs.

The doctor (who has a personality larger than life and hyperactive to boot) comes into the room like a whirlwind, talks to the patient for a minute and declares that he's staying and will be admitted to the hospital.

The patient starts crying. I'm talking about a big sobbing bawl. The doctor leaves the room and the primary nurse collects her paperwork and leaves too. I'm left alone with this large, crying man.

"Hey, hey, have a chronic disease, this isn't the first time that you had to be hospitalized. You knew that you would stay here, right?
The patient agreed.
"So, what's going on with you?"

"Tomorrow is Mother's Day and I wanted to be there for my mother. I knew I was getting worse and tried to hold out until Monday."

I looked at the patient's age on his band and thought his mother had to be an impressive age to still be alive.

"She's dying and I wanted to be there on this day." More crying.

"Do you visit her on other days?"

"Yes, everyday I see her. But tomorrow is Mother's Day."

"Well, I'm a mother too. My first priority is to make sure that my son is healthy and feeling well. And if he wasn't, I would want him to take care of himself. I would consider every day that my son visits me as Mother's Day. Don't let this one day take away from all the time you spend with her. You know your mom understands and appreciates and loves all of your visits everyday, right?"

He stopped crying and considered what I had said. He thanked me for making him feel better.
My heart broke just listening to how badly he wanted to see his mother on that Sunday. I have no doubt that when he gets out of the hospital, his first stop will be to see his mom.

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Ultimate Shot

I had this older patient in one of my rooms with her husband. When I went in there to perform an assessment, the husband asked me if she was going to live.

"Umm, yes. I'm thinking she's got a chance."

Hubby: Well, she's getting up there in age and if she lives, she may get her "ultimate shot".

"Her what?"

Hubby: If she get's too old, then under Obamacare, they're going to decide she's too old and put her down.

Pt: Shut up honey! Hopefully, they won't do that today. <smiles>

I'm sure they were joking, but I asked.

Hubby: Well, the way that we're headed, I wouldn't doubt it. Obama already said old people don't need a lot of care - just give them a pill. I think it'll be a shot - the ultimate shot.

Later after I went through her discharge instructions, she asked, "so no ultimate shot for me today?"

"No. They were going to give it to you, but I pleaded your case and said you had at least a good year left and they were satisfied with that."

Hubby: After next year, they're going to put all of us oldies down. We're looking to move to South America and finish retirement down there.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Tick, Tick, Tick!

The hospitalist came out of my patient's room and asked me if I noticed anything unusual about the patient's family member. Umm, no. That person was there was the patient first arrived, but left and I guess returned while I was out of the room. He told me that he is covered in bugs. Huh, interesting.

"What kind of bug?"
"I don't know, I didn't want to get close to him."

I walked in there to check it out. The family member said something to me and as he did, he fixed the collar of his shirt. Several little insects crawled out from beneath it and crawled up his neck. Then I noticed he was trying to clean his jacket. There were little bug bodies all over the floor, some were slowing crawling away, others appeared dead.

I told the unit secretary to order a terminal clean in that room after my patient leaves.
Once the room was clear, another nurse and I went in there to investigate. The little suckers were crawling everywhere!

Ticks! The bugs were ticks. I believe this an ER first. Now, we've had lice, scabies, maggots, dead snakes and 1 live snake, but never ticks. How exciting. Housekeeping was not happy about it. It took 2 terminal cleans to get rid of them all. After the first one, I checked out the room and noticed a bunch clinging to the wall and one actually made in out into the hall. He was a spunky tick. I named him Gerald.

It's never boring in the ER!

<A great picture of Gerald>

POST NOTE: After looking at Gerald's photo and comparing it to searches on the internet, I'm thinking Gerald was actually a bedbug. He was still spunky though!