Wednesday, July 16, 2008

No 'Crouching Senior, Hidden Bedpan' Last Night

Behold the Dying Swan

This is an excerpt from an email I sent to a friend of mine that needed some cheering up. Sometimes a few entertaining anecdotes from the night nurse are are just what the doctor ordered.

There must be some things that were funny about last night...Ah yes.

So I am starting an IV on this uber irritating 'dying swan'--that is what I call people who throw themselves on waiting room floors and flop about to

a) get attention and
b) get seen more quickly*.

So she's in the ER because she's got diarrhea and vomiting...blowing her stale smokers breath** into my face while I am attempting to get the line in and she yells to her husband

"this is the last time I eat your mothers cooking!!!"

I howled.

What else....oh yeah. 100% true. There are two guys in the department, one is named Bob Bobby*** he's got a sore knee and is about to go home. The other guy's name is Bob Hoppner but he'd been hit by a semi trailer after riding his bike out in front of it. The semi swerved but still managed to clip him on the way by (breaking Bob's pelvis in the process).

So I give Bob Bobby his tylenol 3's and discharge him. A few minutes later a woman comes in and says "I'm looking for Bob---Bobby"

I reply:

"oh you just missed him! He just walked out the door"

She looks at me like I ought to be on the short bus and says "Ummm, NO. Bob got hit by a semi today and has a broken pelvis! There is no way he walked out of here".

Then I realize she was looking for Bob Hoppner but was saying it like "Bob...Bobby" (in case I knew him as Bobby).

Whooppppsss. Slight confusion. Almost the same name. really I do know who my patients are. Really! He's in bed three....sheeeeeshh.

Hmmm....there has got to me more...

Uh....the "more" phine the better??

Tough crowd....tough crowd....can you hear me in the back??? tap this thing on????

OK then we get this 70 year old farmer who fell down the steps of his porch successfully giving himself the most OUTSTANDING spiral tib/fib fracture I have EVER seen. The EHS boys must have gotten all excited because they cut off his one pant leg to Daisy Duke length and left the other leg long. I was shaking my head at his fashion statement (I mean really, if we can take bib snowpants off without cutting you can take off GWG's without cutting). So I comment on his new 1/2 short 1/2 pant combo and tell him now he has pants that he can wear when he's just can't decide what to wear. He laughed pretty hard. It may have been the morphine...

Later I was escorting via ambulance this head-injured hockey player (with a fractured skull) for a CT. Anyway, he's this big manly man who is trying to play it cool but when the sirens went on he gets this big grin on his face and looks at me saying "WOW--ahhh COOL!! I feel like such a BADASS!!!!". And then three minutes later (because he is a head injured lad with no short term memory) he suddenly looks up at me and says "WOW--ahhh COOL!! I feel like such a BADASS!!!!"

Evidently he felt like a badass.

Yeah. It was a pretty good night. No acute renal failure with chronic diarrhea like the night before.

*This tactic actually increases wait times usually, plus makes it hard for the staff to see you as we often lock our eyes in a roll to the ceiling when you do come into the department. If you really want to get seen more quickly (and you are not in respiratory arrest) slap on a tin foil hat and say you are having chest pain.

**My empathy for people is inversely proportional to how much they smoke while waiting to be seen. If you are well enough to smoke you are well enough to be at home watching Springer. Unless you are a psyche patient.

***These are obviously not their actual names but the nature of the names reflect how the mix up occurred.


Ryan said...

"chronic diarrhea". That sounds less like a symptom and more like something you're sentenced to.

Albinoblackbear said...

Well, when you are the nurse it certainly feels like a sentence.

Rogue Medic said...

So this isn't the missed a therapeutic dose, or two, of heroin kind of diarrhea and vomiting?

Albinoblackbear said...

nah...I think it was more of a didn't wash her hands after picking her kids up from daycare kind of thing...cuz hubby ate the same