5.02.2008

Practically Everything From My Brain

**WARNING: EXTREMELY LONG POST**
Mark and I went to Dairy Queen for no reason. It was yummy. I got the chocolate covered strawberry sundae in a dipped waffle cone, and Mark got the peanut and fudge parfait. I have to admit, though, mine was upside down...inside out...whatever. The strawberries were on top of the chocolate. And that chocolate, I was thinking it was hot fudge (yummy delicious), but no, it was the shell stuff that gets hard and sticks in between the crevices of your molars. But, you know, it was worth it :) While we were eating our ice cream, there was this family eating their ice cream. Imagine that?! That's not the cool part. The cool part was their leaving part. They (four of them, dad, mom, big brother, and little brother) had ridden their bikes. Well, Little Brother didn't ride a bike. He got a passive ride in one of those little carts that hook up to a bike. Yeah, lucky guy. It was so cute! When I have kids, I want to be a cool parent that rides our bikes to the dairy queen during the summer. Now that I think about it, if Mark and I stay where we're moving to for a while, we'll only be just a little ride down the road from that Dairy Queen, so we can be cool parents! How exciting is that?!

On another note. I've been to the doctor more times in the past month that I can remember ever going. Ok, maybe I'm exaggerating, but only a little bit. It's nice having insurance :) I can even get my prescriptions filled :) I'm headed to a dermatologist next week to get some moles taken off my back. They've been around ever since I can remember, but one of them is giving trouble, talking back, and not eating it's veggies, that my doctor and I agreed that it's safer to have them done away with. It's going to be an experience, I can tell you that. From my medical knowledge and my over-active imagination, any medical procedure I have done (drawing blood, getting shots, ANYTHING) leaves me cringing trying to NOT imagine what's being done.
Speaking of medical stuff, I had the fortunate-ness lucky-ness opportunity ...I was in the right place at the right time. On Thursday, one of my patients got to be on the pointy end of a spinal tap. Listen up, it's NEVER a good thing when the doctor, a neurologist, someone who's good at it, says, "This isn't going to be easy." I should have left and told him to call if he needed anything, but I didn't. Being the eager young nurse, I said...no, nevermind, I didn't say anything. The Doc initiated it. He mentioned that Mr. "My blood pressure drops from 130/80 to 60/30 when I stand up" needed a spinal tap to check for something, and captured my line of vision, then commanded me to assist it. I got sent all over the hospital, to places I didn't even know existed to find items I didn't even know had been invented. The procedure took almost 2 hours! TWO HOURS! Forget what you see on House MD and ER. Forget the quick needle in and liquid drips out. Forget what it was like to have feeling in your arms or the relief of sitting down. It would have been cool if I had been able to see it. I was standing on the opposite side of the bed holding Mr. "you know what he does"'s shoulders and knees, while all I could see was the Doc's hands disappearing from my line of sight with a HUGE needle. Three and a half inches long, he asked for it specifically. Mr. "funky BP" said the last time he had a spinal tap done was in '64 for the military. Doc said it's something you should probably only participate in every 60 years or so, anyways. Participate meaning be on the pointy end of it.

I got to feel was it was to have The Split at work on Thursday. See, normally, each nurses' rooms are in a row, right next to each other. One or two might be around the corner, but they're all with in a stone's throw of each other. The towers are set up in two horseshoe shapes, open end to open end, two U's on their sides facing each other < > . Rooms 1-12 make up one horseshoe, while 13-24 make up the other. I had rooms 22, 23, 24, 1, and 2. To have The Split means that you have two rooms on one side of the tower, and three rooms on the other side, a part of each horse shoe. To have The Split means you have two nurses' stations to check for orders, two monitors to watch cardiac rhythms on, two medicine rooms to gather each patients' meds. It means you have twice as many steps you have to take to give care to your peeps. And I had it. One a good note, I was still working my preceptor, and she was a HUGE help to me. I seriously might have pulled my hair out, thrown down my beloved stethy, and pitched a pity party for me if I had been on my own. I already mentioned Mr. "I do fun things when I stand up" to you.

Next to him was Ms. "Give me comfort care only cause I'm dying" who was so sweet, had tons of crying family visiting, and had morphine scheduled every two hours, and she peed constantly. I did have sympathy for them, I promise I wasn't a cold hearted nurse. I was just running around everywhere all the time. Bless her heart, she was struggling to breathe so badly, that we had special breathing treatments for her. You've heard of albuterol treatments? Well, she had morphine treatments. One thing morphine does, besides give you a wonderful high from pain, it opens blood vessels (which can be good and bad). By opening blood vessels, it can give you a headache, make you dizzy, AND make it easier to breathe, which was the effect we were going for with the morphine breathing treatment. If she has stopped breathing on my shift, I would have fallen apart...time to change the subject, next patient.

Next to her was my start to this fun day. About 11:30/45ish, Mrs. "I'm having a stroke and/or heart attack" called out and stated she felt weak, funny, and couldn't talk correctly. AND she was having chest pain. Her vital signs, blood sugar, EKG, everything was normal. She said she was having trouble finding the right word to say, that she was stuttering, and stuff. Her doctor didn't seem all impressed, and told us to call her cardiologist. While waiting for him to answer his page, Mrs. "I feel different" went to Mrs. "My face is drooping and feels numb". Not good. So Anna (my wonderful marvelous preceptor) and I called a "MRT" medical response team. They come to prevent code blues from being called. There are signs everywhere in the hospital to call them if our patients become different, are going south, things like that. So we did. The Doctor was still in denial about anything needing to be done, but her cardiologist said send her to the Intensive Care Unit and talk to a neurologist about it. So we did.

Across the great divide was my Empty Room. Next to that was Mr. "Independent". This was my favorite patient. He understood what I was going through. I saw him about 730-830 while I was passing medicines and doing assessments. Next time I saw him was about 4pm. Other people saw him and stuff, but I wasn't able to. When I went it there about 4pm to check on him, make sure he was still breathing and all, he was like, "I know you've been busy, I haven't seen you all day!" He asked for a razor and some shaving cream cause he wanted to shave before going home. WHAT?! Home?! Yeah, he's discharged and going home. Lovely, I had no clue at all. But he was nice about it, antsy to get out. He had this wound on his ankle, said he had it since 1989. For real. almost 20 years he's had this, what we call non-healing would. He just wanted the dressing changed before he put his socks on. When I went to do it, he said, "Honey, you're just going to let them wear you out. Let someone else help you." I assured him I was being helped out, greatly. And that I'm not always this busy, just today. He finally got all settled and left.

About, probably 12 or 1ish, either right before or right after we sent Mrs. "Stroke" to the ICU, I got a call about a patient coming to my empty room. Lovely. She was actually a very nice lady, wanted to be very informed about everything, Mrs. "And that's for...?" She, like a lot of elderly, reveled it the fact that someone was listening to her. She told me all about her life history, all the medical problems she could think of. She was being worked up for heart problems and high blood pressure issues. A total self care if I ever had one.

Remember Mrs. "Stroke" we sent to the ICU about 100? Her old room sat empty for a few hours, until they called with another patient I was going to get, Miss. "I went running yesterday and now my chest hurts when I breathe." I think she was in her room for, at the MOST, two hours. For real. She had significant family history of heart attacks, so I can't blame her for being cautious, but the ER could have kept her until they decided it was nothing serious. Two hours in a hospital room, waiting to see her doc, who sent her home after he saw her. About that same time...let's put it this way...the same ambulance people that dropped her off, went next door to take Ms. "Almost an angel" home. Seriously. They dropped my new patient off, got a page, and said where's 23, we're picking her up? It was next door. Talk about quick response!

By the time 600 rolled around, I had taken care of 6 different people (plus various family members), sent 4 people on their merry ways, only had 2 left under my care, and hadn't charted a thing since 12! People wonder why nurses age fast...but I am thankful for computer charting!

I got home, Mark had ordered pizza for dinner. We ate pizza for dinner, attempted to watch "I am Legend" but I had to turn it off so I could sleep somewhat peacefully. I didn't though :( I woke up with a horrible migraine and took up residency on the couch after taking a shower. My mom told me that waht she does is puts on a familiar movie then falls asleep. The familiar movie makes it easy to fall asleep, and you don't have to work your brain to follow the plot. It worked out all fine and dandy, except for the light coming from the TV part. It was awful, I couldn't get my eyes shut tight enough. Then I had this great idea. I took my pj pants and wrapped them like a bandanna around my eyes. Perfect! I could still hear, but I didn't have to squeeze my eyes shut. Oh, also while I was at the doctor today, I was able to convince her to write me a script for my migraine meds :) and I have insurance to pay for them!

So, I should be tired from my midnight jaunt, and from getting up early (800, I just couldn't sleep any more), but I'm not. I haven't even had any caffeine or anything today! Mark's tired though, poor baby. He's already taken a 20 minute nap this evening. Now, he's put down his Halo controller and is asleep again. I hate waking him up to go to bed. I feel so evil. So, I'm going to put on a movie to keep me from writing another super long blog. I just have so much to tell you all! I guess this is why I'm not a big talker. When you talk, you only get one chance. There's no delete or rewording the sentence if you don't like it. There's also no spelling to worry about, but that's besides the point. While I'm writing, I can pause for breaks during words to rethink how I want to say it. But while talking, people look at you funny if you even think about breathing during sentences.

I really am going now.

1 comment:

  1. Man, you really ARE tired! You're starting to wander there at the end of this post!

    Things are good here--graduation went well, and now we just have lots of last-minute wedding things to do. We had a Family barbeque yesterday at our apartment complex, and Darrell Dow came with his wife, baby, and Miriam. I thought of you and wished you were with us. :-)

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