An interesting week at work.
I had to turn in a nurse for reporting for duty while under the influence.
One of my buddies from work was fired.
One of my patients, admitted for anemia with a hemoglobin of 5.5, required 4 units of blood. While hooked up to blood tubing, he had to drink 4 LITERS of a bowel prep (very cutely mis-named Go-Lytely) which meant he would have to take a watery shit every 10 minutes. Even after I set up a bedside commode for him, he would shit all over the bed, the rails, the floor, his gown, the commode. He wouldn't sign the consent to perform the colonoscopy because "we were crazy fuckers that wouldn't let him go home."
Another of my patients, supposedly (and officially) admitted for COPD (bad breather) included, among his daily intake, 6-12 cans of beer, and two bong-hits of marijuana a day. In a stupor, he told me, in complete seriousness, that he "was not an alcoholic, he just drank a lot." When I asked him about falling a lot at home, he said that he was really lucky this last time, because, Thank Almighty God, he fell in front of the refrigerator, so he could still get to his beer until help arrived. Actually, perversely, he made me laugh a lot (WITH him, not AT him). OK, more AT him than WITH him. He's my personal record for administration of IV Ativan (Lorazepam). One milligram IV every hour for 10 hours straight. Never phased him. It would have killed me (and you, and all of our families, and all of our friends, and most of our neighbors).
Another patient, a bit of a nervous nellie, came in with abdominal pain. Every time I went in there to check on her, she would ask something like, "Could you possibly tell me the symptoms of abdominal cancer?" God, I thought I was bad. I mean, every headache of mine is an aneurysm. She had the voice of Babe. I loved that pig movie, but by the end of the shift, I would have strangled that pig and eaten fatty bacon for breakfast.
Another patient, in her 90's, had been through multiple bowel surgeries, many many units of blood, and had a decubitus ulcer on her back that a small pomeranian could have crawled up and slept in. She had been admitted for more than 3 weeks by the time I was assigned to her. Barely conscious. Never spoke a word while I took care of her, turning her from side to side every 2 hours to prevent her back from breaking down further, removing acidic C Dif -infected feces from her skin. During my taped shift report to the oncoming dayshift nurse (in which I try to include some discharge planning), I simply said the only discharge plan was "Heaven." She died the next morning, about 2 hours after the end of my shift. That's the 3rd or 4th time I've done that sort of thing the past several months. Yes, it freaks me out. (No, crackhead, I am not doing anything weird to my patients.)
Off for two. I'm reading Dean Koont's Dark Rivers of the Heart. I've noticed in several of his novels, he has a gift for making pets (in this specific case, a dog) so likeable.
And everyone send Happy Thoughts to my poor room mate at work. He's having more trouble with the crazy bitches that run the place.