Saturday, November 19, 2011

One thing about being single

. . .is that you learn how to do things on your own. You get used to doing things on your own, and even begin to like it.

Today, for example, I hung wallboard and panelling (not that I like panelling, but I had to match the stuff that was already on the walls). Last weekend, I took down an eight-by-eight-by-two built-out closet that was messin' with the feng shui of the bedroom where I type. Tomorrow I'll bake a couple of pies (home-made crust, thanks) and tape and mud the wallboard in the utility room. I did all of this on my own, except for loading the stuff into the bed of my neighbor's truck today. I'm used to doing stuff on my own. I'm good at it.

Which is how I came to be lying atop a fighting, screaming, thrashing man, holding his wrists with one hand to keep him from punching me and threading an NG tube down his nose with the other hand. I figured I could do it on my own.

After all, I reasoned, with six of Ativan and God only knows how much of Haldol already in his system, he's well sedated. He withdrew to pain thirty seconds before I busted out the KY and the NG tube, so I figured I was good to go.

I was wrong.

As he felt the bed starting to rise, both of his legs went over the bedrail and he started screaming. It was a full-blown, woman-like scream that went on and on and on. Dude could've made a killing in opera, I tell you. I figured that he, like most patients with encephalitis, would stick to the screaming and maybe make a small gesture here and there with one arm.

Again, I was wrong.

He scooted all the way to the end of the bed, got his legs out, and proceeded to try to buck his way out of the situation. Which is why I laid atop a person who had a history of projectile-vomiting blood and punching unsuspecting phlebotomists.

I was very glad to see Figgy, the stocky and strong intensivist, come through the door at a run. Figgy and I managed to get the guy back into the bed and tied down, then ran him down to CT.

It was a long day. I'd give my kingdom (with new wallboard!) for a thousand milligrams of methocarbomol right now.


bobbie said...

Yikes... I remember pts. like that.
Thank the universe for the Figgy's of the world...

Donna. W said...

Dang, I read the blog of a guy who works in a prison. This entry sounds like something he would have written. Now I'm scared.

woolywoman said...

lord save us from the crazy yet misdirected strength of those with swellin' on the brain. no good can come of it. next time, tie him down first, mkay?

Might as well, can't dance... said...

I prefer Flexeril to Robaxin! Sounds like another fun day at work. I have had similar experiences lately! Blessings! WTG on being a geaat handywoman!

Lynda Halliger Otvos (Lynda M O) said...

You are an amazing nurse. If I ever need round the clock care-I’m coming after you, Miss Jo.

messymimi said...

Just glad you got out of that one in one piece.

Great nurses and intensivists are worth their weight in gold.

Matt L. said...

Homemade pie crusts - butter or shortening or a little of both :) ?

Liz's Blog said...

this reminds me of my days in the children's home, except most of the kids going off on us were between 50 and 100 lbs. thank god for timely assistance!

Linda Carole Bloom said...

Been there . . . done that . . . not last night though, thank goodness. Definitely rather make pies!!!

Rosanna said...

'Sounds like another one o' your Routine Days At Work, WrestlerRN Jo, i.e., havin' to (almost!!) ............ "just take 'em down-to-the-mat"!!

I've also----(like you and the others, Above)----been there with completely *out* of control patients, e.g., I'll never forget one particular patient, (who suddenly flipped into alcoholic DTs); then proceeded to rearrange all the furniture by first pickin'-up his very heavy electric bed and (completely effortlessly!!) just slammin' his whole bed VERTICALLY, and precariously, against the wall, with the foot of the bed ............ up at the *ceiling*. (It was certainly another LONG shift for me, haha!!)

I know that some----but objectively not enough----Nursing Schools have, (as part of their course curriculum), "Self-Defense For Nurses"; and I think you definitely could teach such a course, Jo, because ............ you've sure BEEN THROUGH IT *A.L.L.*!!