Monday, September 03, 2012

Well, *that's* never happened before.

Friends and neighbors, I got my ass kicked on Monday.

And when I say I got my ass kicked, I mean I got my ass kicked.

Let me explain: there are a number of unfortunate things that can happen to make a normally nice, cheerful person batshit insane. Things like drug abuse, encephalopathy, encephalitis, vasculits, meningitis, strokes in unusual places, tumors--you get the idea. There's a lot of stuff out there that can hit your brain in such a way that your personality does a one-eighty, but most of those things are very, very rare indeed.

When they hit you, though. . .wow.

Granddaddy came in with a few personality changes and some increased sleepiness (note for new neuro people: your A-number-one sign that there's a problem is irritability and decreased consciousness in tandem) and steadily got worse. He was transferred to us with a Posey vest on, keeping him in his wheelchair as he cussed and ranted.

At some point in the proceedings, he tried to stand up and tip the wheelchair over backwards in order to get out of it. Gweneth, the steadiest and most sensible of patient care aides, was there in a second, keeping Granddaddy from overbalancing, and Stoya went around to his front to see if she could calm him down. I was close behind her. Too close, as it turned out.

Granddaddy threw a punch. Stoya did some sort of Matrix move to avoid it (thank goodness, as it would've messed up her face), and the punch landed squarely in my solar plexus.

Well! I wasn't expecting that at all.

I made a noise like a duck and went down. I'm not ashamed to admit it: have you ever been punched in the gut? I hadn't. I've been hit in the face, which only makes me angry. I've been whacked about the head and shoulders, which is disorienting and painful, but not too handicapping. Being hit in the stomach, though, right in the breadbasket, so hard that the breath gets knocked out of you? You fold up like a sack of potatoes, which I did.

Unfortunately, I folded up right where Granddaddy, still Posey'd in to his chair, could get to me with both fists and feet.

In retrospect, it's funny. It must've looked like something out of a comedy film, or that clip on YouTube where the dude in the Darth Vader costume gets attacked by a playful dog. At the time, though, all I knew was that I was getting wailed on by an angry person with what felt like superhuman strength. Oh, and I couldn't breathe.

Gweneth managed somehow to get the wheelchair unlocked in the middle of all of this and get Granddad out of range. Stoya got his arms, I got the Haldol, and things quickly got better from there.

Y'know, IV Haldol is strongly not recommended, because it tends to cause heart arrhythmias, but at that point, we didn't care. In a few minutes, things calmed down to the point that Grandpa could go back to bed.

The bruises are fading now. He didn't actually hurt me, but he sure woke me up. This is not something you think about when you're taking the NCLEX.


Anonymous said...

Damn, Jo! Hope you're alright. And I hope you get a few days off with worker's comp for heaven's sake. I'm waiting for the movie of your blog to come out.

messymimi said...

Yikes and ouch!

Hope you and he both recover quickly.

traumadrama said...

ooo, glad you're ok. those altered old people fight dirty!!

bobbie said...

Ouch!! I've only ever been pinched, face-slapped & spit at!
Hope you're feeling 100% soon!

RehabRN said...


This is what always has freaked me out about working with brain injury patients.

They go from 0 to whooped up in nothing flat.

And the knockout story was one of the first ones I got from my preceptor when we got floated to brain injury one day.

"He really didn't mean it, but he knocked the wind out of me."

I always prayed a lot when I got floated to that unit...

Hope you got a little time to recuperate.

WV has scrum in it...nice!

throwawaynurse said...

You're lucky you didn't get hurt worse. I had a similar patient but he had a really stupid family. He asked them to bring him a switchblade, which they did! While transferring him to a wheelchair he pulled out the blade and stabbed me in the abdomen. Reflexes took over and I punched him in the nose, down he went! The family threatened to sue me for assault. I called the police who informed the family they could be assessories to attempted murder. Some folks are real idiots.

Comrade Physioprof said...

Sounds scary! Dunno if you have read this book, but it is very well written and contains some pretty scary interactions with patients who are not perceiving reality accurately:

"Weekends at Bellevue: Nine Years on the Night Shift at the Psych ER" by Julie Holland M.D.

Rosanna said...

I'm very sorry this happened to you, Jo, and I'm *so glad*, too, that you didn't get hurt even WORSE!!

Although I was never physically assaulted by a patient, I was, however, threatened by a poor, very troubled patient's rambling, e.x.t.r.e.m.e.l.y.-demented, 9-or-so-page written "Manifesto" which, after my Nurse Manager showed it to me, she put it through her shredder, right there in front of me, (i.e., instead of putting it into my Permanent File). The whole, totally-unexpected incident was really upsetting//scary to me, I have to say............ i.e., I had never~~(before OR since that time either)~~been "the object" of such truly irrational and crazed f.u.r.y. from another human being, you know.

I found this recent article~~(from April, 2012)~~about violence in the healthcare workplace: to me, the content is very good//balanced, as are the subsequent #41 Reader Comments, too. A picture of YOUR bruises, Jo, would (sadly) fit-right-in............ with the #4 pictures of the injured Healthcare Workers here in the article:

Avalon said...

Lol makes me happy that my first job is with babies lol

Rachel said...

I work in Geri-Psych and some of those frail-looking, grandparent-types can totally kick anyone's butt! Hope you're okay...glad you had your Haldol handy. :)

UnsinkableMB said...

And this is why I'm glad my patients are anesthetized... :)

Good to hear that you survived!

mmaddox said...

Nursing at it's best!!! I remember early in my nursing career I was squattting beside a bed tying granny's wristrestraint she gave me a right hook on the jaw and I rebounded off the wall. Saw stars for a minute or two.

NCLEX Reviewer said...

It's good that you weren't hurt. I can only imagine the pain!