Work craziness, made-up girlfriends, fecal transplants, links, et cetera
The main reason I haven’t posted in like two weeks is that work has been so physically and mentally exhausting since the new year. I just haven’t had the energy. It was so slow on my unit for the latter part of 2012, and now all of the sudden it has swung completely in the other direction. The past few weeks have featured:
–An 84-year-old woman, legally blind, post craniotomy, confused, helpless, pulling at her I.V., and without her dentures so her speech is barely intelligible. She has since had a medication switch so she is less agitated, but for the three nights in a row I was there last week, she may have slept a total of 5 hours. The rest of the time she was awake, and I mean the entire rest of the time (I’m not one to exaggerate, mind you), she was yelling, “Help me, help me, Oh God help me, please, Michael, help me, help me.” She didn’t have much power in her lungs, but I assure you, she was yelling as loud as she could. It was constant, people. And of course, it’s always fun when people from other units are walking by for whatever reason and giving us the stink eye because we aren’t helping the poor woman who is calling out for someone, anyone, Michael (whoever that is) to come help her.
–In the very next room, we got a woman in her late 70s, mildly confused, but even more exhausting. It’s become my belief that when people get old and confused, their real inner self is let loose. Their id regains control, I suppose. If you were a racist at heart, if you had a self-important disposition, if you were simply just an a-hole, that all comes out. This woman not only told our black employees not to touch her bed, she called our Hispanic charge nurse a “monkey prostitute.” (whether that means she is a monkey and a prostitute or that she prostitutes herself to monkeys we were unable to clarify). She was on her call bell nonstop. Every time someone went in to see what she wanted, it would contradict the thing she previously asked for. My feet are hot, now they’re cold; put a blanket on me, no that’s too much; change my colostomy bag, get out of my room. This was all done in a old-timey southern accent (which I came to do a killer impression of), and followed by a death stare. We eventually took her call bell away. Of course, then she just started to yell. She’d yell for a while, and if nobody came soon enough, she’d scream. Then she started complaining about her aforementioned roommate being too loud. We all got a kick out of that.
Those are just two highlights. I’m leaving out the 400 pound man who wants us to help him to the bedside commode, the ubiquitous pain-seekers, drug addicts, and drunks, and the old Polish woman who was kicking and biting.
One of the reasons I feel like I’m good at my job is that I don’t get flustered. However, many of the people I work with do. That’s not to say you’re a bad nurse if you get flustered, it’s just draining to be around. You can have just a busy of a night when there are only 20 patients on the unit as opposed to 40. But the environment is just way more hectic to be in.
Okay, enough about work. Other thoughts from the past few weeks:
–This whole Manti Te’o is just bizarre, huh? However much involvement, if any, he really did have, he still should have come forward sooner with the news, in my opinion. So should have Notre Dame. It’s kind of a slap in the face to people who actually do have leukemia, to allow the charade to continue when you know the truth.
–You know, I just don’t see how you can call someone “girlfriend” or “boyfriend” if you’ve never met them. I think “friend” will suffice just fine for people you only know from the internet. Romantic relationships involving touching, being in the same space as someone physically. Sure, you can meet someone on the internet or phone and it can develop into a boyfriend/girlfriend situation, but the “love of your life” should be someone you’ve been around in person.
–A few new blogs I’m digging lately are the Tragedy Series and Old Florida. The former is quite hilarious (don’t overlook the tags, either), and the latter is an awesome tour of days gone by in the Sunshine State. Goes great with the book I just started reading. Also, I know this one has been around, but Garfield minus Garfield is always good for a few sad laughs.
–New treatment for C. Diff! Sign me up for the research trials of the fecal transplant!
–I’ve been working on a new musical project (something else that’s kept me from the blog), which I’ll release in a few days, or as soon as my friend is finished with his contribution.