September 20, 2008

Christine Wideman, R.N.


must be a howling full moon tonight because everybody is streaming through my hospital and just howling crazy after 15 years in this job there isn’t much that surprises me anymore lets face it being sick brings out the very best and absolute worst in patients and their families and it all comes to a head in intensive care.

take poor grandma here in bed-one with a little bit of dementia at home but she’s mostly functional in her own normal environment but two days in the hospital with a heart attack have taken their toll and knocked her for a loop so i find her standing stark naked at the side of her bed with a river of poop yup poop that’s what we call it running down her leg she is holding the end of her iv tube in her mouth with one hand and staring at the trickle of blood from the bleeding iv insert site on the other hand i’m going home she says this hose isn’t putting out enough water for my flowers she holds the iv tube out to me it’s flooding onto the floor here she smiles you take it oh my God honey what in the world are you doing did you have to go to the bathroom here let me help you are you ok are you in any pain are you in any pain oh no dear she answers there hasn’t been any rain oh damn i think and glance at her ears empty God only knows what she did with her hearing aids now she’s totally confused sun downing and stone deaf too great don the nursing assistant comes to my rescue and 20 minutes later she is cleaned up and put back together we are both hoarse from screaming at her she still wants to know when she can leave her sister’s basement and go home.

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