Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Outside Of My Box, Where Other Boxes Talk--

I found a couple of very humorous personal anecdotes that I wanted to share. Both are from women who drop by this blog, and both are worthy of high regard and friendship. That said, I hope they don't castrate me for stealing their stuff. It's just that... well... their stuff was too good to pass up. I linked their blogs in the title of each piece. Please go pay them a visit and tell them I am a great guy in spite of my thievery...

--My Sink Or Swim Introduction To Nursing--

Finally, the day I'd anticipated for years had arrived.

My first day working in a hospital as a Student Nurse.

I was sooo excited.

I thought it would be easy. I thought all that time spent at Chateau RCH with Finn would count for some sort of experience. I thought my academic grades (which were in the top five percent) meant I was smart and knew what I was doing. I thought I'd breeze through my first day - no problem.

I thought wrong.

I was doing an early shift (for those of you who aren't familiar with shift work, an early shift starts at about 6:50am - extra time is needed for handover). I reported to my ward at the designated time, was allocated my patients, along with a preceptor to supervise me and thus began my life as a nurse.

An early shift, in the nursing world at least, means you are required to attend to the showering, bathing and general personal hygiene of the patients that aren't able to do those things for themselves.

My very first task on my very first day was to shower a ninety-six year old Italian man, who could not speak a single word of English, was completely immobile and so close to death that he'd been given his last rites the week before.

My preceptor and I moved him onto the commode chair (a feat in itself) and wheeled him into the ensuite attached to his room. Then my preceptor told me to shower him and left me to my own devices.

Big mistake!

The only other person I had ever showered in my life, apart from myself, was Finn. There's a big difference between showering your own child and showering a fully grown adult.

Of course, at Uni we had practiced showering "dummy patients" and we'd done lots and lots and lots of reading about how to shower patients, but I soon discovered that reading about showering a patient and actually showering a patient are two very, very different things.

So there we are in the shower. Signor (the patient) is propped up in the commode chair. Right. How difficult can this be? It's just a shower, after all. I went over all the steps from Potter & Perry's Fundamentals of Nursing (the mandatory nursing textbook) in my head. Explained slowly to Signor what I was doing, secured my water-proof apron to prevent my uniform getting wet and then I turned the water on.

Not too hot, not too cold. Good start.

Then, for no apparent reason, Signor started screaming at me "Mama Mia, Mama Mia" over and over and over. I couldn't get him to stop. He was hysterical and I was starting to get a little rattled. I was so busy trying to calm him down and not drench myself at the same time (remember people, we're in the shower) that I didn't notice that Signor, who was allegedly immobile, had hoisted himself half way out of the commode chair until... he lost his balance and collapsed, stark naked, on top of me.

Picture this, if you will.

An eager, aiming to please, first year nursing student with a completely naked ninety-six year old man sprawled on top of her, in the bottom of a shower, soaking wet because the shower nozzle is spraying water wildly around the ensuite like a possessed garden hose.

I tried really hard to reach the emergency button in the shower, but I'm a petite girl so I don't have long arms and Signor, who weighed more than me, had me pretty much pinned to the one spot. Basically, I couldn't move at all. So, I bellowed for help, at the top of my lungs, for five full minutes until my preceptor came strolling in to find out what all the yelling was about.

She thought it was hilarious. She wished she had her camera with her. I, on the other hand, wished the ground would just open up and swallow me there and then.

The word embarrassment does not do justice to what I felt that morning. I'd had a naked ninety-six year old man fall on top of me in the shower. My straight, freshly washed, neatly tied back hair was a wet, frizzy, tangled mess. My nice new, perfectly ironed uniform was saturated and I had to spend the remainder of my shift wearing surgical scrubs that were one size too big. Fantastic!

When I tell that story now, I can laugh about it. The memory itself is enough to make me laugh. The truth is, it was hilarious and in hindsight I can see the humour.

Besides, I've since learned it could have been worse. One nurse I know, in her days as a student, showered her patient, dried them, dressed them and put them back to bed before she realised they were dead. That's right - she showered, dried, dressed and tucked in a patient who was already dead. Like me, she was mortified then, but can laugh about it now.

And that, my friends, concludes the tale of my very first day as a nurse. Don't think I don't know you're laughing.

Love Kye xxx

--My Son Was Full Of Shit--

I was at bowling tonight, halfway through the first game. I had a 50 in the 5th frame, which is on the decent side of average for me. I carry my cell phone in my front pocket most of the time. Suddenly I had a funny vibe going on in my pants... normally, I'd think "yippee" because it could be JP, but I knew he was in the air over the ocean on his way back to Hell, so it couldn't be him.

It was home. Mom was here watching the kids while I had my big 'night out' with the girls. She said Alex was not good. "How, what do you mean?" He is saying he's got severe belly pain. My first thought, knowing Alex is "what did he eat now?" But Mom, having been a nurse, has already asked him the basic questions, so she is ready for mine. His pain is in his lower abdomen, not tummy, more like guts. She is thinking either appendicitis or hernia. Either way, he should be seen by a doctor. OK, so I bail on bowling, no biggie.

I come home and he's laying on Grandma's bed, covered in blankets, white as a ghost, shivering with a fever. He's laying on his side, fetal position, because his guts hurt, and doubling over helps A LITTLE. He wants to vomit, but can't.

It takes us awhile, but we get him into the truck and across town to the ER.

Guess who's working? Yeah, the same prick who hurt Eric's broken toe. Same jackass who couldn't see Alex's cracked occipital bone (which, btw, happened one year and one day ago!) This "doctor" has absolutely no bedside manner, except bad, and I really have to doubt his knowledge and experience. I think he's a total quack and a real bastard to boot.

They want to draw blood, get a urine sample, but they have to wait, because Alex is basically RUNNING to the bathroom. He says he's gotta poop. (yes, those are his words, my 13 year old son...) After roughly 5 minutes of listening through the door to him whining and moaning, almost in tears from the pain, he comes out, no poop. Mom and I start to wonder... could it just be a severe case of constipation? Actually, I hope that's all it is... better than than an appendectomy or a hernia surgery.

They get their 'fluids' out of the boy, then take him down for an abdominal X-ray. While waiting for the films to come back, we are talking to him, the 'doctor' had said it could be just constipation, but the X-ray would tell us more. At the mention of 'constipation' Alex starts to worry. "What can they do to fix that?" Hehehehehe

Mom and I exchange looks, and start giggling. He is looking really worried at this point. He's no longer in pain though, because they gave him some morphine. He likes that. Morphine is his friend.

So Mom and I start to talk to him about what an enema is, and how they do it, and what happens after it is "administered"... the look of horror and disgust and worry on this kid's face was priceless. I wish I had brought my camera. But wait, it got better.

The 'doctor' comes in with a portable thingy. Looked like a laptop, and he brought up Alex's films on it. He said the words "severe blockage" and I started smiling. Thank goodness that's all it is. He points to this big white/gray mass and calls it a big fluffy ball of poop. The 'doctor' calls it fluffy ball of poop? If it weren't so damn funny, I'd have been even more concerned about this dick's credentials. But it was funny...So I nudge Alex and say "See, you're just full of shit"

The 'doctor' says the word, and Alex freaks out "NO, I don't think I need an enema, really, can't I just go into the bathroom and try again on my own? Please?"

Nope, doesn't work that way buddy. The nurse comes in and starts explaining to him what she's about to do... he's heard it before and wants NOTHING to do with it.

No Shit? (OK, now, THAT'S funny!)

Mom and I leave the room so they can have some 'privacy' Last thing I said to him was "Good luck buddy, hope everything comes out OK"... last thing I heard as I shut the door was "Alright Alex, just take off your boxers" and a little whimper... I was giggling again... (Note to Mother of The Year judges, please do not take this evening into account when tallying the votes!)

When the nurse opened the door when she was finished, Mom and I peered into the room... Alex was laying on his side, covered up, and whines "I feel so violated" as he is trying not to laugh. The morphine has done it's job, he's feeling no pain, but he was still lucid enough to be embarrassed. Mom and I were again in stitches laughing at him.

He then began to BEG this nurse to let him go down the hall to the bathroom. She recommended he wait as long as possible, let the stuff work it's magic... hehe, no, he's going going GONE. It was a good 10 minutes, I bet, that he was in that bathroom. Mom and I were making all sorts of jokes, back in the exam room, so we didn't look like complete monsters laughing at the pain and discomfort of a child.

As we were leaving after he was discharged, the nurse said "Bye Alex, we're done being horrible to you"... and I said "I'm not" as I laughed and led my poor son into the night...

This was WAY better than bowling!


whimsicalnbrainpan said...

Thank you so much for sharing these great sites!

Anonymous said...

Technically it's not plagiarism because you gave me credit and in actual fact, I appreciate it.

But, just so you know, I could castrate you if I really wanted to. Lucky for you, I don't.

The second story had me laughing. Though not for the reasons you might think.

Since McMoron broke my heart, I comfort myself with the thought that one day he might just happen to be a patient of mine.

I'll whip back the curtain and say "Hi McMoron, I'm Kylie. I'm your nurse today. Now, unfortunately I need to administer an enema/insert a catheter into your penis. This will take a very long time and will be as painful as possible.". Doctor's orders, of course!

Does that make me a bad person?

CSL said...

I loved the first story! (still a little disturbed by the second). I'll go check out kylie's website, thanks.

Nikky said...

It's not stealing if you ask, Scott, and you did, so I won't castrate you... this time! LOL

Anonymous said...

Lucky for you Scott, neither Nikky or I are in the mood for castrating you.

That has to be a bonus, no matter how cold it is.

Nikky said...

Oh, Honey, I am ALWAYS in the mood for castration, just not Scott!LOL