Friday, January 14, 2011

Random Musings Again

I saw a ten year patient in for a minor orthopedic procedure the other day who had just gotten over Pertussis (Whooping Cough) after months of illness. The parents still do not believe in vaccines. I know it can be scary to subject your newborn infant to a bunch of immunizations, but if you don't get your child vaccinated by the time they are ten...that just seems ridiculous.

I had an elderly patient the other night who was plesantly confused. She knew who she was and who her family members were. However, time and place were nebulous concepts for her. She vacillated between it being "two thousand something" and sometime when Lyndon Johnson was president. She usually knew what city she was in, but not which hospital or exactly why she was there. Her family noted that she had agreed to stop driving several years ago and they had sold her car at that time. She refused, however, to get rid of her guns. Apparently Grandma still has a 38 caliber pistol next to her bed and a shotgun in her closet. I totally support our second amendment rights, but WOW!

Why are the online programs for filling out incident reports so complicated? If an incident has occurred, you are already traumatized, pissed off, worried, embarassed, annoyed or all of the above. It makes it worse when it is next to impossible and practically takes a committee of nurses to figure out how to complete the report.

I met a 54 year old patient who had just had his third child (he was getting a vasectomy). I also met a 57 year old woman who had several great grandchildren.

I was in phase II recovery getting a patient ready to go home. One of the things we do is make sure they can tolerate liquids by mouth. This lady was not interested in the usual hospital beverages, juice, ginger ale, or generic cola. She had missed her morning coffee and wanted to get some caffeine into her system immediately. Understandable. So I asked her how she liked her coffee. Did she take sugar, Splenda, creamer? "Creamer" she replied. Did she like it light or dark? "Oh" she said "About Barack Obama".

One of the great things about being a nurse is getting to know your patients and learning from them, right? Last week I met a patient who told me all about their former occupation, meth lab owner. I learned about all the steps of making meth. Fascinating. This gentleman had recently been forced to close down his operation after he lost his home to forclosure. "Damn bank" he said.


  1. I can relate to grandma and someone better not break into her home.
    I have nothing against guns just some of the people owning them. Along with the criminal background checks there should be a mental health one too.
    Even if you don't thanks for hitting my follow button, simple fun things.

  2. Too funny; maybe he should start some sort of "faces of foreclosure" campaign, along with people who do all sorts of illegal "businesses" in their homes.

  3. NP, I agree with you. I actually own a gun myself, so I totally understand the desire for self defense and absolutely support the right to own one. I just worry that Grandma might start sundowning one night and shoot the wrong person :o I guess I had never really thought about gun ownership in the elderly with dementia. I always worried about driving, setting the kitchen on fire, that sort of thing.

  4. Oh wow, grandma... kinda makes me glad I live in Canada!!!!!!


  5. I love reading stories about the interesting people you meet in the ER, i.e. the meth dealer. Thanks for sharing!