Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Every breath you take...

I'll be watching you.

To see whether you're actually dead, that is.

I had the honor and privilege of holding a patient's hand while he passed. His family was with him and were bawling. Finally his wife asks, "Is he...dead?"


Eyes open. Pupils fixed. No visible breaths. Palpating his that a pulse?! Shit! Is he or isn't he?!

Where's my stethoscope?! Where it always is, around my neck. Duh. Listening...listening...listening...

You don't know how long a minute really is. You really just don't know...

I hear nothing. Yes, he really is most sincerely dead. I page the doctor and go back to my computer, mentally going over the next steps in this whole process.

About an hour or so later, the charge nurse and I are performing post-mortem care.
P. is trying to grow a pair, because she's always been reluctant to do this very important task on our unit.

As we are carefully washing our deceased patient (and I have it on good authority that I'm NOT WEIRD for talking to the ones who have passed, so there!) I notice a flicker of movement...

P. jumps back with a squawk and I admit, a tiny noise might have escaped my throat.


I belatedly realize that the fancy-schmancy pressure-redistributing mattress doesn't give a flying fuck whether the body that's lying on it is alive or dead, it keeps on with its task of preventing pressure systematically deflating and inflating sections of itself, causing a rippling movement not unlike that of a water bed...incidentally and quite freakishly causing movement to our patient.

P., once she's come down off the ceiling and caught her breath, states, "That's the freakiest thing I've ever seen in my LIFE!"

Oh, may have more experience as a nurse than I, but you ain't seen nuthin' yet!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Putting me on the spot!

As I was bustling around my patient last night, hooking her up to various IVs, etc., she looked me in the eye and asked," Am I gonna die?"

I fumbled for a moment and then spouted these words of wisdom," Well, we're ALL gonna die, eventually..."

I'm surprised she didn't punch me in the face.

Sunday, May 08, 2016

I knew exactly what she meant to say.

I have a patient with expressive aphasia. When I walked into her room this morning, the very first thing she said, while looking into my face with a huge smile, was

"Happy Birthday!"

I replied,

"Happy Mother's Day to you, too, Iris!"

What a wonderful way to start a shift!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

It was very satisfying...

as long as I held my breath!

I disimpacted a patient for the first time, w00t!

I don't think I needed a bachelor's degree for this, though.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Enough to make a sailor blush...

Oh, the things one overhears at Phlegmfest!

Out of context, they are by turns disturbing and/or raunchy.

"I love restraints!"

"Just the tip is in the mouth, you know it's not all the way in."

"I'm sorry I put my fingers on your wiggly bacon!"

It's one of those gatherings where several fascinating conversations are going on simultaneously, and you just wish you could listen to and participate in every one.

Quotes are being tossed around and people break out into song spontaneously, and nobody bats an eye.

And the food? Scrumptious!!!

I'm having a blast!

And I'm very thankful that despite dozing off every evening among the crowd, I have yet to wake up with a dick drawn on my face in sharpie. True friendship.  Thanks, Y'all!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Leaving on a jet plane...

Heading to TEXAS for Phlegmfest!

Dunno what kind of shenanigans might ensue, but with THIS crew, anything is possible!
I might or might not keep you posted, depends on many factors, one of which is my disdain of typing large amounts of text on my phone. Ugh.

I'm so excited to see so many of my friends who live so far away. I missed Blogorado last year, which made me sad, but I'm hoping I'll make it this fall. I already put in for the vacation time. ;)

Here's hoping my trip out is, bus, plane, car...we'll see!

Friday, January 22, 2016


I had the worst day ever today. I thought yesterday was bad, but today was several orders of magnitude worse.

At the end of my shift, after giving report, when I FINALLY started documenting, a long-time unit secretary/CNA (yes, she does BOTH) came up to me and asked, only half-jokingly,

"Whose oatmeal did you piss in to get THIS shitty assignment?!"

I dunno...God's?!

It wasn't supposed to be a bad day, but my patients had other ideas.

One died. One crashed. One was discharged (yay!). One's anxiety made him a huge PITA. And throw in an admission right at the end, and I was completely wrecked.

But, I work on an awesome unit where everyone pitches in to help, so that made a tremendous difference. Everything got done. All meds were given. All my patients were safe (yes, even the lady who died). Documentation is a nurse's bane, however.

I finally clocked out at 2107, picked up Tally, and headed to a local Irish pub. Good food, good music, and now I'm for bed. Luckily I don't go back to work until tomorrow night, so I can sleep in.

I just hope that the feeling that I don't know wtf I'm doing wears off soon...*sigh*.

Friday, January 15, 2016

I'm a REAL nurse now!

Clocked in at 0640 and didn't pee until 1905.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Why I became a nurse.

I admitted an elderly gentleman early yesterday morning, about half-way through my overnight shift. He came from the ED, extremely cachectic, with a diagnosis of "Failure to Thrive", which I thought only applied to newborns and infants.

He was withdrawn and monosyllabic, and I felt bad to be poking and prodding him with my admission assessment and placing of pressure ulcer preventatives, etc., when it was obvious he just wanted to be left alone.

When I came on last night, my third overnight in a row, after receiving report I walked into his room and reintroduced myself,

"Hi, Mr. Top! Do you remember me? I'm Christina, and I was the nurse who took care of you when you arrived on our unit last night."

He smiled slightly and said,

"You're the lady who got me all that apple juice!"

That he remembered me for THAT of all things, something nice I did for him, rather than the various indignities I subjected him to, absolutely made my day. Nothing got me down for the rest of my shift, not even when a patient's ileostomy bag exploded.

These moments are totally why I became a nurse. It makes everything worth it.