Saturday, March 11, 2006

Mouth Breathing

Theme at work today for me in the ED: code brown
Theme at work today/department: Overdose

I spent the better part of my day yesterday breathing through my mouth. Why, you say? It is my technique, passed down from my husband Tommy and others well skilled in the art of dealing with liquids they are not wanting to smell too much of... "Code Brown" is a delicate word for the type of liquid I am talking about. It seemed as though my contribution to one lady's care was an hour with her and an RN rolling her side to side like a rocking boat, wiping and throwing more chucks (absorbant thingies) under her. She was on a ventilator, and attached to every imagineable piece of wiring and tubing as well. She was also restrained to protect her from pulling out her tube. For every roll, untie-move arms and legs, re-tie, and roll. Once we would get close to getting her clean, out would FLOW another round (she had had activated charcoal, ergo the flow.) So, three times, three strikes, about what seemed to be an hour passed. The RN from ICU, asks for a stopper-like-thingy that gets puts up there, and attaches to a bag, similar to a foley catheter for urine, to catch the next round and make our job much easier. Alas, no such animal in the ED. So, he jogs to his department and gets one. It only works if the flow is just that. A flow. If you have any chunks, it'll onlly act like the little boy and his finger in the dike. We get this in place, and soon she is moved to ICU.

Did I mention that during this adventure he is talking about how his friend in Iowa knows me from my previous work (professional bowling)? Oh yes, from TV as well. So we are talking a bit about bowling, I am breathing through my mouth, and we are rolling and wiping. Ask me again two years ago if I would have thought I would be doing this right now!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The Choice

I experienced my first floor nursing clinical yesterday at the hospital. What an experience! The patient I want to share with you wasn't my patient, but another student's. He was 44, a lifelong smoker with Buerger's Disease. Here is a link to an explaination of what exactly it is. But, in basic terms, it is a vascular disease that slowly involves the amputation of your extremities. This man was what they termed a "frequent flyer." Plus, the term "noncompliant" floated through the air. A whil ago, he was given a choice: Your limbs or your smoking.

He chose smoking.

So now, he has lost the bottom of his left leg, they just removed the rest of his right toes, and he has two fingers on his right hand and a finger and a half on his left. Post surgery, we waited to hook up his Vancomycin due to the fact he was downstairs smoking.

And to think, at one point we were told smoking was not addictive....

Sunday, March 05, 2006

It's that Time of Year

When everyone gets out their Harleys and heads 50 miles North from here to Daytona for Bike Week with their Haaaawwgs.

Here's my version of 2 wheels of fun...
AKA the "Barbie Scooter." I do get "the wave" from unsuspecting motorcyclists going the other way. I then get an additional smile or double take. It's pink. Not Mary Kay Pink, Barbie Pink with a metallic sparkly lustre you can't see in the photo.

I haven't had much time to ride it lately. I am still a fair weather scooter girl. What a great idea: to be able to do all my commuting on her. Alas, no rainsuit yet. And I really don't want hat head before entering a clinical day. Yes, there is a pink helmet to match. And if you have researched my archive, yes, it is another scooter post, but what can I say, I love her!

Type: Vespa GrandTursimo
cc: 200
max speed: 85mph
MPG: 65