Monday, February 22, 2010
A Man's Touch
There are some days working with the elderly can be physically exhausting. Some folk are in advanced stages of dementia and contractures and they (rightly so) become scared and lash out at nurses. Then there are those elderly folk that have to be manipulated at certain angles so tubes and needles can be effectively shoved into them. And then there are those folk whose minds are sharp as tacks and will say something with enough shock value to make seasoned veterans blush profusely. I had just one such patient. Let’s call her Betty. She was a 94 year old lady from home accompanied by her daughter presenting with urinary retention and a whole lot of pre-existing urogynecological problems. Betty needed a foley catheter. Betty was VERY difficult to catheterize but she did the best she could to help us out. 4 nurses tried and failed. Two of the female staff emergency doctors tried and failed. An eager medical student tried and left the room with failure following her. Finally, we had to admit defeat and call in the urologist. One of the staff docs called the urologist and told him the sad story of Betty’s ever expanding bladder and within 10 minutes the urologist came down to see what the big fuss was about. He swaggered into Betty’s room, introduced himself and explained what he was about to do. Betty was mighty uncomfortable and said “do whatever the hell you’ve got to do” and that’s exactly what the urologist did. Dr. Urologist shortly declared the catheter to be in place and draining a whole lot of urine. To express her gratitude to the urologist, Betty did not say thank you, but rather, “I needed a man’s touch to open up” and winked at him lasciviously. Dr. Urologist quickly fled the room while turning various shades of purple. Us women-folk were a little peeved that she didn’t tell us of her requirements but vowed that we would forever call the urologist for his manly touch!