Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Uptown Girl is Admitted to a Downtown World
There I was having just finished transferring some dude on some overdose to the ICU when the charge nurse tells me that she’s bringing in an exquisitely coiffed 71 year old lady with congestive heart failure. Soon enough I hear the crackles of wet lungs being wheeled towards me and I get ready to do my thang. The lady was quite pleasant, if not a bit snooty and started to change out of her very expensive street clothes into her own silk/cashmere robe by none other than Chanel (yes, I think I did quadruple takes at that). I did my assessment, got an ECG, established IV access, got the blood work done, put her on some oxygen, got a chest x-ray ordered for her and told the doc to come in and see her. The poor doc was getting into the stages of being heavily pregnant and was completely overwhelmed by an anxious family of a man with a shoulder dislocation. She gave me some orders to kick start my patient’s care and off I went to deliver some high quality nursing care. I told the patient that the doctor would be a little while but I got some advanced orders so she could be more comfortable. The lady thanked me as I pushed in some IV lasix. Sure enough she had to pee. I didn’t put in a catheter because she was completely ambulatory, the bathroom was beside her bed and she adamantly refused it. But she didn’t like the look of the newly cleaned bathroom so she asked for it to be cleaned again for her own reassurance while she insisted on staying in agony with a full bladder. I kept telling her that the bathroom has been thoroughly cleaned before she came in and if she has to pee that badly she should go for it! Watching her squirm made me want to pee even though I was thoroughly dehydrated. She kept refusing. Fine, whatevs. She kept squirming while the cleaner poured no name brand Lysol into the bucket. Then all of a sudden, she wailed. Then sobbed. Finally, she yelled at me to come to her bed. I dutifully unglued my tired arse from the comfy chair and went to answer her distressed cries which was when she took out $700 from her wallet and shoved it at me to go to her apartment, get her a new gown, underwear and toiletries!! A week later, I’m continuing to kick myself for not having ditched the smelly, snoring drunk in the room next door and grabbing a cab to get her stuff because I still need the money but don’t want to pick up another shift!