Thursday, 26 July 2012

Kiss me!


Most people think that on intensive care the most stressful patient to be allocated is one that is acutely ill, sedated, ventilated and covered with drips, drains and gizmos aplenty!
You couldn't be more wrong.
The most stressful kind of patient on intensive care is the high dependency patient.
He or she, is awake,still acutely ill and often has a blood chemistry which is somewhat deranged to say the least.These patients are often elderly, and when the lights go down......somewhat paranoid , combative and always have the tendency to pull at vital lines and machines that are in essence keeping them "going"
They are, in what today's non judgemental approach to health care would term, "a challenge!"


By 4am , I had  just about enough of "my challenge"
I had been slapped several times, had my reading glasses bent out of all recognition and had been verbally battered by a lady who no doubt is a real sweetie when she is well....but we , as a team, had kept her safe and had prevented her from removing every line and catheter until that time when she finally could settle down safely.
Before she fell asleep she looked at me carefully as I tried to reattach a dressing onto her neck.
"You really want to kiss me don't you?" she said in a matter of fact way, giving me a wide toothless grin
Oh the glamour of work on Intensive care I thought and I said with a smile
"I am so sorry but you could not be more wrong if you tried" 
hey ho
off to bed

28 comments:

  1. Funny and sad at once. Masterful. 6 years ago I was having cardiac ablation done, kept waking up and complaining of cramps and muscle spasms --twilight zone. When it was over, the principal nurse came up and introduced himself. He said, "Hi, I'm Gabriel." I replied that I didn't expect him to be in scrubs but he was my angel nonetheless. My compliments to you too.

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  2. Surely you should have snogged that old bird! Why so stand-offish? If she happens to pass away in the next day or two she will go to her maker without the fabulous healing memory of a smacker from a gorgeous nurse.

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  4. I'm with Pudding, why didn't you just give her a great big sloppy kiss? Plant one on her during your next shift... see what happens!!! Maybe she's filthy rich and she'll leave you all her earthly possessions (like maybe her dentures?)

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  5. Poor old soul. She certainly lucked out when she got you on that shift.

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  6. Patience certainly is a Virtue ... go for the kiss, lol

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  7. How difficult it must be to work with patients in such emotional pain as well as all the physical stuff. I cannot even imagine what it would be like to have "lines" put inside my body and would probably be one of those pulling them out in an attempt to get out of there and away from the pain. What a tough job!

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  8. A pain in the arse... but with humour. Not all bad!

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  9. Bet she was hoping for a quick peck... go on; she might be putty in your hands afterwards.

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  10. ....glad you found the energy to smile about it today....!

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  11. Good for you, for recognizing that feisty old bat isn't the person she really is. I always prayed my dad's nurses & doctors remembered there was a real person in there.

    (Wouldn't it be great if you could bring Albert, one of the dogs or even some hysterical ducks around to see the patients? I can only imagine the stories you'd get from that escapade! At least picture it during your next shift.)

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  12. Poor old thing would probably be mortified to know she'd behaved like that.
    Jane x

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  13. There used to be plenty of high-dependency customers when I was a bookseller. They weren't happy until I had given them a detailed synopsis of the book they were thinking of buying, a potted biography of the author and his/her previous works, and asked if we had that green book by the Dutch author, the one about the insomniac.

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  14. Hopefully she wouldn't remember any of that when she came back into the real world.

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  15. I always was mortified when my dad was in the hospital towards the end of his life. In addition to whatever physical problems he had, he had dementia as well, and the "sundowning," - the confusion as it got on toward evening, was horrible. He became an entirely foreign person even to me. And for someone who was fairly religious and circumspect all his life, he got very vocal against people of color (embarrassing to death when his nurses or aide happened to be african-american) AND very lewd... I wouldn't have been surprised to hear HIM ask you for a kiss!!! Thank you for your patience and kindness, even in the midst of having to do some very crappy work.

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  16. No teeth, and willing? I think you've pulled, old son!

    In recognition of your hard work, I think you should fill your boots!!!

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  17. Sweet dreams. May your slumber be absent of buzzers and beeps, alarms and wide toothless smiles coming in for the kill :-)

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  18. You simply need to give the CNN to watch on TV. Too low to hear the words, just mumbled sound. Like sleeping powders!

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  19. I bet she was a rum one when she was younger, no doubt living a bit of her past there John :)
    ~Jo

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  20. Oh, God, please give me the brain power to remember that line when I'm stuck in the hospital on my last legs.

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  21. Oh dear, the joys of nursing. You're a good man!

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  22. My, i'm surprised you didn't tell her that Felicity Shagwell and the crackhead whores wouldn't like it if you kissed her!

    Good on you and others on your nursing staff for keeping her and others like her safe.

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  23. Congratulations on making it through the night!

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  24. I hope I can find a big stash of hardcore drugs when I get old and terribly sick, and maybe pull some sort of Thelma and Louise maneuver.
    I don't know how you do it, John!

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  25. As my step-father spent four days in ICU and two days in a HD Ward, and will be in hospital for a while yet, we as a family are very grateful to all the nursing staff in Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.

    Gill in Canada

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  26. I would think the unconscious patients are the easiest ones!

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  27. John, you just bring out the best in every one. What a wonderful compliment after a wild night.

    I am not a good patient. Sometimes, I just walk out of a hospital, grateful that I can leave but rarely when the doctor says.

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  28. At least you know she won't remember a thing in the end

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