Sunday, March 20, 2005

Another day, another dollar

I had another good night at work although I did encounter something I wasn't expecting.  I went in to see my first pt - a 70 yr old man admitted with pneumonia.  I walked in & he was sitting up, trying to dial the phone.  I make the usual chit chat & suddenly he starts crying...sobbing, head down on the table, tears flowing type crying.  I had no idea what was wrong nor have I ever seen a man cry this way.  (I've done it plenty of times, but that's a different story!)  So I rubbed his back, encouraged him to tell me what was wrong, got him tissues for his tears.  Turns out he had a stroke awhile back & since then he has trouble remembering things...he couldn't figure out how to call his wife at home on the phone.  Poor guy!  He made me a little nervous the entire night...just because he seemed so anxious & uncomfortable.  He didn't want to watch tv, didn't want to listen to music, just wanted to lay in bed & stare at the ceiling.  Eventually he fell asleep & had no complaints throughout the night.  I felt bad for him...I can't imagine what it's like to know mentally what you want to do or say but unable to actually express it. 

My second patient was a 90 yr old woman (who looked not a day over 70) with a TIA.  She was pretty quiet & easy-going - didn't hear much from her the entire night. 

My last patient was a 77 yr old spanish woman in for a COPD exacerbation.  She was adorable - great sense of humor.  Her husband was up in the ICU after suffering a heart attack a few days ago.  He had no idea that she was also admitted into the hospital.  I hope they both get well.

At the end of the night, Gina & I got to go over to the ICU & see an IABP - intra aortic balloon pump - in action.  It is amazing what technology has come out with.  This pump was placed in the femoral artery & it blows up with every heartbeat or every other heartbeat to help the heart completely fill with blood so the output can be full force.  It does this by closing off circulation of the blood to the lower extremities.  We were talking to the ICU nurse & she was so helpful & informative.  The ICU is still an intimidating place to be, I'm definitely not ready for that yet. Maybe one day in the future.

I've got to get some sleep....another night of work ahead for me.  I'm hoping I have the same patients & my night goes just as well as last night did. 

1 comment:

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