Saturday, July 29, 2006


What a week it's been!  I have to admit patients were pretty easy to care for.  I had one mishap that actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise.  I had given my normally alert & oriented patient some Ambien because earlier that night he had been given some bad news regarding the fact that he has colon cancer.  He was feeling a little restless & requested some sleep medication.  Ok, no problem...until later.  The thing with sleep medications - you never really know how they are going to affect the elderly.  He told me he takes it at home, but for some reason, it made him confused.  So confused that he somehow ended up on the floor next to his bed sitting up...with his central line (it's basically an IV in his jugular vein) pulled out.  He had just been started on TPN (basically nutrition via the central line) a few hours earlier because he had surgery about 5 days ago.  That's dripping all over the floor since his central line is pulled out of his neck.  I was so thankful that his neck was not bleeding at all.  We got him back in bed, got some IV's started and I placed some calls to his surgeon and the primary doctor.  The surgeon didn't seem to care, he advanced him to a full liquid diet, discontinued the TPN.  We sent him for x-rays, everything was negative...thankfully. 

This gentleman was such a sweetheart.  I had told him the first night I had him that I was going to take him from room to room to show people how to have a great attitude while in the hospital.  He was very thankful & always giving compliments about everyone taking care of him.  Anyways, needless to say...he went pretty quickly from liquids to a regular diet & he was discharged ahead of schedule...pretty much all because he got confused & fell out of bed.  Otherwise that TPN would have probably run for a day or two & then the diet orders would be slowly advanced.  I was happy he got to go home & that he wasn't hurt.  Hopefully he'll be able to deal with the cancer.  The doctor said it was more of a watch & see rather than sending him for chemo. 

I have a lot more to tell, but I'm getting sleepy - so I will resume this later.  Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

1 comment:

am4039 said...

so happy that gentleman got to go home. At least he didn't get hurt. Hope you got some sleep.