Saturday, March 29, 2008

You just never scary

I got a call on Thursday telling me some more sad news. One of my nursing school classmates that I graduated with had passed away at my hospital's ER last weekend. I was shocked! She was 36 years old and I was told that she died from a pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lungs). It's another reminder that life isn't fair and your entire world can change in a second. You just never know when that will be....soooo scary.

Carlene - I don't know why I thought about that patient from earlier in the week the way I did. I didn't connect it to myself or my family at all though. Maybe I was overly tired & things got to me more than usual. I'm not really sure. It can be a tough job sometimes - having to deal with critical situations, death and grieving families. I can usually separate what needs to be done at work from what I take home at the end of a difficult shift. For some reason...that day I wasn't able to. Sometimes it doesn't always make sense and I'm ok with that. Like anytime in life...there will be some good days and some not so good days.

I'm doing better now. I've been off since Monday and have been doing a variety of things including getting some rest & relaxation, getting back into working out & balancing between staying busy socially and having time to myself. I work tonight and tomorrow night and then will be off until Friday and work 4 in a It's spring break for my youngest niece and nephew so I plan on making sure they have some fun. Being around kids is always long as I can send them home after a few days. :)

Enjoy the weekend everyone!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Weird coincidence???

It's nearly the end of March. I cannot believe it. I swear each year flies by faster than the last. The hospital continues to be at max capacity. I don't recall it ever being like this before & that is even with all the people complaining of chest pain via ambulance are diverted to the bigger cardiac type hospitals. I have heard a rumor though that our hospital is going to start focusing on increasing their cardiac procedures - as obviously the need for it is great. I wish we would open up a cardiac only floor. I would love to work in that specific area. Maybe my wish will come true one day.

Speaking of cardiology, I had a patient last week who had multiple things wrong with him - the main one being that his cancer had spread all throughout his body. His blood pressure sat in the 150-160 range systolically and the doctors seemed comfortable with those results. The last morning I had him, his blood pressure rose to the 180's systolically. It was nearly 4 am & I questioned whether this result could be delayed by say an hour - before calling the doctor. I mean it wasn't like his blood pressure was normally 110 or 120 & jumped up to 180. It was 160 to 180...not a huge increase. So as I sat there & debated with myself whether to call & wake up the cardiologist...the phone rang. I answered the phone & guess who....the cardiologist...calling me out of the He was asking me what the first name of this patient was - the same one that had the higher blood pressure. I laughed to myself & thought "how weird is this right now???" I gave him the answer & said "By the way - while I have you on the phone, his blood pressure is this..." He said that was fine, leave it alone. I hung up the phone wondering...seriously...what are the chances of this ever happening at 4 am?

This week was going well...I worked Sat & Sun nights. It was pretty uneventful. Well - until Monday morning. A co-worker & I were waiting to get our yearly PPD shots. The reason we were waiting was because a code blue had been called about 10 minutes earlier & whoever was doing the PPD shots - ran to the code. So we waited & eventually I could tell by the looks on other co-workers leaving the floor that the code was not a success. Another co-worker quickly updated us on who had coded & although she wasn't my patient at the time - I did have her as a patient back in December. I didn't write about it at the time as it was right before Christmas & very sad. She was in her early 30's who came to the hospital because she had trouble swallowing. They initially thought it was pneumonia...only to find out it was 3 or 4 large tumors on her esophagus. Basically she had stage 4 cancer...that is the worst stage there is. She was married and had 3 children at home. Her room was decorated with a Christmas tree & presents back then since she would be spending Christmas in the hospital.

Fast forward approx 3 months & she is the one that they called a code on. As I was processing all of this information, her sister was being led by the ICU nurse to the waiting room and I heard her crying on the cell phone to her mother while saying "She's gone, Mom, she's gone." I keep hearing those words over & over. I came home & couldn't stop replaying those words in my head. I felt miserable. I tried to sleep...took 1 Tylenol PM. I had a sore throat, headache, still not sleepy. So I took 1 Sominex and layed down again. I could not sleep. I ended up calling off from work - because I can't go in with no sleep in over 24 hours & then work another 12 hours. I was tired, but couldn't sleep. Eventually I did fall asleep around 5 pm until 11 pm. I ate, watched tv & went back to sleep & woke up at 7 am.

I feel better today. I'm getting some things accomplished, but still think about that family who lost someone at such a young age. I don't know why it's affecting me - I usually am so good at keeping everything at work. Maybe I'm just more sensitive at the moment. I don't know.

It's just a major reminder that life isn't fair and you have to make the best of it while you still can.

On a good note - I have tickets to see Tim McGraw on May 11th. I cannot wait! I'm also seeing Lifehouse on April 16th. Soooo looking forward to getting out & hearing some good music.

I hope everyone is having a good week!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Another year goes by

I turned another year older on Friday.  I'm 39...eeekkk.  Even I can't believe it.  It also marks one year since I had to put Jagger to sleep...sad, sad memories.  This year was much better. 

Work has been ok.  I've been working the usual 3 days per week.  Lately it's been every Sat, Sun & Monday nights.  Not sure if I like that schedule or not.  I do but I don't.  I guess there are pros & cons to everything.  The patients that I've seen in the hospital for the last month or two have been very, very sick.  They came up with this new thing that anyone with chest pain that is picked up by an ambulance - has to go to a different hospital - even if ours is the closest hospital in the area.  We don't specialize in cardiac procedures.  As a result, we are seeing less & less of the easy to care for chest painers and more of the respiratory & gastrointestinal issues.  I have had patients that have been at our hospital for weeks & months...and they aren't improving.  I'm not used to that.  Usually after 2 or 3 days in the hospital, the patients would be discharged.  Now they seem to stay a long time. 

There was one night that I came in and we had 23 patients waiting in the ER for a hospital bed.  They had been admitted, but we had no rooms/beds available.  That's the busiest I've ever seen it & it was only a Monday night.  It doesn't seem to be slowing down anytime soon.  I imagine it's like that all over the country.

I'm tired - heading to bed.  Hope everyone is having an enjoyable weekend.  Oh...congratulations to Amanda who had twins last week!!!  A boy & a girl. more thing...for Carlene.  PCT's are patient care is pretty equivalent to what one would call a CNA.  I'm sure they have their slight differences, although I don't know what they are.  They cannot give shots or medications.  They are mostly responsible for vital signs, helping patients, cleaning patients up, feeding patients, transportingpatients, etc.  It's a tough job!