Sunday, August 23, 2009

What Do You Do When...

Picture this...

You are working at a hospital and there is a huge thunderstorm with a lot of lightning & as you are standing in a patient's look out the window & see lightning strike & start a fire. What do you do?

Nothing. I was pretty amazed that I got to see something like that. I mean the entire sky lit up & stayed lit up for a few a baseball stadium. I still didn't think much of it. Must be the blonde in me. Although I did wonder why the sky remained lit up for a few seconds more. Still though, I put it out of my mind & kept working.

And then it happened...a couple of hours later...our entire floor went pitch black. About 5 seconds later the back-up generators kicked in. This was all new to me. I've seen our generators get tested...but never been in a situation where they were put into use. So I go & check on my patients & I notice that while the hallways are lit...the air conditioning is no longer working. Not a big deal for most...but for those with respiratory issues, they usually prefer a cool environment as opposed to a warm one.

I went back into the patient's room in which I saw the lightning strike & I looked out the window again. Whatever it was...was still on fire & you could tell it had been that way for awhile.

Anyone wondering what it was that got hit by lightning?? Any guesses??? Hmmmm?????

Well...what do you do when your electric company gets struck by lightning & it results in a huge fire thus knocking out the electricity completely??? That's what happened.

Not only did we lose electricity, but we also lost our connection with the internet. Luckily, someone had been watching tv earlier & had heard the power company was on fire. So we sat around for a couple of hours. It was getting very warm. The aromas floating around were not pleasant. I had a new found thankfulness for air conditioning if it keeps those awful smells away. And I prayed. It was only midnight...I couldn't last another 7 hours this way.

I don't know how...but we got electricity back around 2 am. I thought for sure we'd lose it again, but we didn't. Considering the circumstances, my night was decent. Add in we had 2 mock fire drills and we had a patient being very disrespectful to the staff and I was thankful I would not be back that night.

My patients were all great...well, that might be inflating it a bit, but they were good. I bonded with one over Big Brother (lol).

And my only real problem patients was this woman that came in with abdominal ascites....liver problems/cirrhosis/etc. She had been in a month earlier & knew that they'd be doing a pericentesis to get rid of the extra fluid. Now, you would think somone with fluid overload would be cautious as to how much fluid they consumed...but not this one. I have never in my life seen anyone eat so much ice, drink so many liquids & eat so much pudding & apple sauce ever. If I didn't put my own restrictions on it...I have no doubt she would have taken in at least 5 to 6 liters on my shift alone. I tried to educate her, tried to make her understand, tried to reason with her....but every half hour it was "Can I have more ice? Can I have more milk? Can I have more juice? Can I have more pudding?" I finally had to say "No, you cannot."

On top of that the doctor ordered Dilaudid for her abdominal pain from having all this extra fluid. Ugh, come on...Dilaudid? There is one thing I have noticed....drug seekers are the world's best timekeepers. Seriously. To the very minute that it can be given again, they are on that call light asking for more. It's ridiculous.

Time for me to get some more rest. I am fighting some type of something. My throat is feeling weird...scratchy...not sore, but like something could be developing. I've had it since I woke up. I hope when I wake up tomorrow it is gone. I don't want to be sick!

Have a good week everyone!


newnurseinthehood said...

Oh, Dilaudid. Did he order it with Phenergan and Benadryl, too?

Amanda said...

I would have been totally mesmerized by the lightning too/ Now I will live in fear of a power outtage at work though. I know the smells WITH air conditioning. Ugggh, drug seekers are amazing too. Love how they can wake up from a dead sleep yelling "10 out of 10!"

LivingDeadNurse said...

ugh i guess i should complain how hot it is at work...cause it could be worse

Helene said...

Wow, what a day, right?? I'd be amazed too standing there and seeing lightening actually strike and start a fire. How scary, though, that it was that close to you all!!