Saturday, December 20, 2008

Please let this never happen to me!

A patient came in complaining of left ear pain.  A common enough complaint.  I brought her to her room and decided I was going to take a peek inside her ear with the otoscope.  I was looking for ear wax so I could flush it out before the doc came in to see her.  The otoscope has a light and a magnifying glass to look through.  I placed it in her ear canal and what was looking back at me?  A HUGE cockroach!  Still alive, wiggling its antennae, and backing away from my light.  The woman was saying "Ow ow! Something's moving in there!"  I was shocked.  I looked right at her and told her about the cockroach.

Even worse, we couldn't get it out!  The PA was trying to pull it out with clamps but it kept backing further into the ear canal every time we put the light in.  She finally ended up pulling off the head but leaving the big ol' exoskeleton and guts.  We tried to flush it out with water but it didn't work.  We finally called the ear, nose, throat specialist and he told us that cockroaches are the hardest to remove from the ear because they have little pinchers on their legs that they dig into skin with.  She had to meet him at his office where he had specialty microscopic equipment to pull it out.  Poor lady!

For the rest of the day, every time my ear itched, I freaked out.   

Friday, December 19, 2008

Overheard in Los Angeles...

A 4 year old came into the ER with a laceration above his chin but under his lip.  (You know where I'm talking about?)  So he does really good while we glue him and a nurse says "You did so good Santa is going to bring you lots of presents!"

He says: "Oh, I'm only getting one present".

Nurse: "Really?"

Kid: "Yeah, the economy is really tough this year".

Hahahhahhahhhaaa!  That is friggin awesome!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Just in time for the holidays!

Check out zoomtozoom for some fabulous holiday gift ideas!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Work stuff...

For some weird reason we have been (gasp) quiet these last few weeks at work.  Is it the economy? Maybe people are waiting until they are really sick before coming in to the ER.  Some good news, we will be moving into the new wing next August and our nurse educator is providing us with some much needed classes to deal with the more urgent cases that our department will be handling.  I'm glad to be stepping up my education but also nervous...  Sick people make me anxious.  I know that sounds weird but it is basically performance anxiety.  I don't want to make a mistake.  I also get upset when really old people come in and we are expected to do all sorts of invasive procedures to prolong their life for another day, week, month?..  It's hard to deal with families that are not ready to say goodbye.  I understand it, it just upsets me.  

I wish there was a nursing specialty that just dealt with teenagers.  As annoying as they and their fifteen friends can be, I find that I really connect to issues of injury and body image.  It is important for me to share my experiences with them just to let them know that they "are not alone".  It was something I thought about while I was in the hospital at the age of 14.  I truly believed that no one could possibly know what I was going through until I met an RN named Gary who shared his story with me, and spent time with me talking about other things besides my injuries.  We had a 17 year old girl who broke her right tibia (the big shin bone) after a collision with another soccer player.  Her parents were fussing over her and she acted teenage style annoyed with them.  I was able to understand both her point of view as well as her parents.  She was going straight to surgery and I spent time with her and her mother discussing not only what to expect right after surgery but also the weeks and months to come.  She seemed to cheer up after our talk and afterwards her mother gave me a huge hug and kiss and thanked me for sharing my story.  Believe it or not, nursing is often a thankless job and this show of appreciation got me a little teary eyed.  

The best thing about work right now?  Being able to ride my scootie to and fro.  The ride there relaxes me and gets my mind focused, the ride home allows the wind to whip away the annoyances the smells and the stress.  So much fun.  

FYI:  There is a real phenomenon known as the "Throckmorton" sign.  When a male patient has an xray of his pelvis area, his penis will be "pointing" to the side of pathology.  Meaning: if he is complaining of left hip pain his penis will be pointing to his left side.  Hysterical but mostly true.  Check it out on Wikipedia.