Okay, my first two posts have been very serious in nature and lest I get the reputation for being a depressing person I am going to share with you a very funny nursing story.
About two years ago, when I was working in the Surgery Department, we were very privileged to have a 100 year old little lady as a patient. I was working in the recovery area that day and when they wheeled her into the recovery room after surgery, I got busy doing everything possible to make her comfortable. I especially love to take care of little elderly patients. I just think they are cute as a button and nothing makes me happier than to care for them. Even the grouchy ones can usually be won over with a warm blanket and extra TLC.
My little woman was lying there peacefully sleeping. I brought extra warm blankets to add to the ones she already had to make sure her frail little body stayed warm. I tucked them gently around her neck and wrapped them around her feet. I stroked her hand and softly gave words of reassurance that she was going to be fine. All was going very well until her eyes fluttered open and she woke up.
Now I was standing on her right side and her IV was in her left hand. The first thing she did was to instantly starting pulling at any wire that might be attached to her body! The IV in her left hand was one of the first lines to go. Of course when you pull something out that has been implanted in a vein, you are going to bleed and when you are waving your arm around hysterically you are going to make it bleed even more. So here I am on her right side leaning across the bed trying to somehow hold pressure on her left arm which is bleeding. I am telling her the whole time in a reassuring voice, "You are okay, you've just had surgery...let me see your arm." She however cannot hear me because she is partially deaf and also she is repeatedly yelling something that sounds like, "Eldabewz! Eldabewz!" over and over. When she is not yelling, she is trying to bite at my arm which is extended across to her other side trying to hold pressure on the IV site that is bleeding. I wasn't too concerned about her drawing blood because every time she opened her mouth to chomp down, all I saw were shiny pink gums. I'm sure if she could have made good contact she could have done a pretty good job of pinching a monster bruise on my arm. During this granny wrangling episode, it occured to me that what she was actually yelling was "Elder abuse! Elder abuse!" This 100 year old little woman was trying to defend herself from me by biting and yelling, "Elder abuse" for help! Not only that, she was doing a pretty good job!
Finally after a while she settled down and went back to sleep. I had managed to avoid being gummed by her, but I was so disappointed that I did not get the opportunity to pet and pamper her the way I had imagined I would get to pet and pamper a 100 year old little woman. She had looked so peaceful while she was sleeping!
Two lessons may be gleaned from this particular experience:
"Things are not always as they first appear"
"Let sleeping grannies lie."
Thanks for reading!