Sunday, December 8, 2013

Aren't They a Gem...I'll drink to them!

Ok, so I took the title of this post from a line in the song "The Ladies Who Lunch," of the musical Company. I'm not a theater geek, but I do enjoy it from time to time, and particularly the snarky variety. Anyway, the song itself is a snarky swipe at judgment and cynicism. For me that was a bit of the last couple shifts. I've found myself using the word "gem" over and over again. Perhaps just a little too much.

I've had some terrible patients in the ER, and a further taste of what's to come. I've certainly seen psychotic patients, so their behavior wasn't new, but it has actually been a while, so it was a refresher.

One patient had left his nursing home over ten miles away and had bounced from hospital to hospital, subsequently signing himself out. By the time he got to Chicago Hope's ER it was later in the day, and after a short while he it became apparent he had missed his afternoon medications because he became what is referred to medically as acutely psychotic. In layman's terms he flipped his lid. He started calling everybody a "fucking nigger." Security had been called and one of the security officers simply looked at him, smiled, and said "thank you!" Brilliant, I thought. I'm going to have to remember that.

The next day another patient came in, and we had just gotten him discharged when he decided that he could not find his wallet. Not only could he not ifnd it, but he insisted that somebody had reached into the back pocket of his pants, while he was seated in a wheelchair the entire time, and taken his wallet. And he was not leaving until he got his wallet back. That certainly was interesting.

That same day we had a patient who was brought in by his mother. He did not want to be there. He kept telling his mother how he was going to get his wallet, go down to the club (I didn't find out which one...) have him some BEER, and hang out with some GURLS. This was a 30-something year-old man. I felt sorry for his mother.

It's just been interesting. We also had a patient with a rotten foot. Over half of it was black. Oh my god did it smell. The smell stayed in my nostrils most of the night. I felt like dipping my head in a vat of rubbing alcohol to see if that would kill the smell.

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