Sunday, April 13, 2008

Footnotes and Flying Penguins

My current "flight" schedule is pretty good. I'm on 24 hours, off 24 hours, on 24 hours then off for 5 days. The five days off give me the opportunity to catch up on all the shit I should have done when I was in between days but too tired to do so. I also try to catch up with the cop and spend some quality time there as well. If he is working nights, like last week I can pick up time in the ER and catch up with the peeps there. Its sad that some things seriously never change. I was in green Wednesday.... sitting on a crazy as shit psych patient. There were about 7 of them waiting for beds with no rooms in sight. I had a pitiful dude with esophageal CA with a trach that had started bleeding.... so he went to a community hospital about 5 minutes from us. That hospital didn't have ear, nose and throat (ENT) in house, so they wanted to transfer him out. At that time we were on diversion (for being busy as shit) so they sent him to one of their sister hospitals across town. When he got there the doc said.... DUM DA DUM.... he needs to go to the teaching hospital where they can fix this. SO in some round about way, after 2 transfers he ends up (almost) back where he started. He was whistling while breathing (stridor) so it was obvious that the clotted blood from the trach was beginning to block his airway. ENT was able to switch him to a flexible trach and he did MUCH better after that.

The next night I was in yellow for the first 4. Saw a couple of familiar faces. In October of 2006, I took care of a young guy in the ICU who was drunk driving and wrecked, becoming paralyzed in the process. He was in the hospital for about 8 months, with much of that time in the ICU. He was intubated not long after hitting the unit and trached not long after. I saw the name and immediately knew who it was. Quads can get sick as shit with the tiniest thing. In his case, he hadn't been able to move his bowels so his BP shot up and gave him a rip roaring headache. When I talked to him..joking about all the time we spent together in the ICU I realized.... this was only the second time I had ever heard his voice. Weird.

The rest of my night was spent helping with trauma (and wrecking a pair of scrubs in the process) and then back to green to be in charge of crazy as shit. After my second 12 hour night in a row I got to drive to my base for a long ass base meeting where we were to meet our new marketing person. She looked vaguely familiar (as people do when you have been up for 19 hours). She recognized me as well, and when I mentioned that I had just left the ER she figured it out. In August of last year her son was in a skateboarding accident and was a trauma team alert with a head bleed. He went emergently to the OR, had a bone flap removed and was in my unit for a day or two. I was his trauma nurse and had given her the whole "this is what happened, what we are doing" speech. She was SOOO happy to see me again. I wish I wasn't so tired so that we could really sit down and talk. Apparently, she got the job partially because of what happened with her son. Anyway, small as shit world. He was able to go to college then next semester and is doing well. ROCK ON!

SO the penguin got to fly a scene flight yesterday as well. We got launched on a teenager riding an ATV with no helmet (big fucking surprise there) that was jumping the thing, flew off and landed facedown in a swamp. His friends (teens as well) left him face down when they went to get help. SO he was submerged for at least 5 minutes in gross swamp water. The parents flipped him over (thought he was dead he was so cold and pale) and he started breathing. He had a nasty fracture to his right leg.... but otherwise seemed okay. We flew him to my trauma center and last I heard he was doing well. Lucky kid.

I know flying is my dream job..... I just like being a flight nurse so much better when I actually get to fly!


Blogger Paradise Driver said...

You need to get a stuffed penguin doll, dress it in an appropriate flight suit/helmet and use that as your image/blog logo.

11:21 AM  
Blogger RehabNurse said...

At least your quad did not stroke out from that AD (autonomic dysreflexia) due to bowels.

It's a shame that happens to people.

5:59 PM  
Blogger Michell said...

Wow, busy busy. I don't know if I could handle your job. I certainly couldn't at this point in my nursing career. It's good to hear happy endings when it comes to some of the cases we see.

11:08 PM  

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