Saturday, May 20, 2006

Hare Today, Rabbit Tomorrow

For the sake of preserving anonymity, let's change things just a little and say that she had a chronic ankle problem surgically repaired a week or so ago. They also had some gastric reflux problems accompanied by recent weight loss, also treated by her local doctors well outside the immediate environs of the Desert Metropolis of Tile-Roofed Sprawl.

A few days after the surgery she went bat-crap, a-few-miles-down-the-road-past-Jack-Nicholson's-House, I-am-the-walrus crazy. Iggy-diggy-blooey-gooey nutso. So they loaded her onto a plane and sent her to...

Me.

Yeah, not personally, but as luck would have it, I became her nurse.

Four-point leather restraints. A few minutes after I got report I went in to see why the patient was screaming that they had to get to their truck so she could go to her sister's house in California to put out the fire in the shop, which was started by Rosecrucians or something. Maybe it was the Illuminati. They're big right now.

The ankle in the restraint seemed wrong to me, so I let that one off. She was disoriented in a way that is comparable to White House counselors; that is to say, she knew her name but nothing else she said had any accuracy as pertains to reality. Still, I do not think she was a Republican.

Over the passing of the day, her sitter (who was well-versed in psychiatric issues as he usually worked on a psych unit,) her fiance, and myself had pretty good luck getting her to come around.

Her labwork had improved, her lithium toxicity was resolving, her kidney function was clearing up with IV fluids and bicarb, and by mid-afternoon she was sitting up in a chair chatting with us.

Then all hell broke loose. She was confused, disoriented, and extremely combative, swearing at us and swinging for the Big Green Wall.

We called Security, who were familiar with her and called her by her first name, from the previous night's experience. We jostled her back to bed and secured three limbs in leathers, and for the next three hours me and the sitter were at the bedside holding her down so she wouldn't yank her recently repaired ankle out again.

We gave IV Ativan and enough Geodon to put a horse in orbit, and an hour after my shift was *supposed* to end, she had tired herself out and was dozing off, instead of constantly fighting to get out of bed to go to San Diego to get her keys and go to her sister's house to get her jeans.

The next day she was completely back to normal. Relaxed, smiling, well-oriented and without any complaints. A true joy to be with.

It was over. The storm had come and gone, leaving behind only the aroma of fresh rain, clean air, and rejuvinated blossoms.

Someday this will happen to America.

We will wake up and Bush will be gone, our mortgages to China will be paid down, alternative energy sources will be relieving our dependence on the largesse of Middle Eastern despots, and Mariah Carey will be too old to make more recordings.

Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty, we are free at last..

3 comments:

Eric said...

It is so weird how completey confused patients are just over the past couple of weeks. On my two units (51 beds total) we had 6 bedside sitters. Completely crazy. Typical nasty combination of being old AND fast. It felt like winter.

God I hope it's over. --Eric

gail said...

You wrote: "Someday this will happen to America.

"We will wake up and Bush will be gone, our mortgages to China will be paid down, alternative energy sources will be relieving our dependence on the largesse of Middle Eastern despots, ... "

Before I die? Not likely ... Democrats, while not as bad as the Republicans, are also too beholden to Corporate Power for the good of the country.

Eli Blake said...

gail:

The difference though is that the internal party structure of the Democrats allows for an 'insurgent' movement to change the direction of the party. I know this because I was completely uninvolved with party politics just four years ago, ran for precinct committeeman, and was the vice chair of my county party within two years and a member of my state central committee (where we collectively elect people to become members of the DNC) within three. Or put another way, if you told the DNC leadership four years ago that today Howard Dean (whether you like him or not) would be the party chair, they'd have just about had a heart attack and keeled over.

The problem with the Republican party is not that they are in bed with corporations (after all, they have always been the party of big business), but that they are so hidebound structurally that-- well put it this way: the last Republican national ticket that didn't include a Bush or a Dole on it was 1972. That means that there are adults with kids in high school who weren't even born the last time the GOP had a ticket without a member of one of those families on it (and it's not out of the realm of possibility that either Liddy Dole or Jeb Bush could end up on the next ticket and continue that string.) And try to effect change in the GOP? Might as well try to effect change in the College of Cardinals. True, 'keeping the team together' does help them be more organized in elections, but they have become so ossified that they have little ability to change.

I can tell you from personal knowlege and experience that the real difference between the Democrats and Republicans is not in terms of doctrine, or who their big donors are, etc. but it is in the design of the party structure. Democrats are much more transparent and more open to getting people involved at the local as well as the state level.