Sunday, March 21, 2010

Funny, that.

The other night I missed a fabulous show at the Fillmore because I had to be at work instead. A friend updated his facebook that he's "superstylin with Groove Armada..." Yeah, showoff. So I replied, "I am sooo jealous, I really wanted to go, but instead I'm at work saving lives or something."

That night, I had a patient who had been admitted to the hospital a few days prior with abdominal pain, had had the painful thingy repaired, and transferred to us from ICU to finish recuperating. She was doing fine, until she started hollering about how much pain she was in--unusual for her. (She's one of the few patients I've ever seen who uses the 1-10 pain scale appropriately.) I was assessing her pain when she said, "It's the same kind of pain that made me come here!" Her physician happened to be sitting at the nurses station doing some charting, so I said to him, "Did you hear what she just said? She says she's having the same pain as before."

So we run a bunch of stat tests which show that the patient is bleeding internally and thank god we all took her complaints of pain seriously, because if we hadn't she would be dead now.


That morning, as I was in bed falling asleep, I thought to myself how strange it must be to have a condition that, if it recurs, you know you will probably die. Then I had the strangest nurse anxiety dream I've ever had: I had a pulmonary embolism at work, and I was trying and trying to get to the ER for treatment, but you know how bad dreams are, and no matter what I did or who I talked to, I couldn't get to the ER, and meanwhile my chest pain and shortness of breath are getting worse, and I'm thinking, "If I don't get help for this soon I will probably die!" So then I was at work again, and I called up this doctor I'm friendly with and said, "It's Birdy, listen, I need a personal favor! I think I'm having a PE..." and I described my symptoms. He said. "You need to be intubated! Stay where you are, I'll be there in two minutes." At that point, luckily, I realized it was a dream and woke up. Whew.
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