Thursday, January 7, 2010


How many posts have I titled Randomness?

First of all, what does it say when your husband emails you this link?

Second, I will share some of the random things that we discussed at work today. It was a busy day. A day where if it could it did go wrong. First of all, the biplane quit in the middle of our first procedure. Simply put, the biplane has 2 cameras that shoot live x-rays while we do procedures. So, you can have 2 views. But, since the biplane went kaput we had to stop, move the patient to a stretcher, take them to the single plane room and rescrub, drape and all...Very frustrating. That single procedure took over 3 hours. Ugh.

The biplane was repaired. We decided to use it to do a drainage of an abscess that had accumulated around a newly transplanted kidney. Clean, prep, drape...

My monitor blew a fuse or something. It would only operate on battery. I thought I threw a breaker in the wall because I had also plugged a sonogram machine into my cart, which I then plugged into the wall. I figured it was too much power on the single outlet. The sonographer moved her plug to another outlet and hers worked great. Not mine. I drug my cart all over the room, repositioning wires and leads to be able to continue to monitor my patient, trying to find an outlet before my battery died. The battery life on our monitors is minimal at best. I finally decided that my monitor had a malfunction, called another nurse to bring me a portable monitor, and Oila! I had full power!

No sooner did I realize that, than the doctor decided that due to the positioning of the abscess it was too risky to do the procedure under plain x-ray, so we had to undrape, move her to a stretcher, go the CT scanner (cat-scan as you may know it) and do the whole rescrub, redrape, resedate, the whole shebang....

However, we had some very interesting discussions during all of this drama:

The founder of a major grocery store in South Texas, called H-E-B, was named Harry E. Butts. No joke. The doctor insisted I was lying. I wasn't lying, but it turns out I was wrong. Woops. His name was Howard E. Butts. Guess it was some sort of urban legend I heard. I still stand by H-E-B as one of the best stores you can visit. They are beautiful. And affordable! Here is the link to that: History of H-E-B

Also, yesterday at lunch I read in The Chicken Fried News section of the Oklahoma Gazette, I believe, that a man had a remote control sphincter placed to replace the ostomy he had to deal with as a result of his quadriplegia. Again, the doctor said I was pulling his leg. Here's the link for proof of that little gem here. My first thought was, "What happens if you lose your remote? Or your kids get ahold of it? Or you tick off your spouse, and they stash it under the couch cushions until you're literally full of it?" It turns out I was wrong about the type of remote.

Mind you, the doctor told me about two twins with the last name Hogg. One was named Ima, and the other Urra. Well, as it turns out, there really was an Ima Hogg. She became known as the first lady of Texas. Who knew? Read all about her here.

Yep, we had some very meaningful discussions. Such as, all nurses are bossy. It's practically a job requirement. Tell patients what to do. Instruct families on home care. Gently nudge the doctor to write the orders you want him to write...It all comes with the territory of being a nurse. We are a bossy species. Except the single male nurse in our department. You never met a more reserved person. He actually asked me if it was okay if he went to the bathroom last week! Can you imagine? Seriously, most nurses are pretty bossy. But, for any of you who know me, I'm sure that's no surprise.

Speaking of that: By the time I finished with my procedures for a break I was suffering from the dreaded, but strange trifecta of nursing: I was dying of thirst, hungry enough to eat the first morsel of food I find...Even if I'm unsure of the origin...And, finally, I had to pee. Isn't it weird to be thirsty and need to pee desperately at the same time?

This same doctor and I had a very exciting case last week. He was trying to open up the artery in the right foot of a gentleman with gangrene. I had a hard time getting my patient to settle down and lie still. I kept giving him a tiny bit more medicine, and a tiny bit more. He finally relaxed and started snoring. Until he stopped. I said his name. No response. I yelled his name, and cranked up his oxygen. Minimal response. I started rubbing his chest and calling his name. He groaned, then drifted back off, and quit breathing again. I said, "Shonda! Get me a mask and crank it up to 15 liters! Jared! Keep him stimulated!" Then, I went and grabbed some narcan, which reverses the pain medicine I was using. I gave it in his IV...He immediately woke up and started yelling at me that he was hurting.


The doctor started laughing, and said he was glad I needed him around. You see, I had just done everything, and failed to ask for orders. Oops. But, it worked, and after all he was standing right there and could have cancelled what I was doing at any moment. He called me "Dr. Andi" for the rest of the day.

But that is not the end of the drama for this poor fellow. The doctor had to enter through the left groin to access the vessels he needed in the right foot. This fellow had severe vascular disease, kidney disease, and just had crappy health in general...As it turns out, the man had blockage in the artery near the point of entry. The doctor tried to use angioplasty, (a balloon) to widen the artery so he could access the area he originally needed... A risk for this is knocking plaque loose, which can lead to all sorts of trouble. I'd never actually seen it happen. Well, it did. It immediately blocked off the artery almost completely. This resulted in all sorts of extra chaos that we and the patient neither one needed.

So, the point of that story is after the drama that unfolded with the 2 of us last week, and our troubles this week, I think we may avoid any partnerings for a while...But I love working with him because he's quirky and crazy and he actually encourages me to sing with the xm radio during procedures! Who wouldn't love that?

Next random statement: Isn't it creepy when you go outside in the dark in your front yard, and you can hear something scampering in the yard out of the reach of the light, and your cat and both dogs are in the house? Yikes. Who knows what that was.

Oh! And one last random conversation at work. I was called to the CT department to help with a difficult IV. One of the techs was talking about the fresh eggs her hubby had brought home when he took their daughters to a family member's house who, apparently, has chickens. She was discussing how dark yellow they are and how, "eggy" they taste. You know I had to join the conversation, right?

Well, I volunteered that my mom raised chickens. She had to buy eggs for the first time in a long while recently, and was disappointed in not only the flavor but the price! I told them that her last chicken was recently killed, although she didn't know if coyotes, bobcats, or what were getting her chickens....

Scott died laughing. "OF COURSE Andi would have a story about chickens...And one that would include bobcats and coyotes!" They all laughed. I did too, but I secretly pitied them.

Poor kids. They just don't know what they missed out on living on the farm!


Sarah Castor said...


Southern Gal said...

I'll have to let my daughter read this post. See what she has to look forward to as an RN.

Jaime Kubik said...

I lived in Wichita, KS for several years and the story there was that the Lear Jet company (now Raytheon if you're an airplane buff...) was owned by the Lear family. (Duh..) Anyway, they had a daughter they named Crystal Shanda Lear. Now say that fast and see what you get. It's just plain mean if you ask me. Also, I went to school with a Drift and Timber Wood. Why do parents do this to their children?? Being a former teacher I had all sorts of names come across my roster throughout the years, but none as bad as those two. Finally, seeing as how you're a nurse who can basically be a time I'm scared spit-less about some kid-condition can I write Dr. Andi for advice?! Would love it if I could! Hope you have a great Friday!

Dawn said...

You are so darned capable! and inspired to write lately I must say. And those people are just pitiful. Practically everyone I know has a bobcat, coyote or skunk story to share. So I don't get to stand out like you do! heehee. That was fun, love ya. And really, I'm gonna do my assignment, just not today because I really am turning off this thing and going to bed! really!

The Lumberjack's Wife said...

Wow. That was a lot of randomness packed into a day.
Ok. Listen to this. My mom works at a pediatric office. The last name of the child was Dick.
What did they name him?
What is wrong with people?

Sarah Castor said...

Wow! That was crazy random and you know I loved it!