Happy nurses week! In honor of this special occasion, I'm blogging for the first time in months...And it will be a nurse story. Because it's nurses week. And because I keep wanting to tell this story to every person I encounter, and I'm quite certain they will get sick of the retelling.
Or be shocked at my crassness.
But the crassness is what makes it so great!
Tuesday I went in to say hello and do an assessment on a 66 year old gentleman who was in mental status change. He had suffered from a stroke, and he did not have any residual effects physically, but as he told me over and over, "My head is messed up." Whether it is due to his stroke, history of drug abuse, or seizures, I'm not sure. But he was confused. He would get an idea in his head, and he would say it over and over and over. For example, he had wanted me to call his son to go check on his wife at the nursing home, only he couldn't remember the number. I looked it up in the computer, but before I got a chance to help him with the call (any activity with this gentleman took a good amount of time due to his mental processing deficit), he remembered the number.
867-5309! 867-5309! 867-5309!
He shouted it out from his room so LOUDLY that I could hear it clearly in my patient's room two doors down. And, fortunately he had learned to use the call button...
"May I help you," asked the unit secretary.
"867-5309! 867-5309! 867-5309!"
Okay, that's not the real number he gave. He gave the correct number, which I memorized due to him hollering it for a good 20 minutes straight, but I cannot give it to you, lest you call his son and harass him. Besides, 867-5309 will be stuck in your head all day. You're welcome.
Anyway, all of that drawn out background was to get a base of his mentation for you.
I was charting his assessment in the computer. "I have to pee!"
"Okay, go ahead and go. The bathroom is right there." I indicated the door, and knew full well he could get up and walk, as he'd been wandering the hall all night long, and had in fact gotten himself tied up for not staying in his room, and wandering into other patient's rooms...
"I gotta pee!"
"Okay..." And I repeated the instructions as I continued to chart....And I repeated. And repeated.
After I had completed the charting, I turned to him and said, "Alright, let's get you up to the bathroom." And thus began a 10 minute step by step instruction session to get this six foot man out of bed and to the bathroom, where he walked to the toilet....and stood.
"Lift your gown up so you can pee."
"Okay." And he did.
"Alright, you might want to pull down your diaper."
"Okay." Nothing....I said again, "You need to pull down your diaper."
"Okay." Still standing with his gown wadded up in his hands.
And with a mental shrug I undid his diaper and pulled it off. "Alright. You can pee now."
And he proceeded to pee all over the floor. "Sir, you need to grab hold of that thing and take about two steps forward. You are missing the toilet." Now, some of you may be shocked at my bluntness, but sometimes I wish I had that gumption when I was 16 working at our local gas station and cleaning pee up daily after specific men came in for their morning coffee and gossip session.
Anyway, he said, "Oh my! Oh no! I peed all over my nuts! This is TERRIBLE! And the floor! How TERRIBLE! TERRIBLE! TERRIBLE!"
"It's okay. Just step closer, and aim a little better." And he did. But he continued to rant, "I peed on my nuts! You will have to wash my nuts! It's awful!"
I got a warm washcloth, waited for him to finish, and when he said, "Well, that ain't much, but that's all I can do these days," I handed him the rag and said, now clean yourself up. Which he thankfully began to do, WITHOUT step by step direction.
"This is terrible. You are washing my nuts! You don't get paid enough to wash my nuts! Oh no. I'm so sorry I peed all over my nuts and you have to wash them."
"It's okay, sir. You are washing them, not me."
Yet he continued to dutifully scrub and apologize..."I'm so sorry I peed on my nuts! You have to wash my nuts! It's terrible!
At last I deemed that they were certainly clean. "Alright, that's good. Now throw the washcloth in this bag, and wash your hands."
So he did, and continued to say, "I peed on my nuts! I'm so sorry! Now you have to wash them! You don't get paid enough to wash nuts!"
At last I convinced him that he could stop washing his hands and to return to bed. Of course, all the way to bed he chanted in a loud voice, "You have to wash my nuts! I peed all over my nuts! This is TERRIBLE!"
And I continued to say "It's okay," and "You already cleaned your nuts, now let's get a diaper back on and get you back in bed" all the while fighting to not burst into laughter lest I hurt his feelings. Because, rest assured Gentle Reader, men do NOT enjoy laughter that involves their nuts. Life experience as a nurse, I promise this is fact.
After spending five minutes convincing him to get in bed, I finally was able to leave the room with him apologizing all of the way out the door....
"I peed on my nuts! This is TERRIBLE! You have to wash my nuts! I'm so sorry! You don't get paid enough to wash my nuts!"
And I stepped out in the hall and around the corner of his door. And collapsed against the wall shaking with silent laughter.
Happy nurses week!