19 June 2010

Lemon Chicken with Morphine, Please.

I probably shouldn't blog about this, especially on the eve of Father's Day, but I'm going to. It's just too hilarious not to share.
Friday night. I'm on my way home from school - stuck in rush hour traffic since I left school later than usual because I wanted to stick around the lab and make sure I could start an IV (kinda an important RN skill to know, you think?) - and I get a call from my mother.
"I just wanted to let you know that I just brought your father to the ER because he can't walk and is in so much pain that he's almost in tears. Can you call your sister and let her know?"
That sentence was followed by a rush of "thedoctorshereIgottagetbackinsidetohisroomrightnow" and then mom hung up on me.
First, let me tell you something about my family. We live for drama. A couple snowflakes quickly erupt into a massive blizzard in a matter of milliseconds in our world.
I guess that's why when I called M to tell him about the situation, he got less than worked up about the news. "He'll be fine. Chill." he told me.
My man knows how to bring me back to earth. Rapidly.
In any case, I decided I should probably stop by the hospital in my parent's town since I would pass right by it on my way back home anyway. 
Here's the basics: 
1. Dad is a funeral director
2. Funeral directors lift people
3. People are getting heavier
4. Dad's already had three back surgeries because of #1, 2 and 3. 
So we're kind of thinking he threw his back out again. Is it a slipped disk like before and he needs surgery again? Is it purely muscular and he just needs to rest? I'm not a doctor, and I'm not an MRI machine. But what I do know is that they gave him three shots of Morphine and nothing worked. Sure, his pupils were like little pinpoints, but he still couldn't sit OR stand...an interesting combination and rather entertaining to watch.
The PA came back in the room and said that they had one more option. They had one more narcotic they could try, but then that's it. Either the drug works, or dad's out of luck.
One time. One shot. One thigh.
Why not? Load'm up. I was happy to be in the presence of these potent drugs since my Pharm lecture just six hours earlier covered the major pain meds. And now I was about to see them in action.
Oh. My. Gosh. What happened next made me very, very glad I stayed in the ER with him for two hours.
Just like I learned this past week in class, an IM (intramuscular) drug takes approximately 7-12 minutes to kick in. And oh boy, did it. I could just kick myself for not having a video camera. This would be viral on YouTube right now.
The sequence of events is as follows:
1. Dad gets a shot of Demerol in his left thigh.
2. Dad sits in his wheelchair, waiting for it to kick in.
3. 10 minutes later, his pupils all but disappear.
4. He starts humming.
5. His feet start tapping.
6. Dad looks at mom, then me, then up at the ceiling. He proceeds to have the following conversation with himself:
Dad: "I want Chineeeeessssseeeee for dinnnnneeerrrrr. Yessssss. I doooooooo. I like orange chicken. Do YOOOUUUU like orange chicken?" (major emphasis on the orange.)
He then looks at me in all seriousness and wants an answer.
Me: "Um, well, no, I like lemon chicken."
Dad: "Lemon chicken. Lemon chicken. Lemon chicken. Lemon chicken. Lemon chicken."
Silence. Mom and I look at each other, completely aware that dad is officially out of it. We immediately crack up - and dad is completely oblivious to our laughter, which makes us laugh even harder.
Dad: "Leee-mohn, cheeee-kohn. Leee-mohn, cheeee-kohn. Leee-mohn, cheee-kohn." Imagine a really, really bad French accent here.
And, if you're wondering, dad does not know how to speak a lick of French.
He says "Leee-mohn, cheeee-kohn" over and over and over. About 16 times.
Then dad decides to mix it up with a really bad southern-accent version of "Peee-caaaan, cheee-caaaan." At this point, mom and I are laughing so hard we're afraid we're going to pee our pants. Nurses are walking by and peeking in the room, shaking their head and laughing with us when they see it's dad. (They know him pretty well out there...seeing what his profession is and all.)
Dad: "Leee-mohn, cheeee-kohn. Minty Beef. Hmmmm. Is Minty Beef a chicken dish?"
Then, without skipping a beat, he launches straight into the first verse of "A Hundred Million Miracles" from Rodger & Hammerstein's Flower Drum Song.  
I can't make this stuff up.
And this is my family.
Note: I left before dad was discharged from the ER, but it turns out they're going to try to get him into his primary care doc on Monday. He'll probably have to go see his back specialist in St. Louis - I think we have the guy's cell on speed-dial and put his kids through undergrad and graduate school. And just as an FYI: When people use narcotics exclusively to control pain, it is unlikely that they become addicted or dependent on them. A patient in the ER for measurable pain is given a dosage of opioids strong enough to reduce their awareness of pain but not normally potent enough to produce a dependant state. Narcotics used for short-term medical conditions rarely require weaning since stopping the medication after a brief period rarely produces adverse effects. (from a combo of my pharmacology notes and WebMD.)

17 June 2010

Smiling About...

Pancakes and coffee for dinner with Grandpa.
Cami, my cousin's dog. The word "snausage" immediately comes to mind.
The second shelf under "Diseases" at Barnes and Noble.
Katie's awesome job of motivating me during midterms last week.
Making sure my mom had red lips in the drawing of my perception of "family" during Communication Lab.
Wearing scrubs for practicums even though we didn't have to. I feel like I'm playing dress-up.
Today I love: Umbrellas and passing what was an easier-than-I-thought-it-would-be Basic Skills Practicum.

06 June 2010

Running Amok

I used to be a 9:30-to-bed-girl.
I remember the good ol' days of putting on my PJ's around 9:00, while listening to the taunts and teasings of my Beloved, who's internal clock is definitely the complete opposite of mine. I would snuggle up in bed by 9:15 with a couple dogs and a couple books, a mug of hot tea and my alarm clock set for 5am. 
I don't think M even knows what 5am looks like. Seriously. Complete opposites. Night Owl marries Hyper Happy Morning Girl.
However, now with Week Two of school completed, 9:30 bedtimes are a thing of distant memory. In order to make time to study, do homework, organize lecture notes and, oh, let's say, eat dinner once in awhile, I'm finding out that 9:30pm is actually early. Too early to go to bed. I'm lucky if I even start thinking about bedtime by 11:30.
And I still get up at 5am.
I think back to when I was in school for my first degree. Living on campus. Studying...but not this much. Is it because I'm older? Have I turned into one of those obsessive non-traditional students that keep three different planners and try to have homework completed days in advance and actually read the textbooks?
Yes. Yes I have. 
Granted, I'm getting ready to go into what's only the third week of classes. But guess what Week Three is?
Accelerated, remember? Holy snot, this is going so, so fast. I think one of the reasons I'm so OCD about everything is that somewhere, in the back of my mind, I keep reminding myself that hey - I better learn this, and learn it good. Someone's health and life will depend on it in less than a year.
My BA in English? I really don't think anyone would die if I forgot how to diagram sentences or misinterpret the symbolism in Keats' "Ode on a Grecian Urn."
Just this past week alone we've had our vital sign check-offs (passed! First attempt!), learned how to suction a tracheotomy and how to place catheters (male and female). That's on top of our four lecture classes, of which I've realized that Wednesdays are not my favorite day. Straight lecture, same seat from 8am - 4pm with an hour for lunch. Oy vay.
This weekend, I didn't go home (gasp!!). M had away basketball Friday night until really late, then away baseball all day Saturday and today. I would have seen him for a total of four minutes, of which we didn't really think was worth a tank and a half of gas. I miss him, and I miss the pups (didn't know that two of them went missing the other day until he told me LAST NIGHT!!!!!), but I got about 12 hours of solid midterm studying in. The only break I took was to take my grandpa out to dinner, which was more selfish on my part because I desperately needed coffee in order to continue studying into the wee hours of the night.
Anywhere grandpa eats has to have coffee, so it worked out well for the both of us.
About the dogs. Apparently someone accidentally left the back door open and two fuzzies escaped. M has no idea how long they were gone...he just noticed that the house was really, really quiet - the number one indicator that something is terribly wrong. He went to the back door and lo and behold it was wide open, just flapping in the breeze. He grabbed the treat jar and shook it out in the driveway, which of course brought Fatty-Mcfat-Fat dog (aka UConn) running back to the house for all she's worth.
Treats are her lifeline.
My baby, my precious, precious baby, was still missing. M said the only thing running through his head was "Crap!!!! I just lost my wife's favorite dog!!!" He drove around town looking for him, but seriously. Knuke is terrified of car rides. Like he's really going to come running up to the truck and jump right on in. Usually if M finds him with the truck, M has to park the truck, pick up the dog by his middle and shove all 100lbs of him into the passenger side.
It's quite the spectacle.
Luckily, M saw my sweet Knukie-pie standing in the field behind our house, and as soon as Knuke saw the truck, he bolted for the back door. Scary truck ride with livid master or treats on a pillow in the living room? He knew where to go.
But why on EARTH did I find out about this three days after the fact??
This is why we don't have kids, folks. I can see it now...
Officer: "Um, ma'am, did your kids get home alright the other night?"
Me: "WHAT?? I didn't even know they were out!!"
Officer: "Well, I saw them running all over tarnation and your husband was trying to mow them down with his truck."
Definitely going home next weekend. Between the Peanut Butter Cap't Crunch on the counter, corn dogs and chicken nuggets in the freezer and dogs running amok all over town, I'm feeling the need to go home see what's been going on.
And bring home some fruit and vegetables.