Silent John - page 2
by FMF Corpsman
When John showed up in the unit, he was non-communicative and usually in 4-way restraints as he would usually be doing a motion, we had coined as the crab. He would be on his back, moving each of his four extremities... Read More
- 2Aug 1, '12 by FMF CorpsmanQuote from crazyoldnursei had a patient who was "locked in". he was deemed to be a tbi "vegetable".when i started to take this case he was noncommunicative. he would show disdain by biting his lip or injuring his mouth some way. i figured that if he could show his anger then he did have feelings. i started with the eye yes or no flutter. well he responded. yes i want to go to bed etc. he had a history of loving christmas . i started playing xmaw songs and when he heard them he smiled!!! i then started to take him to church early on sun. am.s he was so communicative after the extra effort of getting him up and wheeling him to church.i was able to get him to cooperate and let me know what he wanted after he trusted me. i would not allow himto bite his mouth with out a stern lecture and after a while the only time he did a major bite was when he had a new nurse or if he was getting an infection when he felt painful.
isn't it amazing what just a little extra effort on our part can accomplish? i used to pick up additional shifts at another hospital through an agency and was working in the neuro icu on a patient who was a young lady of around 28 years old, who had been there for quite some time, somewhere going on 3 months or so, as i recall, (this was probably 20+ years ago or so) she was in a coma and they were going to move her to the floor, but it turned out her family was quite wealthy and agreed to private pay, so she stayed in the unit. anyway, one day as i was getting report one day, the smart ass i was relieving, gave me a perfunctory report and said actually all we're doing is "weeding and watering her." the person who gave me report was another agency person, i had never seen before, and we all know how they can be, so i just wrote it off and since i’d been taking care of her for over a week now, i presumed i knew more about her than a report would likely give me anyway. i would just need to look at her latest labs etc. but, the more i thought about it the more irritated i became. and then i realized he was basically right. all we were doing was nothing care, making sure she was turned, labs, good skin care, etc, etc, when her husband came in at 7 for visiting hours, i proceeded to grill him... there were already all of these pictures of dogs, and people scattered around and taped to the sliding door. i asked him what the dogs name was, who the people in the pictures were, what her favorite foods were all of these personal questions about things i could talk to her about. i asked what kind of music she liked and listened to when she was in her car and at home. i had been talking to her, but about my life and things, i did, but that would bore the paint off the walls and send her even deeper into a coma. as soon as visiting hours were over, i started on operation wake up: i talked to her about her dog that was easy, because i’m an animal freak, if i hadn’t gotten into corpsman school; my second choice was dog handler. anyway, we talked about all of her friends & family and this went on all night. when i got ready to leave, i left my little radio on her music and ear buds in her ears. when i gave report, i told them about operation wake up. i wasn’t scheduled the next day, but i was off from the hospital, so i came in and talked to her all day long. each shift did a little of my "operation wake up," though, likely not as much as i did, as i usually found the radio on the bedside table. but still, a little better than 2 and 1/2 weeks later and this lady was awake! i don’t know if it was my constant nagging or not, but i like to think it might have helped. she got excellent care because her parents were wealthy no doubt about that. had she not been in the unit because of that, she never would have been there for that jackass to be rude about. i have this philosophy that we are all put on this earth to make an impact on one another, in one way or another. we may not know when it happens and it may not be a direct impact, i may impact you and you impact someone else, as a direct result of having been impacted by me, but in the end, it all works out for the best. just as it is supposed to.