How embarassing (LONG)

  1. It has been a couple of days and I am just now getting to the point where I can write about the situation, am not sure what it is going to be like to go back to work on Saturday.

    I work in a Progressive Care Cardiac Unit and while in group report on Tuesday suddenly began feeling HORRIBLE, pounding heart rate, dizzy, nauseous, the whole deal. When I left the report room I checked a quick pulse ox which showed a rate of 157 and I really started to freak out!!!! Instead I sat down for a couple of minutes and tried to convince myself that it was all just going to go away, and when that didn't work forced myself to roll over to where the charge nurse was changing over the board, and quietly let her know what was happening.

    Ofcourse she rightly took my report sheets, reassigned my patients and made me go put myself on tele which showed SVT, very regular, ranging over about a 30 minute time frame from 160=130's.

    Now remember that this is during change of shift, everyone is being wonderful, but it seems that all of both shifts of this very large 46 bed unit knows what is going on and I soon find myself getting a quick exam from one of the area cards docs, receiving carotid massage and trying valsalva surrounded by 10 coworkers!!!! I knew that they were all concerned but I was more than a little scared, highly symptomatic, and entirely embarrassed to be in this situation, and I ended up unfortunately snapping at a group that were there at this point out of embarrassment.

    So carotid massage failed, the doc told me to keep trying to Valsalva and that if I didn't convert that I was going to have to go to the ED to "get some adenosine" which I REALLY didn't want to hear. All I could think about was that I was going to end up in a bed on my own unit, and how many days it had been since I had last shaved my legs!!!!

    I did end up going down to the ED, getting several ecg's, labs, O2, fluids and a total of 20 mg IV Cardizem to slow down my rate. My labs came back normal except for a slightly low K, which they replaced, and they sent me home on Toprol.

    So now I find myself in the position of having to go back to work on Saturday and apologize to the people that I snapped at, and trying to move on. I am now considering whether I should wait to see if the Toprol controls my rate with the help of a primary care doc or just making an appointment with the nice doc that saw me the other night and who also happens to be the local top EPS guy in case this whole thing keeps happening.

    By the way, this is a new thing for me, happened only twice before, both when I was at home and since September, and both times I was able to deny my way past it as it stopped on its own.

    Of course, because I just finished moving to another state, changing jobs, buying a house and settling in, I hadn't yet set up a primary doc, and had been off of my bp meds for a few months, so I was correctly lectured on why nurses are often LESS compliant, despite being BETTER educated than the general public about our health. By the way, my bp was really up there although it didn't have anything to do with the rate issue since I had been on an ARB and not something that would control rate and bp.

    Thank all of you who read this, and if you have any ideas of what I can do for my coworkers to thank them for their concern and apologise for having snapped at them, please let me know
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  2. 32 Comments

  3. by   CarVsTree
    I'm sorry you had to go through this, esp. at work.

    I wouldn't worry to much about snapping at your co-workers. I'm sure they understand you were very stressed re: your SVT.

    Just apologize, and I'm sure they'll graciously accept. I'm sure they have long since forgiven you without you even asking.

    Hope you get that under ctrl quickly and painlessly.
  4. by   climberrn
    I completely agree with Sue. Almost the same thing happened to a friend of mine (I had to check the date you wrote this to make sure I wasn't responding to her!). She got a little snappy and none of us even thought anything about it. If it makes you feel better, apologize but I'd lay money on that they didn't give it a second thought
  5. by   BSNtobe2009
    I'm sure they will understand. That was a very tense moment, you were frightened, and didn't want spectators.

    If I was one of the people you screamed at, I probably would have thought, "Yeah, I'm concerned, but she probably wanted a little privacy, so I shouldn't have been so nosy and crowded around."
  6. by   TheCommuter
    I would be upfront and simply apologize for snapping. I would tell them that you were having feelings of embarrassment at the time you snapped at them.
  7. by   Sylv
    They probably won't even remember it. You could bring in a big plate of cookies or something and add a card saying what you feel in case you don't see everyone in person, thanks for your concern, sorry I snapped.

    P.S. Keep your legs shaved, (at least on the days you go to work). :wink2:

    Sylvester
  8. by   gr8rnpjt
    I think we all know that nurses make the worst patients. I think they will understand. Just keep it light and say hey guys, I am back on my meds, and sorry I snapped.
  9. by   RNfromMN
    I agree with everyone else - I can almost guarantee that your co-workers realized that you weren't feeling well and blew off your snapping.

    If you really feel compelled to make a gesture, though, how about bringing in some baked good for the breakroom. You can call them "B**** Bars," or "Brat Bars," or your famous, "Can I Just Say I'm Sorry Cake," or "Didn't mean to bite your head off Doughnuts." If the people involved don't all get to your breakroom, send an email, or something, thanking them for their help and apologizing. Word will probably spread, anyway. You could even say that when you got to the ED, after extensive labs and assessments, they finally diagnosed you with having a short temper

    Like I said, I think it's totally unnecessary, but I tend to explode on people unintentionally quite often and I rely quite heavily on sarcasm to smooth things over.
  10. by   Antikigirl
    I would bring in some cookies or what not to share and just say thanks for helping me! And if anyone asks or says anything about you snapping at them say "I am sorry, I was so freaked out and the crowd made me freak out more". (I know it would me!).
  11. by   AnnieOaklyRN
    Sorry this happened to you. Like all the others have said, maybe they have forgotten. If not I would appologize, but also add that you were feeling embarrassed so they understand your point of veiw. This could help a future co-worker who may get sick and run into the same situation, maybe they will be more aware that the person doesnt need 30 people in the room especially if they are reciving treatment or being asked private health information!

    Swtooth
  12. by   nuangel1
    i totally agree with the above posters they probably thought nothing of it .bring in something to say thanks for caring and leave it at that .if someone ,though i doubt it,says you snapped say your sorry but you were feeling bad and embarrassed at the time and leave it at that.
  13. by   gr8rnpjt
    I wanted to add my own embarrassing experience to make you feel better. I experienced a ruptured ovarian cyst in my cubicle in my office one day. My director (big boss) came over to stay with me while the ambulance was on the way.
    I have to say that if anyone ever experienced this you know how painful this can be. It hurt to breathe, and to move. so I kinda sat on the edge of my chair and tried not to move or breathe. everyone crowded around me and felt really bad for me.
    I grabbed my directors hand and I asked her, "am I going to die?"
    I was totally serious. She smiled and said I would be fine, but since I was in so much pain, I was sure I was going to die.
    I still get embarrassed when I think of that one, I'm a nurse, and I thought I was dying. (face turning red now remembering it) :imbar
  14. by   RunnerRN
    My guess would be that you may be getting some apologies yourself when you head back to work. Maybe it took you snapping at them to realize that they were violating your privacy and being nosy....sort of like rubbernecking. You can apologize if you'd like, but I would probably just thank ppl for being concerned for my health and move on.

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