What Freaks You Out? - page 12
Okay, people. It's time for a nice, fun, light-hearted discussion to blow off some steam. WHAT FREAKS YOU OUT? What bodily fluid can't you STAND? What wound gives you the absolute WILLIES? ... Read More
Jun 24, '01It's hard to freak me out or shock me anymore, but there are a few things... the necrotizing fascitis cases are pretty repulsively fascinating, such as the 'one-armed man' who became that way from skin-popping heroin. There was so much gas and rot all down his arm and side, they had to remove his entire arm/disarticulate it at the shoulder and throw it all away. Then they fileted most of his back and side. The dressing changes took 45 minutes, masked, gloved, gowned, and sweating, as he was in isolation for you-name-it as well.He looked like a pork-rib monster. After 2 weeks of torture, he died anyway.
Also, those poor people we have to take from ICU to the radiation oncology center, so we can help strap them to a table, then run behind the lead doors so that poor patient can be fried and nuked with radiation to try to destroy their tumors. Barbaric!!! Then they look like 3rd degree burns, and their flesh always ends up rotting off, they get septic, and they die anyway.
I guess the part about all of this, is that it freaks me (and is depressing) about how much torture one human body will subject itself to out of hope of making it better, and much of the time it doesn't work. (15 years in the ICU have made me somewhat cynical)GB
Jun 24, '01Okay, there are maybe a few other things that sort of give me heeb-jeebs. Like the overdose we got in the unit, a 52 year-old lady whose nose and palate had rotted off from a lifetime of snorting drugs. We had to cover the gaping hole in her face with some 4x4's because of the wads of lugies constantly draining out. (It would come out her ears too.) When she got awake and off the vent, she kept asking for her dentures, which nobody could understand what she was saying for the longest time. They transferred her out to the stepdown unit finally, then later that day, the housekeeper comes out and tried to hand me a filthy, blood-and-guts-caked, upper denture plate! and, it had this huge dried-up, blood-clotty hardened piece of human tissue on it. I screamed and she dropped it, but no way was I touchin' that thing. I can't even stand when they hand you dentures with a long string of thick saliva on it. Somebody finally threw it in a an opaque denture cup and took it to the pt's new location, but not before I was hurling into the main sink for handwashing! Which was really embarrasssing, because just the day before, I had been yelling at the pregnant unit secretary, for barfing into her wastebasket at her desk, then setting it back down expecting the nurses to clean it up. (We called housekeeping. We weren't going near that can) GB
Jun 24, '01OK, now you got me started. This could be addictive. A few more crrreeeepies or bizares:
The patient whose balls were exposed (I mean, the testicles, the cords, the vessels, all just hanging out, with the scrotal sac split open and peeled back). Yiiii I'm not even a guy, and I could barely stand to look at that, it gave me this sickly twinge in my stomach and spine.
Or, the time I was trying to insert an NG tube
and the pt. had sudden projectile vomiting
(bloody!)into my face, into my eyes, nose, gaping mouth, and even down my neck of my scrubdress.
The volume of it amazed me. It was in my bra, down my pantyhose, legs, and in my shoes. My hair was even dripping. I had to go take an emergency shower over in surgery. Did I get tested for
HIV or Hep? We just didn't think that way back then. Amazing.
Or the guy whose penis was split in half lengthwise. And he had a foley cath, too, in the center of it all. those two halves of penis skin just flopping around were kind of weird.
Jun 24, '01Okay, goofball, I gotta ask....WHY were the guy's testicles exposed, and WHY was the guy's penis split in half???!!!?? That just made my jaw hit the keyboard. Curiosity is killing me...please indulge.
Jun 24, '01Assisting with a bone marrow- Watching the doc turning and pushing the huge, handled needle with all his might- into the bone- I cant stand it!! I can handle vomit after the fact, but I will retch if I have to hear it and smell it!
Jun 25, '01I have had the experience with the split - penis before too, it was as a result of a foley cath. The VERY neglectful family knew the gentleman had a sore at the tip of his penis, which grew of course, and before he went in for a S/p cath, it split like down the center., and kind of curled back, reminded me of a hot dog cooked after cutting.
I read all the posts. In 12 years of nursing I have managed to hold it together, nothin' bothers me except the time the suction machine blew mucous all over me- thank GOD I wear glasses!!!
I almost hurled, and drove home, retching every now and then- turned a 20 minute trip into 12!!!!!!!!!
Jun 27, '01KDAY,
I have long since forgotten why that guys testicles and jewel parts were hanging out. (all I recall is that it had that effect on me like someone dragging a ragged fingernail over nylon, or screeching chalk on a blackboard) It seems like it was either from a fall, or else it was some sort of cancer/surgery.Our ICU has a mix of every sort of pt., but sometimes the diagnoses just sort of melt together in my brain.I do recall we had to keep it all moist, think we were doing wet-to-wets NS, and that they were going to put it all back together, somehow, at some point.
I'll have to check with my co-workers and see if they remember.
Same with the split penis guy. He told me what it was from, but what was it? Seems he blamed it on the residents at a teaching hospital he had been in. I know somebody on our night shift who will recall. so I'll get back to you with all this.
Jun 27, '01I had a confused pt. who vomited copious green slime into his soupbowl, then picked it up and started drinking it again. I had to wrestle it from him, he just wouldn't give it up. He reminded
me of my neighbor's bulldog who used to vomit on
our basketball and then roll it along while licking it clean.
My friend went to check on her elderly pt. who was mute and always chewing and sucking on his thumb.
We heard her let out a little scream, and ran in there to see them struggling over something. She said he had pulled out his Foley cath, and there he was, chewing and sucking on the bloody balloon and tip. They were playing tug-o-war, she had that thing stretched taut, but he had a grip on it. I hid behind the curtain in case it snapped back on us!
Jun 27, '01Well, burns really freak me out. Third degree burns. Something that really made me want to puke was when I was doing a bed bath on a trach patient. She coughed suddenly and a wad of mucous flew right into my eye and onto my contact lens.
I guess it's not as gross as some of the other stuff ..
Jun 27, '01sputum in your eye definitely qualifies as gross.
One time I was scrubbing a pts subclavian line
site, and the Don Knotts-type resp. therapist chose that time to suddenly disconnect the vent tubing from the ET to change tubings. He let the old tubing go instead of putting a bag on it or pushing it down; it was supported on the metal arm at just the right level to let everything blow right into
my face. I got sprayed wet with everything coming out of those tubings, and they were all encrusted with yellow-green wet secretions. I couldn't even eat lunch that day.Then I got raging sick with bronchitis for a month. Of course, every time I get sick anyway, I imagine I have caught whatever horrible disease I just took care of. But this time I was sure of it.
Jun 27, '01I like to tell my spouse all the gory details to the wounds I've seen and the treatment details, but I never tell about how I had to remove an impaction, ick!
Jun 27, '01Smitty, somehow I've escaped ever having the
pleasure of seeing a bone marrow biopsy. Isn't the patient screaming and writhing? or is that just
the nurse? and exactly what do they use, a
drill or a corkscrew?
We had a patient whose drs. had to amputate his gangrenous leg right in his bed in the ICU. It sounded like a chain saw was being used. A bunch of people stayed in the room to help, and the rest of us watched it on the camera in the nursing station. now that was creepy too, but at least the pt. was in a coma.
Jun 28, '01I am currently a senior nursing student in a BSN program in Missouri. during the summer between my first and second year of college i worked as a NA at a hospital in Illinois.
Strong Smelly poop really gets my stomach turning, but i nearly lost it on one of the patients that I had my first day working in the hospital.
I had a patient who was around 350#. She was extremely arthritic and all of her joints were drawn up and contracted. She had MRSA, and her skin was covered with fluid filled blisters. She was on an air mattress to keep pressure to a minimum. She was unable to care for herself at all, and was on isolation precautions. Under her, was a Tarp leading to a huge trashcan at the end of the bed to channel all of her weeping lesions away from her skin. We had to cover the lesions with Vasoline guage to keep from tearing her skin changing the bandages. I was given eye goggles, gowned, masked, and doned sterile gloves and then I started peeling off the gauze. From every blister at least a 1/4 of a cup of drainage oozed out, and it smelled like rotten flesh. I about lost it!