You Can't Make This Stuff Up!

by VivaLasViejas 13,054 Views | 40 Comments Guide

  1. 86
    As a nurse of some years' duration, I've often been accused of harboring a rather warped sense of humor. I'm not sure what happened, or when I devolved from a normal person who laughs at knock-knock jokes and funny animal videos to a degenerate who cackles madly at bodily functions and the infinite variety of stupid people tricks. All I know is, I've seen some crazy stuff since I've been in this field........and every single one of these stories is 100% true.

    ........Some years ago when I was still working Med/Surg, I had a patient who could be described diplomatically only as "fluffy". In actuality, she was a diabetic who weighed more than 400 lbs. A pleasant sort, she struck up conversation with me as I performed her PM assessment; when the aide brought her supper tray in, she mentioned that she'd lost her lower dentures at breakfast and asked if I'd seen them. Of course, I hadn't---at least, not until I turned her onto her side so I could listen to her lungs.

    There, firmly implanted in her left buttock, were the teeth. They'd made such an indentation that I literally had to pry them off her cheek with a gloved finger..........whereupon she whisked them out of my hand, said "Ahhh, thanks, honey", and popped them into her mouth before I even had a chance to wash them!

    ........Same hospital: we had this little old man from a nursing home; naturally, he was terribly confused, and much to the dismay of the entire floor yelled incoherently for hours and tried repeatedly to climb out of bed. Finally, after several complaints from other patients and a couple of Ativan tablets that did nothing but wind him up even more, his nurse found a geri-chair and brought him out to the nurses' station so we could keep an eye on him. In exasperation, she told the man, "Now you be quiet---I don't want to hear so much as a squeak out of you."

    That was when we found out he wasn't quite as demented as we'd assumed. With a sly grin on his face and an unmistakable twinkle in his faded blue eyes, he said "SQUEAK!" and promptly subsided, content to watch the corridor and nibble on graham crackers.

    ........Another time, an aide and I were cleaning up after a patient who'd been incontinent of a rather impressive river of loose stool..........in fact, it was pouring off the bed and splattering on the floor (not to mention our shoes). Why I was reminded just then of the need to pick up some chocolate fudge cake mix on the way home, I'll never know, but when I said as much, the aide turned a funny shade of green and fled the room!

    .........Here's a patient I'm sure many of us have met: the nineteen-year-old primigravida with tattoos all over her upper body who screeched like a frightened toddler when I tried to start an IV because she "didn't like needles"...........

    .........More fun from the OB unit: I've worked three-day stretches in postpartum without seeing even ONE married couple. Sent new parents home who couldn't even read the directions on the box their infant car seat came in. Caught a baby in my bare hands when the L&D nurse was on break and the doctor hadn't arrived yet because Mom was only at 6 cm and the contractions were still three minutes apart after eight hours of labor.

    And I've spent nights in a hospital nursery with a baby in each arm, wondering what I'd done to deserve the privilege of actually getting paid to sit in a rocking chair, cradling downy heads and inhaling deeply of the scent of new life. Nope, you really CAN'T make this stuff up.
    nursgirl, RNAnnjeh, TCoxLPN, and 83 others like this.
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  3. About VivaLasViejas

    VivaLasViejas joined Sep '02 - from 'The Great Northwest'. Age: 55 VivaLasViejas has '17' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'LTC, assisted living, geriatrics, psych'. Posts: 25,168 Likes: 36,338; Learn more about VivaLasViejas by visiting their allnursesPage


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    40 Comments so far...

  4. 3
    Wonderful writing; thank you. I can definitely relate--on a quiet afternoon holding a baby in my arms and getting paid for it, wow--there are days we have the best job in the world . Even the worst day with a screamer suddenly turns around when the baby stops screaming and smiles for a millisec--that's all it takes .
    tewdles, junebug50, and VivaLasViejas like this.
  5. 3
    I've spent many nights holding a newborn. Rocking & thinking how blessed I was to be in this profession! But then, I've also had the loose stool patients, etc.....LOL
  6. 5
    Quote from cgtravel
    I've spent many nights holding a newborn. Rocking & thinking how blessed I was to be in this profession! But then, I've also had the loose stool patients, etc.....LOL
    But then I compare bathing a baby and changing out crib linens to doing the same thing to a 200 kg adult and somehow it's OK :chuckle.
    sharpeimom, pooh54, MarathonerPN, and 2 others like this.
  7. 7
    Quote from VivaLasViejas
    ........Another time, an aide and I were cleaning up after a patient who'd been incontinent of a rather impressive river of loose stool..........in fact, it was pouring off the bed and splattering on the floor (not to mention our shoes). Why I was reminded just then of the need to pick up some chocolate fudge cake mix on the way home, I'll never know, but when I said as much, the aide turned a funny shade of green and fled the room!
    Okay, so while working a rare day shift, I wasn't a lunatic when I was watching a surgeon lance and then pack an abdominal abscess (blood, infection, and a really interesting brown/red/yellow color) and all I could think was, "gee, wonder if they haven any Brunswick stew left in the cafeteria?"
  8. 6
    Quote from cgtravel
    I've spent many nights holding a newborn. Rocking & thinking how blessed I was to be in this profession! But then, I've also had the loose stool patients, etc.....LOL
    A med/surg nurse I met some years back said she never got peed on, pooped on, or barfed on so much as she did while doing her OB/GYN rotations, and specifically the newborn nursery. Her non-nursing friends all thought that would be really fun; her take on it was that every boy who passed through there had some way of telling the others, "Hey you! That nurse over there doesn't like babies very much! FWEEEEEEEEE!"

    :chuckle

    On a more serious note, from my vantage point in the pharmacy, the most heartbreaking things are the preschoolers in the inpatient psychiatry unit. What could possibly have happened to a child that young that they ended up in a place like this at that age?
    sharpeimom, FranEMTnurse, dhinson45, and 3 others like this.
  9. 2
    I'm not a nurse but I did work at a clinic once and a patient walked in hoping to be seen in GYN because she had put a potato in her "lady part". True story. Another time, and one of my supervisors told me this story, one woman came in because she had gotten an 8 ball stuck in there too. Wow! How does that happen??
    Last edit by julivee on Sep 20, '09
    sharpeimom and VivaLasViejas like this.
  10. 2
    Omg! Lol! On all the "gross stuff" especially the Brunswick soup. Oh nurses! This is why I love all you guys.
    Last edit by julivee on Sep 20, '09
    sharpeimom and VivaLasViejas like this.
  11. 4
    had a nursing supervisor run out of a postpartum room, shouting that there was a baby emergency in a room...we all ran in -expecting a choking baby-to see a very poopy diaper-need I say that this supervisor had no kids of her own...
    lillysmomma, sharpeimom, kpreetRN, and 1 other like this.
  12. 0
    way back when, as the story goes, women used potatoes as pessaries, for a "dropped uterus"


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