MICU nurse becomes Trauma Pt. - page 2
Recently I was traveling in Florida with my family to Disney World and a cement truck traveling in the opposite direction, on I 10, had a catastrophic blow out of a front steer tire. He started... Read More
Dec 7, '12Thank you for sharing your story and I'm glad you were able to turn such a painful, frightening experience into something positive.
I have come to believe that there is a certain perspective gained, when you've had to spend a little time on the "other side" of that bed, wearing the gown...using the bedpan, if you will. You hit the nail on the head when you stated the importance of explaining everything. What we as the RN may see as minute and mundane, may actually be quite major to our patients.
YES, Lovenox burns like heck and so do the lumbar drains placed for CSF leaks when they're pulled (like flames down the tops of your thighs) without warning. I'm one malignant brain tumor, two DVT (one with massive PE's), basal cell carcinoma (I don't tan, by the way) and 14 various surgeries experienced on the "other side" of the bed. I'm not an expert...but I know that I like it better from the side I'm on more regularly.
I'm alive and I'm able-bodied and I'm employed. I've lived longer than was expected and thus I am blessed beyond belief. I am where I meant to be...
Sounds like you are too...
Dec 7, '12So glad you are ok! How very scary for all of you!
My 2 oldest live in Orlando and as I live near Pensacola I-10 is a freeway I must frequent. It's a horribly dangerous freeway. I was almost creamed by a semi my last trip down in April and had to drive down the center median but thankfully kept control. I still have a vivid picture of the female truck drivers' face as we glanced at each other...she thought for sure she was going to hit me. A Versa decided to slam on his brakes in front of the truck after seeing a FHP car further up and almost caused a serious pile up! I digress....
Thank you for sharing your story. Prayers and well wishes for your continued recovery!
Dec 8, '12Awesome insight.
Sorry you had to go through it, but still...a great reminder to us all. Thank you for posting.
Dec 8, '12So glad you are well on the road to recovery, along with your kids. I can't even imagine being so far away from my kids in that situation for so many agonizing hours! Somebody was warching over you all that fateful day.
Also. I can 100% completely empathize with you. I too was an ICU trauma patient. After a routine hysterectomy with 4-6 weeka recovery ( that's the standard anyhow) I contracted necrotizing faciitis and within days of this seemingly routine procedure. My flesh was literally rotting off from my body in big chunks all aong my abdomen starting with huge purple pustules that burst and drained. While my temp hovers around 103-104, my fingers and feet freezing. shaking uncontrollably from chills. My then 19 year old son, holdiing my hand so tight as we say the lords prayer together, he walks briskly along side the gurney on the way to the OR STAT. "Son, I love you, my will is in my cabinet etc etc, there is XXX amount of money stashed in the green hoody in the very back of the closet in my room, call so and so for any medical (life or death decisions) they were two good friends of mine who were nurses who knew and cared about me and my son. I look at the monitors and my BP is steady dropping before I am completely unconcious. The next 7 days in the ICU, they kept me pretty zonked as they kept me stable enough to debride my gapping wounds q AM. Moved to a med surg floor for a couple of days before being shuffled off to a LTC facility wayyy too soon and NOT one of my choosing. To be treated like a leper, or sick dog by CNA's and nurses alike. What a horrific time time in my life!
It took me 18 months to fight back. It's taken me another 6 years to realize I am now a partially disabled nurse. I can not do as much as I used to, I have had to switch from days to night shifts. I have learned to pace myself and allow myself to take extra rest if need be. I still have my good sense and good nursing judgement, I still have my intellect, my compassion has multiplied 100 fold! Same as you. I ALWAYS let my patients know what kind of care I am am giving before I lay my hands on them. I understand how having a friendly positive nurse can really make my day while in the hospital and how a snobby nurse with a bad attitude, who coulldn't give a hoot can have a huge impact on my day as well.
Although I may have some physical limitations now. I have become such a better, well rounded nurse since having my turn on the "other side of the bed". I am grateful every day to even be nursing still. So on those days when other girls are moaning and groaning about wotk, or gossiping about fellow nurses. I turn and walk the other way and quietly Thank God I have been blessed with another day to take care of others and be there for them when they need me most.
Dec 19, '12Sorry I haven't responded sooner, I've since had double knee surgery and I go in Friday for shoulder surgery. GOD was with us and I thank you all for being kind and reading my long post. I'm ready for this nightmare to end. I can't wait to get back on the floor I need a little brain stimuli. I'm not good at sitting on my butt and watching hours of mindless TV.
Dec 27, '12Well my slap tear repair was a little more complicated then we first thought, it seems as though that has been my lot in life lately. There were multiple tears on my labrum and my rotator cuff was torn. Anchors were installed and tears repaired....phew it isn't as bad as I had anticipated! Pain is moderate but controlled and I finally feel like I'm on the road to recovery. Hallelujah!
Dec 28, '12Quote from L&DWannaBSo happy for you! I wish you strength and renewal during your recovery. May the new year be your happiest, hugs!Well my slap tear repair was a little more complicated then we first thought, it seems as though that has been my lot in life lately. There were multiple tears on my labrum and my rotator cuff was torn. Anchors were installed and tears repaired....phew it isn't as bad as I had anticipated! Pain is moderate but controlled and I finally feel like I'm on the road to recovery. Hallelujah!
Dec 28, '12I had a hsterectomy over 30 yrs ago and what could go wrong did go wrong. After 2 days they took my foley out and didn't check to se if I had peed I had told them many times I hadn't, my bladder flap tore and after about 3 days my belly started getting big and as an ICU nurse I told them I was bleeding They didn't believe me and ignored me until the doc checked all my labs by then I was confused and scared. The bad thing about being a nurse and confused is you still have your nursing knowledge, but you can't do anything about it. In the end I arrested and woke up in ICU on a vent. Knowing all along I was in bad bad shape and in a pitch black room, still confused and now restrained.
Enough about that. Now I know to never, ever ignore anything your patient says, frequently check urine output after foley removal, if the bp is very low and heart rate is fast it better be the first thing you don't ignore. Tell your patient what is going on. Constantly reassure your patient they are going to be okay and leave a night light on and a call button close even if they are confused. All basic nursing 101 stuff. These simple little things are so very important and I never forgot them. I almost died because there was no compassion, patience, or tolerance in many of that facilities nurses
Dec 28, '12Quote from L&DWannaBI am so glad!!!!!Happy New Year!!!!Well my slap tear repair was a little more complicated then we first thought, it seems as though that has been my lot in life lately. There were multiple tears on my labrum and my rotator cuff was torn. Anchors were installed and tears repaired....phew it isn't as bad as I had anticipated! Pain is moderate but controlled and I finally feel like I'm on the road to recovery. Hallelujah!
Dec 29, '12Well here's to an awesome new year! So excited to be moving on. I went to PT today for my foot and knees and was released...Whoot Whoot! Said he thought I'd be 100% in no time. It sure is nice to get some good news.
Nurses thank you for all of your stories. I'm sure they were equally horrific. I will take every experience you have shared with me. Thanks
Dec 31, '12Quote from L&DWannaBMy near-death experience taught me the same lessons!!! Makes us stronger nurses. Will be 5 years January 29th...sending positive vibes on to your recovery holistically!!!Recently I was traveling in Florida with my family to Disney World and a cement truck traveling in the opposite direction, on I 10, had a catastrophic blow out of a front steer tire. He started flipping and went through the median and hit us head on. The impact threw our car 88ft and we landed in a drainage ditch pointing the opposite direction we were traveling.
To make a long story shorter, I had to be extricated with jaws of life, I went in to shock and while paramedics were medicating me for pain. I had an anaphylactic reaction to Fentanyl and lost my airway.I was airlifted to a trauma center and my kids were taken to ALABAMA to another trauma center because we overloaded the Panama City hospital with our wreck. I didn't know how my kids were doing for over 8 hours.
The worst part was hearing the screams from my kids asking them not to let their mommy die. I am an RN in the MICU and I it was so hard knowing everything going on and having absolutely no control. I was the one that gave paramedics report when they arrived on scene and I told them when I was loosing my airway.
Once I lost consciousness and they cut my clothes off and stuck things in every orifice I had, I became scared and realized I was no longer a nurse, I was a patient. I am used to doing this to my patients and I have never stopped to think how I make them feel. I rarely ever was told what was going on or that they were getting ready to do a procedure to me. I just wonder if any of you have experienced being a trauma patient and how did it make you feel.
This experience has taught me to ALWAYS, whether they are conscious or not, tell my patient what I'm doing. They may not understand but when you are having a rectal probe used on you and they just flop you over and use it..WARN ME that its coming! I never knew how much Lovenox burns when going in, I never realized how hard it is to "cough and deep breathe" with broken ribs, or how it feels to ambulate with a broken foot and busted knees. Also, DVT's HURT like heck! Yeah, I got one.
Needless to say I have learned so much from being a patient and if I can help one nurse realize that patients are scared and just to have a friendly voice or a hand to hold, MAKES a HUGE difference. Once I have recovered and get back on the unit my patient care will be quite different and I think my patients will be better for it.