dad had heart surgery, and the son was a doctor. he was quite fond of telling us he was a doctor in as many different ways as possible. he talked about "his" office nurse, his office, his practice, the prestigious hospital where he had privileges, his country club, etc. oh, and he wanted to direct the care. not sure what kind of a doctor he was, but he knew absolutely nothing about heart surgery. one day he brought mom up to visit. it was fairly obvious to me that mom had dementia issues the moment i met her. the son the doctor parked mom at dad's bedside and left. it took me a couple of hours to figure out that he'd not only left the room, he'd left the building. the state even. turns out he and his new wife didn't want to look after mom while dad was in the hospital, so he just brought her in and left her. mom was a nightmare too, but she had dementia. after three days of her wandering in and out of other patient's rooms, attempting to steal food from their trays and in one case lying down in the patient's bed to sleep while the patient was up in the chair, our unit director grew a set and took care of the problem. i don't understand why it took so long.
there was the patient's wife who brought his 90 year old mother in to visit and promptly asked me to toilet the mother because she (the wife) didn't like to do that. i've had ltc nurses tell me they would have just toileted the visitor. in icu, we can't leave our patient long enough to toilet ourselves some days, much less the visitors!
there was the patient who was the same age as my mother, and the daughter who was about my age. daughter talked baby talk to her mother all day. after 12 hours, i was about ready to scream. the capper was when the daughter woke up the patient, who had finally drifted off to sleep, to inquire in a high pitched, squeaky tone, "mommy, mommy!!! do you need another squishy?" (mommy already had an excess of squishies (er, pillows) under, over and around her. i'd used our stock, ordered more and scavenged from other patients in order to try to make this nut case daughter happy while she complained that if i were a better nurse and more concerned with mommy's comfort than her rapidly falling hemoglobin and rising heart rate, mommy would have gotten some sleep by now and be all better.
we had no locker room, so it was the practice to stash our purses in an inconspicuous spot in the patient's room. none of our patients were ambulatory, and all had floor to ceiling bookshelves in one corner of the room. i'd usually stash my purse on an upper shelf that most folks couldn't reach, and it was quite safe there. one day when i came back from lunch, i found the patient's daughter sitting at the room reading the same paperback i was reading. turns out it wasn't such a coincidence -- she'd gone through my purse and it was my book. she even commented on the brand of lipstick i use! i was absolutely flummoxed, went out to the nurse's station and vented. when i was done venting, i went back to finish my shift and found the surgeon telling the daughter that she was barred from visiting in the future without security with her, and if she didn't immediately and convincingly apologize to me, she was barred from visiting at all ever again. she apologized.