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My Very Special Snowflake

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Specializes in Gerontology. Has 35 years experience.

Share your Very Special Snowflake (VSS) stories!

heres mine from this weekend.

My VSS has many foods she can't eat. Dietian has already been to see her once while she was in the acute side ( she is now on sub- acute) and detailed notes about what she can/cannot have have been entered. For brat, she only want 2 cups of hot water. Fine. Sunday, suddenly she wants to know why she is not getting Oatmeal. She wants Oatmeal. But it has to be Oatmeal, not cream of wheat. We get Oatmeal. She doesn't eat it.

Monday lunch. According to plan, she gets two servings of veggies. But ( gasp!) they are both carrots! OMG! This is soooo terrible! How can they do this to her! I get dietitian back in who spends 1/2 hour talking to her and working out a new menu.

Then there physio. She lost her exercise sheet! Ok I say, we will get you a new one. But oh no, this sheet she got on acute! There are the same I tell her. Physio brings her one, and wants to assess her doing them. Oh no! She's not ready for that. Physio tells me later that she doesn't want to hear ohysio's instructions but then gets mad because physio didn't tell her that!

And OMG! The PSW keeps giving her ice water each morning! She doesn't want ice water! So she made up three signs and stuck the up saying "plain water only". Is that OK? Cause she has to have plain water only! I guess it would to hard to say "I don't want ice" like everyone else does who doesn't like ice. Or just dump it out and refill with plain water; she has easy access to a sink and could do this.

Yep, she's a VSS.

blondy2061h, MSN, RN

Specializes in Oncology. Has 15 years experience.

I had a walky/talky patient who refused to squirt the oral syringe of medication in her own mouth. Got really upset that I wouldn't do it for her, because I wanted to encourage her to be as independent as possible. Demanded to see my managed, who tried to keep a straight face. I didn't have to take care of her any more.

NightOwl0624

Has 6 years experience.

One time we had a patient with an extremely demanding family (only a few certain nurses were allowed to take care of her, and only the nurse had to do all care - never the aide, etc). When the patient was ready for discharge, the family assumed that the nurse would follow them home and help get the patient settled. They were very surprised that this service was not included, and that none of their "chosen nurses" would even consider doing this on their own time!!

We were very happy when that very special patient finally went home!

Here.I.Stand, BSN, RN

Specializes in SICU, trauma, neuro. Has 16 years experience.

My VSS was a LTC resident I cared for as a CNA 15 yrs ago. She was in her early 70s so not super elderly, but wheelchair bound, fairly obese, and incontient; she was not completely total care, but close. Basically, all she did for herself was feed herself and wheel herself to and from the dining area. Now because she was able to feed herself large amounts of food and use a manual wheelchair, it was clear that her limbs worked just fine. Trouble was, she generally didn't care to use them. On the night shift, we'd change her brief and reposition her every two hours. Now I'm getting to the VSS part-- when getting her tucked back in, she would say to us... "Move my arm. I want my elbow bent a little." "Move my foot a little to the left." :eek:

Another time I was admitting a pt into the ICU. While trying to do his admission and get treatments started, his daughter looked at me very seriously and said, "We want him fed organic, all-natural, fresh food. It's very important for his liver." (He was being admitted for sepsis and acute-on-chronic liver failure.) I was thinking, "Ummm...this is a hospital. Just where do you propose I get these organic, all-natural foods from?" I think what I actually said was, "What we have here is pretty typical hospital food. They have salads and fresh fruit, but nothing organic. When he's able to eat (was NPO), as long as the doctor or RD doesn't order dietary restrictions, you're certainly welcome to bring whatever food from home you'd like him to eat."

Here.I.Stand, BSN, RN

Specializes in SICU, trauma, neuro. Has 16 years experience.

I have to ask...how did this subject come up? Did they say something about the nurse following them home, or ask "What, no conceirge RN??" when the transporter appeared to wheel her out??

I'm curious! :roflmao:

One time we had a patient with an extremely demanding family (only a few certain nurses were allowed to take care of her, and only the nurse had to do all care - never the aide, etc). When the patient was ready for discharge, the family assumed that the nurse would follow them home and help get the patient settled. They were very surprised that this service was not included, and that none of their "chosen nurses" would even consider doing this on their own time!!

We were very happy when that very special patient finally went home!

blondy2061h, MSN, RN

Specializes in Oncology. Has 15 years experience.

I love how when you refuse these VSS bizarre requests they say, "Bur it's your job!!!!"

No, my job is to help you become healthy and independent enough to be discharged home safely.

motherof3sons

Specializes in LTC. Has 22 years experience.

VSS can not move her hands well enough to hold up her fingers for a fingerstick , but go to hand her a dose of oxycodone and a miracle ----she grabs the med cup no problem and holds her drink just fine to get that pill down.

Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development. Has 10 years experience.

My VSS was the wife of a high level executive in our company. She came in due to a somewhat typical pattern of intractable headache without anything showing on any scans or blood work as to cause. She was a very delicate VSS. Hair had to be washed three times with two warm water rinses followed by one cold. Only the nurse was permitted to attend to her personal needs and her showers took almost two hours from start to finish of settling her back in bed. She had, I kid you not, PRN meds of Dilaudid, Nucynta, Lyrica, Flexeril, Valium, Oxycodone, Norco, Skelaxin, Phenargan, Ambien and Imitrex. She had a carefully worked out plan of which meds were to be combined with which in what worked out to two hour rotations around the clock. Her father stayed with her (she was in her late 40s) and babied her. She would actively avoid sleep at night by playing on her computer. She had two favorite nurses during the day and two at night. If she didn't get one of these nurses, she launched a complaint via telephone to higher ups who have gone to her house for dinner at some point. She stated she was allergic to our sheets and demanded different ones. We had to tell her there were no others but that she could bring some from home. She would send her father out to get her special food and PJs. She'd wear fancy PJs and either bed jackets or robes. She'd hold court in her bed. She would reference with her "favorite" nurses all the time that her husband is a lawyer. She would make up stories about her symptoms during the night to the day nurse and during the day to her night nurse. After two weeks of solid inpatient stay, she told me she had passed out during the night on the toilet. She told this to her husband also, who promptly launched a "what kind of show are you running here" tirade to someone up the chain of command. By this time I had had enough of her. I sweetly told her we were very concerned about her safety with such dizziness coming on I would have to be with her any time she was out of bed. She demurely agreed and dutifully called me for her trips to the nutrition center. It became apparent though she was not calling when she needed to use the bathroom. I had a solemn discussion with her regarding this and she was outraged. Of course I could not stay with her in the bathroom, that was undignified. I calmly explained MY liability in leaving her alone since she "passed out" the night before. She said fine....when she peed but not when she pooped. I said nope. All the time. Every time. She had a fit. I told her if she could not agree to this we would have to use the bedpan. She was miffed, but even her higher up friends told her if she was falling off the toilet someone had to be there. She quit calling as often.

She lingered for 3.5 weeks or so before the docs got up the guts to tell her there was nothing wrong with her and she was being discharged. A week prior I had sent my manager a blunt email stating I would no longer be willing to be assigned to her case. She wore me out. I still feel worn out when I think about it. She was a VVVVVVSS

meanmaryjean, DNP, RN

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 40 years experience.

Mine was a retired PhD nursing professor from a VERY well-respected school. She was, indeed, ill with end-stage heart failure. But somehow, the constant presence of her daughter and SEVEN grandkids was not enough.

One night she put to call light on to tell me that she had 'accidentally' dropped her antique emerald earrings into the needle box on the wall opposite her bed. We finally had to have the maintenance guy come a sawzall it open and sho' nuff- there they were.

Another admission- she had taken up the hobby of making little beaded 'charms' to adorn ones's cell phone with. Her daughter was staying with her RTC on a pull-out bed, and so there was little space to maneuver in the room. Her stash of beads was contained in a circular container approximately 2 feet in diameter. Daughter went outside to get a break from mom, and suddenly I hear, "Oh, no!"

Yup, approximately 1.2 jillion beads all over the place. I think housekeeping is STILL finding beads in the nooks and crannies.

meanmaryjean, DNP, RN

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 40 years experience.

ACK!!!! With which to adorn one's cell phone. Sorry Mom!

RNIBCLC

Specializes in Maternity.

Many years ago I took care of the wife of a very well know founder and CEO of an international company. She had: a hairdresser, manicurist, masseuse, assistant ( she did not work), etc. She purposely left $100 bills laying around to see if anyone would steal from her ( she told me this much later). After her delivery, I was helping her with pericare and putting on her peri pad when she said.."I can't believe you have a college degree to do this". I smiled and replied "yes, it's amazing isn't it". The nanny stayed with her RTC to basically hold and change the baby if we were not available. She was known as the mother with no arms. Whenever I see ads for the products of that company... I often wonder about that baby.

I'd have to say my own VSSs are unique enough to be recognizable if I described them, LOL, so I think I'll have to pass on most of them! But ones from enough years ago, I think I can share. :whistling:

I had a patient who wanted me to wipe her butt when she finished using the bedside commode. She'd lean on her hands on the bed and stick her rear end toward me. I refused, saying that she COULD do this, she SHOULD do this, and there was no reason she should have me do it. She was miffed, said she had had SURGERY for G-d's sake, why was I refusing to HELP HER?? Told her that an ORIF on her leg did not affect her ability to reach her own butt. She wanted to speak to my manager.

I was a new grad, got my nursing supervisor in the room, who listened to the woman complain that "that girl" was refusing to help". NS firmly stated that I WAS helping her, and that NO ONE would be wiping said butt....and she was putting that on the chart to boot! LOL....thank heavens for a NS with a clue, and for standing up for a new nurse :)

Mandychelle79, ASN, RN

Specializes in Psych. Has 2 years experience.

I have lots of special snowflakes... I work psych.

My favorite though was when I was doing a one to one with a patient who was pouring it on. Trying to get ssdi because of their ADHD. Going on and on about how I had no clue what hell they go through daily and how they are unable to maintain a job because of it. When he was done I launched into him. I said, just so you know I am an unmedicated adhd, put myself through nursing school while raising two kids, able to maintain steady employment, etc.

NightOwl0624

Has 6 years experience.

I have to ask...how did this subject come up? Did they say something about the nurse following them home, or ask "What, no conceirge RN??" when the transporter appeared to wheel her out??

I'm curious! :roflmao:

I wish I could have seen this go down for myself, I wasn't their nurse, at least not that day.

One patient comes to mind in particular. 24 year old, healthy women who had a baby healthy baby vaginally. She wanted staff to paint her toe nails, spray her bed with perfume, and hand her items off the bedside table. When it was time for her to be discharged after 2 days, she wanted to stay an extra week because her "insurance would pay for it". She demanded to speak to the OB so she can stay a few extra days. Needless to say, non of her requests were made. I had out the door as soon as I had orders. Ain't no body have time for that !!!!

flyersfan88

Specializes in Trauma, Orthopedics.

My VSS is about a new grad who just took the NCLEX. They stressed about it for MONTHS and used Kaplan AND Saunders AND ATI AND Lippincott and it is their DREEAAAAAAMMMMMMM to be a nurse. But lo and behold, those RUDE RUDE PEOPLE at Pearson Vue HAD THE NERVE to take away the Pearson Vue Trick!!!! UNREAL! Don't those AWFUL people KNOW how HARD we study?!?!?! We need to know NOW. An older, experienced nurse reminded the anxious new grad that back in the day, it took 2 or 3 months to find out results, but the new grad yelled NETY NETY NETY!

They survived the 48 hours. But barely.

Remembered another one I can share. Had a patient sharing a room with a VSS, a real princess. While there was a group of people working with my patient, the VSS kept yanking back the dividing curtain between the beds, demanding to see "what's going on over there". She yelled for more ice water, where was her ice water, SHE DESERVED her ice water NOW, since she was ALSO a patient here, for chrissakes, etc etc.

She wasn't demented. She was old, but not mentally impaired. She was a spoiled beast.

So, you ask, what WAS going on with my patient, one bed away behind the curtain, that was keeping us from paying attention to Mrs. Thing? My patient was trying her darnedest to DIE, and we were all actively CODING her. That's right, full code going on and this nasty bat of a VSS decided we weren't paying enough attention to her.

Nursing supervisor (who was running the code at that time) had finally had ENOUGH of that woman, yanked the curtain herself and told her "STOP IT!!!" as though scolding a four year old. Which she kinda was. I miss that NS.

Kinda wished there'd be ANOTHER code that night..... :whistling: