Saturday, September 27, 2008

Take a Little Siesta

Last night was my first night back to work after 7 weeks. Physically, for the most part, I'm back to normal. But watching myself work thru the night I have noticed a few things. I'm forgetting a lot of details like my patients history. I've worked in the ICU for 12 years and when taking report on a patient, have never writting anything down. Many nurses make elaborate report sheets filled with tons of details. I put a note on the side of the page like, "CT scan 6:30". That's it- a simple reminder for some of the most complicated medical histories on my patients. Dates of surgeries and procedures never were a problem but now they elude me.

I still have the fingertip and toe numbness. It doesn't bother me that much but don't know if I will ever get the feeling back. Opening the pill packages presented a few problems last night as did typing. The manual dexterity is not there. And when I type it's almost as if there is a delay from my brain to my fingertips-its a very slow process.

I got some of the lab work mixed up this morning too. I reported it correctly, but what I wanted to tell the oncoming nurse about the patients platelets came out all backwards and I didn't realize until I got home what I had said.

I also found myself dozing off last night-if they had propped me in a corner I could have easily taken a very long nap. Siesta time in the ICU. Can you be tired from being tired? Maybe it was just returning to work after not being there for so many weeks that sent me into a tail spin.

I came home and collapsed into bed after a 12 hour shift. Larry had taken Morgan to her soccer game and I had not been asleep for more than an hour when the phone rang. It was Larry's Dad and he was very confused and not making sense. He thought I was Larry and then told mom that he was talking to Larry and said "Oh never mind-I already talked to you today" and started to hang up. I finally convinced him that it wasn't Larry and got some of the story figured out. I told him Larry would call him later and then hung up and called Larry's sister. She was away for the weekend visiting her son in college for parents weekend. I was a bit panicked after talking to his Dad, but Eileen assured me everything was fine and that Steve was there. We are blessed to have family helping and calming us.

Larry's mom has been in rehab but not doing well. His father is having a hard time coping but this morning something wasn't right. I finally figured out that they brought Mom back to the hospital and admitted her. While Dad was on the phone with me he said Mom has colitis-which we knew so I really was having trouble following. He also said that she didn't have pneumonia but some fluid in her lungs. It is the weekend so i expect that she'll be there at least until monday. I spoke to her on the phone for just a minute and she sounded so weak. She hasn't eaten in several days now and her labwork is showing she is malnourished.
Larry will head down again this Sunday. He's been so worried about Mom lately. In the meantime, we try to keep things as normal as possible here.

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