Wednesday, December 20, 2006

One more friend, blown off the mountain with the wind

I'm beginning to think I write an awful lot of crap. But a few of you seem to come by daily, so I'm guessing not everybody minds.

I'm still feeling shit because:

1) I'm still hacked off about my aneurysm patient.
2) I've still got manflu
3) So has every other bastard in the hospital, and so now I'm covering a night shift, which will delay my holiday break for 12 hours. Bah.

I'm on an education day today, which all too often translates into time sat in font of a monitor not achieving much. This should not surprise many of you reading this... At least I'm resisting the temptation to continue on my quest to re-watch every episode of ER (Series 4, since you were wondering)

To complete the tale of how much Monday sucked balls:

after the trauma that was our unsuccessful resuscitation of the man with the leaking aneurysm, I was all set to resuscitate myself with a cup of tea. (Do any other nationals place so much import in a simple drink? I'm not sure, but, at least in patients over about 50, a cup of tea acts as a mighty panacea...)
That plan went out of the window when, within a very short space of time we received a young epileptic with a worryingly depressed GCS; an unusually heavy man in anaphylactic shock; and a young woman with a severe head injury.
My boss took care of the kiddie (he's fine), my good friend took the anaphylactic (he was actually septic; I haven't had a chance to check up on him), leaving me with the head injury.

Young women with head injuries fill me a little with dread. When I was just a young Turk in the Emergency Department (A&E as was), I treated a young girl with really severe head injuries. It all seemed so senseless then, and this was no different.

Here was this girl, unknown to me, found by her mother and brother, unconscious in her own flat, her face a mis-shapen lumpen mass of bruises. Breathing shallowly and noisily, she lay on our trolley, unprotesting at the cruel invasions of modern medicine - a drip here, a blood sample there, the C-collar, a urinary catheter. I can't even imagine what it must be like to find someone you know in that kind of state. To me, it takes on a degree of unreality. I can only empathise so far, otherwise I'd spend more time weeping than I do already. And that would really put a crimp on my tough-guy image.

Anyway, we got her tubed and ventilated and whipped her down to the CT scanner. A healthy does of ionising radiation failed to show any significant intra-cranial injury, and the ITU beckoned. It's hard to deal with relatives in this sort of situation - when all they want to know is 'what happened?', and 'will she be all right?' and all you can offer is: "We'll have to wait and see".

I don't possess the qualifications to take this opinion into a court of Law, but someone beat the shit out of her.

All so needless.

She went home today.


Patient Anonymous said...

I'm sorry. You sound so sad today. I really hope you enjoy your break and start feeling better soon. I'm away from work in about an hour but it sounds like you need to get away more than I do.

Nice pic too. It could work over here as well.

A Bohemian Road Nurse said...

You do not write crap--you write very well. (And interesting.) Don't beat yourself up about the aneurysm--you truly tried your best, and that is all that anybody can do. Sorry you have the flu. I caught some sort of bug myself and am still smarting from the two injections my doctor gave me, but I feel better. (Thank God for doctors--even if mine does wear his dusty cowboy boots into the office.)

DrShroom said...

Thanks a lot guys. I quite like the idea of dusty cowboy boots. Maybe when I'm in charge...