Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Storms Clouds Over Podunk Hospital.....

And the rains continue.....

And I've spent far too much time up at the hospital for my liking....visiting our poor little sick, hospitalized patients.

Lately, I've been getting home from work so exhausted that I can barely get out of the Jeep and carry my groceries up the stairs before collapsing in my "knitting chair".

And today I had a particularly embarassing moment when I arrived at my apartment complex because I clumsily dropped a big fat tomato out of my shopping bag onto the parking lot pavement----and the stupid thing rolled away from me, causing me to have to chase it 40 feet down the sloped parking lot.

And have you ever chased a damn runaway tomato down a sloped parking lot? It is most definitely NOT the most dignified action to be seen doing. One is required to squat down and run, bowleggedly, down the pavement, trying to scoop up the damn rolling tomato between one's knees while exhibiting an utterly ridiculous duck-waddle run---

....which is a body movement quite nicely conducive to the subsequent splitting of the middle seam of one's scrub pants right up the middle of a certain area of one's....er....backside---which really isn't exactly the "picture of glamour" that one wants their neighbors to see, if you know what I mean....especially when one is wearing neon orange panties that one knows one should have thrown out two years ago because they're....well....holey.

(Okay, I never was one to shop at Victoria's Secret, okay? I think undergarments are utilitarian clothing which nobody should ever see and have a chance to judge---if it just wasn't for that damn tomato.... )

Anyway, runaway tomatoes aside, today it rained so hard that I fretted for an hour at work, worrying about the Mockingbird Family. I fret because they are in that puny little nest, hanging precariously in that potted plant, blowing to and fro in the wind on my balcony---and the thought of the pot falling haunts me.

And when DON'T I fret, these days? Things with the patients just seem to keep going from bad to worse....

I sent another patient to the hospital, the third of our patients hospitalized in a week.

This time, it was the home health aide who called me from the patient's house. (It's the patient who lives on that large cattle ranch where the cattle almost stampeded me that time.) The aide said that when she called the patient to tell her that she'd be there shortly, the patient just mumbled weakly into the phone: "Help me, Jenna.....help me....."

Jenna knew that wasn't a good sign--and so she sped up and got there as fast as she could.

When Jenna arrived, she found the patient in respiratory distress, running a fever of 103, and coughing up thick yellow junk. Of course, Jenna called me immediately, her cell phone fading in and out due to the faraway location in ranch country. (The patient had lost her cordless phone somewhere in the huge ranch house---it's a ritzy one, kind of like that mansion on the "Dallas" TV show.)

"Bo, Mrs. Turnwater is in trouble for SURE," Jenna cried into the phone. "What should I do?" And then Jenna described what was going on with the patient. She told me that the patient confessed that she'd felt "bad" and had "run fever" for 3 days but hadn't wanted "to worry anybody". She'd lied to her busy executive daughter on the phone about it, saying that she felt "just fine" every time her daughter had called her in the last few days. Her daughter lives in Dallas and the patient didn't want her daughter driving from Dallas "for nothing but a plain old head cold".

"Hang up," I told Jenna. "And then pack her an overnight bag while I call the paramedics. Sounds like pneumonia for sure."

Didn't I just go through this the other day I thought to myself ? While also adding into the back of my mind the thought that our patients are dropping like flies....

I called the paramedics of that particular county (one about 25 miles away from where our office is located) and they told me that they'd head on out there immediately. I instructed them to bring her to Podunk's hospital--- NOT the even podunkier little teeny hospital that is out in that direction. The patient's doctor works out of my Podunk and I wanted her to be treated by her regular doctor.

I called Jenna back and waited on the phone till the medics arrived. To mine and Jenna's shock, when the paramedics measured the patient's oxygen saturation, it was 79--which is VERY bad. If Jenna had not had an appointment to see the patient, or been sharp enough to identify the patient's condition correctly (thus causing her to call me), I shudder to think what would have happened. Because her next nurse visit was not for another couple of days....

Thank God for Jenna's keen assessment abilities....

Needless to say, the patient was taken quickly to the hospital--- and just as quickly diagnosed with pneumonia. She's there now, admitted to a room which is near to our other two hospitalized patients, both of who also have pneumonia--- as well as the original problems which caused them to be hospitalized in the first place.

Jane-Anne and I made a trip to the hospital later and checked on all them. They all looked terrible, which depressed us greatly. Pneumonia can be deadly to the elderly.

Anyway, I came home after another busy day, drenched from doing the duck-waddle run through the rain to catch that stupid tomato.

I immediately ran to check on the Mockingbird Family. Sure enough, mama bird was sitting fast on the nest, guarding her eggs from the rain. I snapped a sneaky picture of her sitting there (from my crouching position behind my couch) , smiling at the sight of her little brown head peeking out from the fern fronds.

The rain lessened later, enabling her to leave the nest for a minute or two, and so I was able to snap a quick picture of the eggs themselves.

My Eggies.....my beautiful, beautiful little Eggies.....

So, it is officially Day 9 Since the Discovery of the Eggs (and I am excitedly expecting them to start hatching any day now!

Also, during my fretting I've done more "Worry Knitting".

I finished Belinda's baby blanket:

And I finished the machine-knit camouflage blanket for Jane-Anne (and hand-crocheted a border for it):

And I started another sweater for Jane-Anne's future baby---a black one which I will make into a "baby biker" sweater. I've made such baby biker sweaters before---I try to make them look like the typical adult "biker jackets". (If I do them right, they turn out fairly cute.)

(I've even sold some in the past, in biker stores.)

The trick is to use a zipper closure instead of buttons, and to sew on certain leather & stud trims and biker "patches".

Anyway, I guess what I'm doing mostly these days is fretting, knitting, "expecting" baby mockingbirds----and trying to keep out of the rain----and from chasing tomatoes.

I'll keep y'all informed...




poody said...

wow the projects came out so nice! I used to paint when I fretted but nowadays it seems I just eat! Devil! I have 3 pts in the hospital too! How long do the eggs take ot incubate? I love it that you go into stealth mode around the mommy!

Anonymous said...

Wow... you've had quite a bit of stress. Being a nurse means you're always thinking of your patients. Even on your days off. I hope the knitting helps you like it helps me to deal with the stress of the type of work we do... Beautiful blankets by the way


Zenknitter LesleyD said...

I hate to hear the pnemonia goin around. I believe it though. The humid south will do that! I'll definately keep them in my prayers. Don't forget to say a prayer over the worried knitted items so that the worry won't go with the object. It happens trust me. Big Hugs Girly!!!!

Warrior Knitter said...

Love the blankets. You are so creative. Can't wait to see the biker baby sweater!!

And thanks for the wikipedia links so us non-medical folks can keep up.

I've never chased a runaway tomato but I had some escapee oranges once. Not as exciting as your tomato, though.

SeaSpray said...

Hi BRN - Off topic but I left some info about Vista for you earlier in my comments should you be interested.

You would've really liked the bajingos and schwing schwang stuff! LOL!

My uncle told me once "Pat you can never go home again - because it's not the same when you go back"

I guess he meant that part of us that identifies with our past - wants to go back to that and time moves on and so we can't recapture what was?

I meant to come back yesterday to comment on that post. Well 3 am here and time for some sleep before the birds wake up at least.

Have a great day! :)

Anonymous said...

Yo Bo! LOVE the blankets! And can't wait to see the Baby Biker Sweater!

You provided me with a well needed giggle - thinking of you - nay, 'seeing' you do the 'mater chase with the orange panties peeking out of the scrubs! And 'listening' ot you threaten the 'mater to just stop that!

Work has been horrendous for too many days now....I mean, c'mon, everytime your charge nurse calls and you answer the phone with "I Quit" instead of the "Service Excellance" way...dont you think they would get the hint???????

I know it is awful to have that many patients in the hosp. but thank God you got to #3 in time...

Cyndy said...

Those patients put your health in peril, Bo.

It's a good thing that you can knit and crochet your way to health. And it get's your creative juices flowing instead of your gastric juices overflowing....

I'm looking forward to that baby biker jacket; I often wondered where bikers came from.... ;0)

Anonymous said...

The blankets are lovely, Bo. Can't wait to see the baby biker jacket.