Friday, August 14, 2009

suck. it. up.

It may be awful, but I have absolutely no patience at all for people my age who are massive babies. Especially if they're in the ER for illness I've experienced and managed, albeit unpleasantly, at home.
I cut people some slack knowing that I have a higher pain tolerance than most, but some of these people are freaking ridiculous. I got a girl in an ambulance today who had eaten some bad taco bell and gotten food poisoning. Sucks. Been there, puking 12 hours straight and sleeping on the bathroom floor. Never again will eat sushi from target. DID NOT call an MFing ambulance. Because I'm an adult. The worst part is, she got sick earlier in the day and could have gone to a clinic. Nope. Somehow she managed this at home all evening, but I guess got sick of it- she was also three months pregnant, but she was 18, so I'm not cutting her a ton of slack. By the time she got there, she apparently couldn't walk across the hall to get a urine sample- how did you walk to the bathroom at home to use it? Oh and her headache- pain 10/10. Okay. Her sister in law was there, too, by the way, with the same symptoms, but she came in through the waiting room.
I almost could have tolerated the drama had she not also been completely resistant to anything I was doing to try to help her. IV? No. As soon as she saw the needle, she flipped out and started crying. Like, sobbing. I've had 7 year olds that handled it better. I hung saline on her, then went to give her medicine for her vomiting and 10/10 headache. I pushed the med in little spurts through the saline tubing, and immediately after I started pushing, she sat up and started hyperventilating and screaming about how she couldn't see. Really? You were stricken blind my normal saline? Because I can guarantee that's the only thing that hit your veins in that time period. I disconnected the syringe and told her to breathe slowly. Then I told her, "Well, you're satting 100, but if this demerol is making you feel like you can't breathe, I can just give you the phenergan? Do you think it's the pain medicine? I can hold it if you want, some people react badly to narcotics."
Her vision was magically restored after that. And she went to sleep. I woke her up when her saline was done, and I had to give discharge papers to baby daddy, who was actually really nice- she ignored most everything I said, then of course needed to exit in a wheelchair. Naturally, she wanted our asses to pick her up put her in the chair without her having to stand. I helped her up, but made it very clear that if she was still too weak to transfer from bed to chair, I would have to restart her IV and go get the doctor. Naturally, I sounded very concerned and she made a miraculous recovery and was able to move.
Maybe I'm being too harsh, but I have been sick enough before to know the difference between not wanting to move and not being able to to move. And sorry, if you're 18 and otherwise healthy, it's the former. Get it together, lady.


  1. you're not being too harsh...lady needs to butch it up hardcore. was she by any chance attending a local university whose name shall remain unsaid but is full of girls with too much money and too few actual worries?

  2. Haha, girl you know they don't eat at taco bell! Naw, no one where I work has too much money, but the princess attitude was about the same.

  3. geez. I get those phonecalls all the time.Your average Food poisoning case usually isn't fatal.....I just don't understand their need to go to an ER with N&V and take up space.....when home is usually much more comfortable....

  4. At the risk of being the irritating one (ok, the risk is about 100%) I can totally sympathize with this 18 year old. I was 18 once and woke with horrible stabbing lower ab pain, in the middle of the night, alone. I got a bus ride to the ER, where they couldn't find anything wrong with me. I'm sure I seemed like a complete idiot, till they did a pregnancy test, found it positive and turns out, I had an eptopic. WHY the pain happened like that, but the eptopic DID NOT burst is a complete mystery to this day. But it probably saved my life, as the pain woke me from a complete sleep to sitting bolt upright in bed, looking for the intruder who stabbed me. I was scared outta my mind, the whole time. I was totally alone, and about to have surgery in the middle of the night. My mom had died a few months before, my dad and I weren't on good terms, I was a hot mess. Yes I was "an adult" but just barely, and completely clueless. As a mother now, almost 40 and with 5 kiddos, I would hope that the nurse treating my 18 year old, even if it was for just food poisoning, would find some compassion. They're scared, they're clueless and they just need help. Is the ER inappropriate for care... probably... but that doesn't mean we can't find some human compassion...

    1. Nope, sorry. I was not a whole lot older than 18 when I wrote this. I stand by it. I will excuse a pretty fair amount of shenanigans when an emergency medical condition (such as an eptopic pregnancy) exists. I will still treat you with respect and kindness even if you're in my ER for something that I think is fucking ridiculous. I was still nice as could be to this girl. I took excellent care of her. But no, after taking care of rape victims and dying cancer patients and the criminally neglected elderly, I'm afraid I don't have a ton of "human compassion" left over for a healthy person who ate some bad fast food and wants to crank the drama up to 11. If I poured my heart out over every patient who came in like this I would have been committed to the psych ward 2 months into my nursing career.