Friday, December 23, 2011

When You Gotta Go, You Gotta Go

I'm taking care of a gentleman last night who was having some seizure activity- nice, normal seeming (by hood hospital standards, anyway) dude. We get him back to a therapeutic level on his meds and I'm just watching him for a while to make sure he's not having any problems before the doctor will discharge him.
It's a decently paced night, so I'm hanging outside his room charting and talking- his door is open so I can see and hear if he starts seizing again. Dude is sleeping peacefully for hours. I hear nothing but the TV and his snoring, until all of a sudden I hear a lot of rustling and moving around on the stretcher. I immediately jump up and run into the room to turn him over, thinking he's having another seizure, but when I get in the room, I find him wide awake and lucid, urinating into his belonging bag with his clothing still in it. I grab a urinal and try to give it to him real quick, but he just kind of shrugs and finishes peeing in the belonging bag.
I feel terrible because I immediately assume he couldn't see his call light where I put it in the bed- I apologize and tell him not to be afraid to yell out if he needs something. Except he's just like, "Nah, it's cool. I knew where it was, I just had to go, yah know? When you gotta go, it's just like, time. " Well, okay! Whatever works for you, I won't make you wear that shirt home. Have a free gown on us, man. Merry Christmas!


  1. From the title of this post, I just assumed that you were going to have a mess to clean, most likely on the floor. I think that happens way too often, at least on the geriatric floor I work on. I was so relieved, and laughed, when I realized it was in the one place he'd have to take home and clean himself. Thanks for the laugh!

  2. That's better than the floor. I recall walking into a 30 something gentleman (not really) who was simply aiming it over the side of the bed and going on the floor. I was not impressed.

  3. Hi,
    I am a retired ER nurse and totally can see this image. So many crazy things that patients do. Sometimes it is hard to understand how these people think, but who are we to judge.

    Great post! Sally

  4. Amazing, honestly. I mean some of the things you say are funny, but this one is someone who is completely in his right mind he just CHOSE to pee on his own clothes. I mean wow, I just really don't even know how to respond to that, lol.

  5. Wouldn't it be nice if all patients were so understanding? Great story!