Monday, May 28, 2007

I Like My Ladies Limber and Under 90

Killer posts without restraint.

There comes a time in every nurse’s career when you are thankful for soft wrist restraints. They call them soft wrist restraints, because that makes it sound gentler when I tie up your Grandpa.

Doing this initiates a world of paperwork, so there needs to be a pretty good reason for strapping someone’s arms to the bed. Old people get confused at night when in a new environment; this can lead to pulling out IVs (bloody mess), pulling out breathing tubes (deadly mess), or yanking out a Foley catheter (OUCH! That guy just pulled a golf ball through his penis.)

Recently I had an adorable little old gal who was finally waking up enough to not be considered dead, but not awake enough to know that pulling out her feeding tube will only result in an uncomfortable cramming of a new tube up her nose. So to save her the agony of getting something crammed up her nose, again, I tied her hands down, but softly.

About an hour later, I looked in the room and she had pulled the tube out of her nose. I was flabbergasted. This lady is a little, gray haired Houdini, I thought to myself, as I tied her hands tighter. She yelled and cursed me as I shoved a stiff plastic tube up her nose.

Another hour passes and I peek into her room, she has pulled the tube out again. Flabbergasted is now an understatement. “How are you doing that?” I yell. She just looked at me and said, “Hooply dopple.” I can not really begin to understand what that means, but I hoped it meant, “I really don’t mind you shoving shit up my nose, so feel free to do it again.” Because, that is exactly what I did; after strapping her arms down like she was Hannibal Lector. She tried to bite me as the tube entered her nose.

I would like to say that solved the tube pulling epidemic, but thirty minutes later she was tube free and loving life. Her hands were still firmly strapped to her side, and the feeding tube was steadily leaking an unsavory tan liquid all over the floor. I wanted to duct tape her hands to the wall and staple the plastic tube to the inside of her left nostril. Instead I allowed my patience to shine through. I put special mittens on her hands, tied the mittens and her wrists to the bed, replaced the tube (to her dismay and loud protests), and taped the tube to her face with an entire roll of tape. I walked out of the room certain she would not get it again, but concerned the Board of Nursing would bust in any second and arrest me.

I also got all my paperwork, my charts, my book, a cup of coffee and decided I would not take my eyes off of this little, innocent, confused dame.

Fifteen minutes after I was settled in, I saw some strange movement out of the corner of my eye. The sheets were lifting up off the bed. Suddenly her feet appeared out of the top of her covers and she moved her wrinkly, spider veined legs up to her face and, using her toes like a damn monkey, she grabbed firmly onto the feeding tube.

I was frozen in amazement for a few seconds, but then I leapt up, spilled my coffee all over the floor as I raced into the room to stop her from pulling out the last of my feeding tubes. I stopped her and pushed her legs back down. I softly restrained her ankles to the bed then stood back and gazed upon this octogenarian who was so limber and sneaky. All I could think about was how much I wished I had known her back in the 1940’s. It is not often you can meet a woman who is double jointed, and okay with bondage.

After that she did not get the tube out again, but in a final screw-you from Karma, at 6am the next morning her doctor strolled by and wrote an order to pull the feeding tube and see if she can eat normally.

9 comments:

Babybull40 said...

Old Granny, She really had you up in arms....ha ha.. sad but true... it's amazing what a 90 yr old can do when they have their mind set on something..and being double jointed is a really impressing..I'm in awe...

wreckless said...

Amazing!

mist1 said...

When she fed herself, did she hold her fork with her toes?

Churlita said...

Sometimes, it's all about timing. You were just born too late is all.

Natalie said...

WOW what a strange old lady. I have horrific visions of this happening.

Liz said...

I think that she was asking you to just leave her alone to die!

othurme said...

Loosely translated from Octogenarian, Hooply dopple means "Go get the baby oil, big boy."

Kat_womanx2 said...

OMG...that was sooooooo funny. I work in EMS and see shit like this on a daily basis. My last "softly restrained" patient was a female drunk in a bar. 4 cops and the 2 of us couldn't hold her down. Her- 5'2 maybe 130. Me- 6' 200lb amazon woman. She was trying to do back flips off the stretcher so I sat on her. The restraints left her hands free of course and she grabbed a handful of my ass..I grabbed a handful of her throat and police successfully duct taped her free extremeties to the stretcher..including her head...that was a fun night...LOL

NancyPearlWannabe said...

That was probably the freakiest thing I have read in a long time. Holy crap.