Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Things to never ignore

There is one consist thing I have seen and heard so far in the neuro-icu:
"My right hand hasn't worked right for a day or two."
"I couldn't make the words come out since this morning."
"Dad seemed 'off' since Sunday." It being one week later, now.

People, when you or your loved one starts to behave slightly funny or a body part does not seem to work like it is supposed to, GO TO THE ER.
Don't wait. Dont' avoid. Don't be afraid of what it really means.

In the case of a clot (ischemic stroke), it has a very good chance of being reversed if you begin treatment within 3-6 hrs of onset of signs and symptoms.

A bleed in the brain (hemorrhagic stroke) can get worse or simply not heal and keep leaking, causing more and more damage.

Don't ignore subtle signs. If Mom or Dad seem a little "off," quiz them; Date? Day of week? Year? Names of loved ones? What was for breakfast? The answers should be pretty swift and accurate.

Just FYI...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

"No I don't use no alcohol"

We wondered why the patient was so concerned with where her purse is. It is kind of common that the older ladies are very concerned with where there purse is. To prevent anxiety, we usually give them their purse. This night was interesting. After wondering why her blood pressure was still so very low, we decided to go through the purse.
Things found in patient's purse:
  • 1/5 of whiskey
  • 4 different bottles of narcotics
  • laxatives
  • Extra strength tylenol

Needless to say, when she went into respiratory distress, Narcan became our best friend as she was over dosed.

Note to self: Remove belongings from patient's reach and monitor access.

Never underestimate the cute little old ladies

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Go Vote!!

I voted in early voting today. There were already crowds, thus my suggestion is to vote early if you can.

I think this year it will be a hot election. I must say, the electronic voting let me a little wary. How do I know those electronics won't be tinkered with? How are votes counted if the electronic system goes awry?
I have to look up the systems and back up systems that are in place to ease my fears.

My civic duty, however is done!
Go Vote!!
Whatever your beliefs and thoughts are, at least express them!

The Taking of Pills

I have become increasingly interested in how people swallow pills. I know, I know, a weird topic, but one that is integral to every part of my working day.

Some people take one at a time or even require the pill be cut up. Others take the whole bucket at once and knock back the lot, and, with a upward jerk of the head and a large mouth full of beverage, down those pills go! It is as if their gullet just opens up!

There are also the ones in between (this is me as well) who can take about 2-3 at at time with enough beverage.

Do throats come in sizes?? Are some blessed with this pelican-like gullet that accepts anything? While others of us have narrow throats and can't swallow anything?

It is just interesting to watch how people take their meds. I am now trying to guess; is she a head jerker, take-all-at-once kinda gal or is he a "please cut it up into 4's" kinda guy. You just never know!

Saturday, October 04, 2008


I found this interesting article at on anxiety and its relation to the fluctuating economic times.
I know that anxiety and other psychological problems are real and valid, but have we become a nation that cannot withstand any imperfection or "bumps in the road" of life? Sometimes life is really hard. You have to figure out how to deal with it and get on with it.
So many people seem unable to do that.
On the same note, I worry so much about our current generation; they thing they have to have new cars and the top designer items right now. All the girls have expensive handbags and perfect, manicured nails - they are about 12 years old....

What happens when they don't get what they want later in life as so often happens in real life?
With no coping skills, it will be a hard fall.

I think that is a big part of the problem, no coping skills, no "life skills." So many turn to medication. Medication helps, helps you get through the tough part. Without truly addressing the problem - what caused you to need the meds in the first place - it will never improve.
The injury is still under the bandaid...
Our nation faces several problems, many of which are our own making (buying houses we knew we could not afford) and those that simply befall us. Bad things do happen to good people.
It's what we do with the bad things that makes the difference, makes us who we are.
Even as a nation.