Thursday, November 18, 2010


Drugged Drunks are either the absolute best or soul crushingly worst patients to take care of. The best ones make you giggle nonstop for three hours, require no mental effort tougher than an IV and catheter placement, and take up a bed for the evening. The ones that crush your soul are the career drunks, the ones that piss on the floor because they can't tolerate a catheter...twice. They vomit multiple times, scream obscenities at you, and occasionally require 4point restraints because they're cracked out. Sometimes they are actually sick, and it's tough to pick out what is true medical illness and what is the whiskey. Always they are belligerent.

Tonight, I was lucky. I had one of the enjoyable drunks. Found wandering in a parking lot, we knew he was on something due to the tachycardia and pupils the size of small plates. He also wouldn't stop talking, but wasn't putting together a coherent thought. He speech wasn't slurred, just nonsensical. And it was great!

He had everyone laughing, from the state police who EP'ed him, the charge nurse 20 feet away at the desk, the entire staff in the room, and even the patient next door. I guess I feel a little bad for giggling at the ridiculous things he was saying, but oh well. He was funny. He was also the politest drunk I've ever taken care of. "Thank you" came out of his mouth at least 6 times a minute. Sometimes appropriately, sometimes not. For example, during the straight cath, he screams "OW OW OW OW OW THANK YOU OW!"

During the IV start: That hurts a little bit thank you are you going to the party?

During the attempted initial assessment: I was outside because there was this party, and it was a good party, and I was going to it thank you thank you and then I was outside and then I was going to the party but it wasn't a party. Thank you.

During a moment of silence when no one was looking at him: Thank you. HEY! Thank you!

During the moment when he asked if we were laughing at him, after I responded that I was, a little bit: Oh. Thank you!

Oh, the joys of being intoxicated and smoking something laced with something else. While he is lucky he didn't wander into the street and get hit by a car, or take part in a drug deal gone wrong and get shot, I can't help but snicker at the general enjoyableness that came with being his nurse. Really he was one of the fun drunks, thank you.


newnurseinthehood said...

Exactly! This is why I always take the ETOH rooms. I'll get paid to talk about what flavor of Mad Dog 20/20 you like to drink, thank you.

RNBuilder said...

Wow, what a polite drunk! Definitely beats the "soul crushing" drunks, they can be very dangerous. Nurses need to protect themselves from drunks, but every now and then these fun ones come along. Great post.