Saturday, June 9, 2012

Oh, my my.

For some reason I have that Tom Petty song in my head where they sing "oh my my, oh hell yes, honey put on that party dress" and I really wanted to work it into a blog post somehow...but I just don't have the mental effort for that this morning. Last night was an absolute ass kicker.

And also last night held the patient with the single most awful thing I've ever seen in my life. Gross. Ugh. Extreme.

I triaged a lady from the nursing home with unspecified "cellulitis" as her reason for sending. She's totally demented and out of it, and so getting an actual history from her was hard - nay, impossible. As I wasn't able to get a verbal history, I just pulled back her gown and started on the head to toe assessment. All good, the usual gomer-looking patient, nbd. Until I pull off another blanket from her legs and start to notice a smell. Like something crawled up in the bed and died. I pull back the layer directly above her legs, and a black fly comes whizzing out of the fabric. The smell of death also got stronger, which was not encouraging.

I finally uncover her legs...and almost vomited on the bed. I think the phrase "holy fuck a doodle" actually escaped my mouth, but since she was demented out of her mind it's okay. Her lower leg was so necrotic it was actually mummified. King Tut up in here, no lie. The knee, on the other hand, was some nasty rotting oozing smelly flesh that was a day from either falling off the bone completely or just being consumed by the black fly larvae crawling around. I am not even lying. Grossest thing I've ever seen in my life. I feel like it should have been on the discovery channel, some part of a documentary where they go all "and this patient was struck down by a nasty bacteria and the leg mummified completely and they only escaped the amazon by breaking the leg off and rowing out of the jungle with it on a log raft" or something. How this escaped the notice of the nursing home staff is beyond me. The smell alone was enough to tranquilize someone.

I honestly have no more coherent thoughts on how to make this a meaningful blog post. I'm still too in shock over how fucking gross it was.


Sara said...

Wow. Please tell me you called whatever stage agency is responsible for nursing homes and reported them!

Shrtstormtrooper said...

At first I wanted to call them up and report, but it turns out there was a lot more to the story. But that doesn't make for very good blogging :)

K-Lynn, RN said...

Sweet Jesus. Gotta love those nursing home patients.

Stacy said...

Have been at your blog for 2 minutes and LOVE it... love the honesty and cursing and stories and you are funny! I am a nursing student, second career was a programmer for 16 years, look forward to avoiding all the studying i have to do with a good read of your blog. :)

Shrtstormtrooper said...

Thanks, and welcome - I hope you get at least some work done instead of blog reading :)

Anonymous said...

Ugh- nursing homes. My mother has lived in nursing homes for years. Some are better than others. I don't know how many times she has been septic, had horrible pressure sores, and MRSA. I was so naive in the beginning- now I know what to look for and have to demand sending her to the ER when we notice the signs. The first time she became septic she went to the hospital by ambulance, incoherent, and the home didn't call to let me know. I didn't know until the following morning when I went to visit. They couldn't even tell me which hospital they sent her to. Sorry for rambling- I am getting ready to apply to nursing school after a ten year teaching career- your blog is an inspiration!!