On Monday or Tuesday, I was then moved “up” to the sixth floor to an open ward with six or seven other beds for special care patients. Most of them were all some kind of head injury. Most were pretty severe, so I saw the ugly side of brain injuries as well. Again….I’m VERY lucky.
This room was not my favorite. SOOO noisy and certainly not conducive to resting. I had to get medication every four hours, I had to have my catheter emptied every shift, if I needed to have a BM, I had to have a bed pan placed under me which was horribly uncomfortable.
I got very little sleep and nothing else remotely close to rest in that room and grew to hate it with a passion. Not the staff however. The nurses were wonderful and worked very hard in a difficult situation. Dealing with brain injuries present many different issues and they handled it amazingly well. The were a few bad eggs, like the one who insisted on trying to get a new IV in me four time before deciding to use my hand. Grrrr…. And the nurse who gave me a sponge bath who just didn’t have a clue. Not pleasant.
One night, I got paranoid. I can only chalk it up to not sleep and the brain injury. I overheard one of the nurses say that a new patient who had just been brought it may have menegitus. I thought it was contagious…first misunderstanding of the night.
Then there was a lot of activity surrounding some of the other beds. The doors were closed. Several EMTs with trays were brought in. Lots of whispering. A lot of “she is this”, “she is that”, “she’ll have to be transported”…etc. I thought they were discussing me…talking about transporting ME to another hospital because of the menegitus scare by this other patient. I got paranoid and angry that these nurses were not telling ME anything, so I blew up and wanted to know what was going on. They said they couldn’t tell me. Not a good answer for a patient in an agitate state with a brain injury! LOL
They blew me off. I got more paranoid. I actually told one of the nurses (ironically the one who stuck me with needles five times that morning) that I just didn’t want her near me. It wasn’t pretty. Not one of my best performances. I actually made one of the nurses call poor Dave at 2:00 in the morning to get down to the hospital to see me. So, he wasn’t sure what was going on, I just knew I needed him there and God bless him, he drove back down.
It wasn’t until one of the nurses slipped me a mickey in my IV and I calmed down, that I realized the nurses were discussing the female patient who had been brought in that night. I felt so stupid and embarrassed. The one nurse came in to check my vitals and I tearfully apologized. She was amazingly calm and tried to ease my mind. I was still paranoid after that, but not as much. I just new the nurses were still talking about me and my very inappropriate behavior. I was totally thrown by the whole episode.