Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Room 224

After his first cardioversion in the ER, my husband was admitted to the ICU for observation. All ten rooms in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit are single-patient rooms, and are equipped, with medical devices of every shape, size, and color. Observing nurses and doctors working in the other rooms, I never saw any of them use anything other than a stethoscope, thermometer, blood pressure and pulse monitor, and the IV drip.

Behind each bed are three outlets. The first outlet is green, and is definitely for Oxygen since the nurses have repeatedly connected it to a mask and placed it over my husband's face to help him breath easier. I heard rumors that pure oxygen has an age reversing effect, so when the nurses leave the room, I always ask hubby to lend me the oxygen mask for a while. But he never does.

The other two outlets, are blue and orange, and I never ever saw them used. So to avoid spending my time by my husband's bed, while he was resting or sleeping, worrying, and thus increasing my anxiety and gloomy mood, I decided to spend the time in trying to figure out what those two outlets are for. I finally came up with a couple of reasonable theories.

I believe the blue outlet is for laughing gas, which is known to have anesthetic and analgesic effects that must be useful in the ICU. Had I been in charge of the ICU, I would use it on all patients, even if they didn't need any sedation, so they can benefit from the healing effect of laughing. I would even recommend using it on the visiting family members, doctors, nurses, and janitors, just to improve the mood of everyone in the ICU.

As for the orange outlet, I think it is for mustard gas (thus the color). I know that mustard gas is a lethal poisonous gas that is supposed to be banned as a chemical weapon, but may be Dr. Kevorkian was consulted, and recommended adding this outlet just in case. Thank goodness, I've never seen this outlet used in any room.

Being in a single room and especially in the ICU where all the patients are tied to 37 tubes and wires, I never expected that my husband will have interesting stories to tell me when I went to visit him the next morning, but of course he did.

Patients in the ICU never get any continues sleep since nurses come in every couple of hours to check their vital signs, and between those visits, janitors come in to empty the trash baskets, clean the bathrooms, or sweep the floors. So when my husband heard someone in his room at midnight, he was not startled and slowly opened his eyes.

He was not prepared for what he saw. A guy in his late twenties, wearing a thoab that was raised to his waist was walking towards his bed. He stood still when he heard my husband, who by now was surprised, alarmed, and scared, ask: "Who are you??? And what are you doing here??"
Stranger: "Don't worry. Go back to sleep. I am here visiting my father."
Hubby: "But it is way past visiting hours and you should not be in the ICU at this time!!"
Stranger: "Well my father was just admitted a short while ago in the room next to yours, and I will be leaving soon any ways."
Hubby: "But what are you doing in MY room??"
Stranger: "Well, I just need to use your toilet. I will be out in a minute."
Hubby: "Wait here! Where do you think you're going? Why don't you use the visitors toilets outside or the toilet in your dad's room."
Stranger: "I am not sure where the visitors toilets are, and my brother is in my dad's toilet."
Hubby: "So? How long does your brother take to pee? I am sure if you go back to your dad's room now he will be done. So please leave my room immediately, otherwise I will call the nurses and have them deal with you."
Stranger: "OK, OK I'm leaving."
And as he was leaving the room he added: "I don't understand why make such a big fuss I was not stealing anything from your room you know. Actually, was going to add to it!! Ha Ha!!"

See you in room 232.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

your anecdotes i would put under "Only with Nahoul & Family!!"
can't wait till Room 232 :D
7amdella 3ala salamet Mans,
noran

Anonymous said...

1. You should have asked the nurse to explain to you about every equipment in the room.
2. ICU nurses should be checking the patient by the second and not come in to check vitals every 2-3 hours.
3. Stick to your computer and leave the hospital stuff to me.
4. Hamdullah Mans is out of ICU and doing better.
Love u lots