Saturday, August 9, 2008

Nurse Batty

Yup, they are calling me nurse batty and those that I work with have taken to carrying wooden stakes and garlic around their necks. It isn't because I've been reading the last book in the Twighlight Series....even though I have been doing neck still belongs to Howie, not Edward. Oh, sorry, I'm rambling. Back to the name calling.

Last week a patient came into the ER with a bat....the flying kind. He had been bitten the night before as he was trying to catch it (once again, my favorite saying comes to mind...."stupid hurts") So while I'm looking at this small little creature that this guy has brought into the ER I'm thinking..."a bat in the job is so strange"....sooooo, I call the animal control officer and he comes and gets the bat. We give the kid a tetanus shot and draw some blood for labs and say bye bye, we'll be in touch.

The animal control officer sends the bat to Boise to the state lab for testing. Six days later we get a phone call in the ER from the state epidemiologist. He informs us that the bat is rabid. Yup, that's right....RABID with a capital R. We are now to call the kid and get him back into the ER and start him on the rabies shots. Now most people I know don't like shots. It goes against the grain. Some people have an unrealistic fear of shots. Some people start to cry before the needle even pierces their flesh, just the sight reduces grown men to babbling babies. WAAAAAA. Not much sympathy from this girl.

So the kid comes back into the ER and is informed of the next steps he has to take. A series of rabies shots over the next several weeks. The worst of the shots to begin that day. I happened to be his nurse...again. So I spend a good hour getting the series of rabies serum from the pharmacy, drawing up all the syringes for this to be exact and off I go. The kid is acting OK, he knows he needs to do this. One of the shots needs to be given into the wound site where he was bitten. His ring finger of his right hand. I suggest we do that one first cause it's going to hurt the worst. "Nah" he says, lets save that for last. "OK" I say, I'm just feeling bad for this poor wrench.

Shot #1 and #2 go into both his vastus lateralis (go look it up!) Shot #3 and #4 go into the each of the gluteus maximus (or would that be maximi?) Shot #5 and #6 go into another area of his gluteus maximus and #7 is for the wound site on his digit. Again, if you are confused by the latin anatomy....go look it up. He tolerates all six shots very well....better than most in fact. We both take a deep breath after that's all over, cause quite honestly it's really hard to inflict that much pain on one person. Regardless of how heartless I appear to be, this is hard for me.

Anyway, back to the last shot. I take his fourth finger of his right hand, look at him and ask if he's ready and stick the needle in. (about this place right here I'm imagining Matt has got to lay down....he's the biggest pansy when it comes to this kind of stuff....Lynsey and I have a blast with him.) The kid says he's doing OK, the needle is in and he's holding steady and I start to inject the serum. He reflexively jerks his finger away from the intense pain of the serum and in so doing hits my hand that's holding the needle guessed it. Jabs it into my thumb! Yup! Now, I too have been infected with his potentially rabid blood and his "lifestyle" if ya know what I mean.

I calmly walk out of the room, pull off my glove and expose my very bloody thumb. "Hmm, that's not good".

To make a very long story ...less long. After a phone call to the state lab and them making a phone call to the CDC in Atlanta, they inform me that I too must now do the rabies series. YUP, me. To the tune of nearly $3000.00! Thank goodness for workwomans comp.

So on Thursday my dear nurse friend Paula stabbed me more times than I wanted to think about....crying baby that I am. And indeed, the worst shot was the one in my thumb.

So now you know why I'm being known as nurse batty. I've been tempted to brush my teeth at work and walk out with toothpaste slavered down to my chin. Would serve them right wouldn't it? One of the doctors made the statement that if I did get rabies, how would they know the difference???? Har Har! Don't mess with me or I may bite you!


Tara said...

WOW!!! That is crazy! Did the guy have to have the shot in his finger again? How was it for you? That sounds awful! :(

The Idaho Shaum's said...

tauna no way I can't believe that happened to you, WOW. You are woman hear you roar or should be say bite>

Kirsten said...

Wendy told me about your blog so I checked it out. I have to say, you are the best person in the world to have this happen to. You have such a good humored way to look at it. :) I really miss you and Howard. You were my favorite people in the ward. I still get emotional each sunday because I'm not there. Someday I hope we'll be able to return. Check out our blog I'd love to hear from you and how things are going!
Kirsten Ellsworth