Sunday, June 15, 2008

A LITTLE TOUGH LOVE (and it isn't even MY kid!)

I open the triage door to find a very young man being held up by the scruff of his collar. The holder is his father. The holdee can barely stand by himself. He mumbles, slurs, shuffles. Apparently he was drinking and might have taken some Xannie bars, per his father. Inside to a room he goes, half shuffling, half dragged by the collar.

I put monitors on him, take his vitals, start IV access and draw blood for lab. Talk to the parents and tell them what we're doing, what we're waiting for and what to expect. I tell the patient to leave on the EKG leads and the BP monitor, because we're going to monitor him. He's pretty incoherent and drowsy, but agreeable.

Ten minutes later, I pop my head in to do a visual inspection. He's pulled off all the monitoring equipment, pulled the IV out, is stumbling out of bed. And now VERY aggresive. I tell him to sit back down. The F-bomb barrage is profuse. I call for backup.

We explain to him nicely that he is not acting rationally and he may fall and hurt himself. He is warned that he may be restrained for his own safety. When he takes a swing at us, throws his vomit bucket at me and spits at the charge nurse, he seals his fate.

Suddenly he turns into a whining, tearful little kid crying for his mommy. All the while calling me the "bald bitch" who tied him up.

Mommy's at the bedside enabling him while he acts up and screams obscenities at me and other staff. Lovely. Dad's outside smoking, looking like he's seen it all happen before and OVER IT.

Slowly with the help of some IV fluids, he sobers up. Drug test negative. Blood alcohol in the triple digits. Attitude in the toilet.
I give him the little speech that perhaps he should TRY to be a little nicer to his caregivers if he wanted to have his restraints slowly sank in......maybe 4 hours later, when there was no family around to listen to him whine about how UNFAIR life was........

He was finally released to his parents hours later, sober, embarassed (and I hope) lesson learned. You don't gulp down a bottle of vodka in a record amount of time. It can kill you.

Especially when you are 12 years old.

I got an apology and a hug from him when he left.

1 comment:

M.E. Again said...

I so knew what was coming at the end of your story. I knew...yet it still made me tear up I was so sad. I snuck over and hugged my 14yo daughter, and prayed she'd be stronger for the love - and discipline - we dole out.
Hang in there. we need you nurses really bad.