I haven’t been to work since early December, and won’t be going back until the end of July. It’s taken me longer than I thought to think up some good stories for this 13 – probably because I’ve become immune to the strange things people do to themselves and also because I haven’t been working in the ER for a while. If I was back to work I could write one of these every week.
WARNING: Some of you might find these stories gross. As I read it, I think this might have been more suitable for my other site Odd Planet.
1…. One of the strangest things that I ever saw while working as a nurse occurred when I was still a student nurse. A man had come in with a padlock around his penis. He said it hadn’t been there long, but judging from the damage I’d say that it had been there for more than 24 hours. He’d apparently been with a prostitute and then refused to pay or angered her in some way. She slapped the padlock on him and refused to unlock it. When the man eventually came in to the hospital, the lock having been rubbing against his swollen tissue for many hours, had caused necrosis (skin and tissue death) to occur. The lock had to be cut off and the man had to go through several painful debriding (removal of dead tissue) procedures as a result.
2…. Another man had been hit by a transport truck while driving his motorcycle and dragged several hundred feet. All of the skin and muscles on his back were torn off. This poor man was doomed to a life in the hospital because he had permanently open wounds on his back, and no muscles or tendons to enable him to sit up or even walk.
3…. One morning after working a 12 hour night shift, as I was saying good-bye to my co-workers I heard a lot of shouting near the ER entrance. I looked up the hallway towards the doors just in time to see my husband, who works as a Porter in the hospital, jump onto a patient on a EMS stretcher.
4…. I hurried up to where the action was and as I did two police officers and four paramedics also surrounded the stretcher and grabbed a hold of the patients flailing legs and arms. Meanwhile my husband was lying across the mans legs.
5…. The patient was totally out of his mind. He was high on PCP (my initials BTW – call me Angel), Extacy, Cocaine and possibly acid. He’d already violently bitten one of the police officers. This man was the most violent and out of control “high” patient that I’ve ever seen, and my husband was lying across him in an effort to hold him down.
6…. We finally got the patient into our Recus area. Transferring him to a hospital stretcher was no easy feat. I took care of him for a short while before going home and it was like trying to take care of Hannibal Lector – he was all gnashing teeth and spit. He tried one more time to bite an officer, after he’d tried to bite me, that is. When he finally started to come down, I heard that he was threatening to sue the police and hospital for mistreatment.
7…. My husbands first night shift. He was asked to help security with finding a naked old man who had apparently tried to strangle a nurse with a blood pressure cuff. Chris went up to one of the darkened floors and heard a whoosh, whoosh noise, and as he peered around the corner he found one of the security guards staring at the old naked man as he whirled an emergency fire hose around his head. My husband dived under the whirling fire hose and tackled the patient. Noticing after he did that, that the mans surgical abdominal wound was open and he had intestine sticking out of his belly. Apparently his belly was like this before my hubby tackled the patient.
8…. Another time I was near the ER entrance when I noticed a cab driver pull up and help a passenger out of the car. The man was in shorts and the front of one of his shins appeared to be covered in blood. As the man got closer I saw that the mans shin wasn’t just covered in blood but that it was missing all the skin, tissue and muscle from the knee to the ankle. The man had been kidnapped and thrown in a trunk, and as he managed to escape from the trunk while the car was moving, he tore the tissue off his leg. He would need a lot of surgery to repair the damage.
9…. A very large lady passed away on one of the floors. Security usually meets the funeral attendant at the morgue entrance and allows them to remove the body from the morgue. While the funeral attendant was rolling the stretcher with the large lady down the exit ramp from the morgue the stretcher broke and both the body and stretcher landed on the funeral attendant and the security guard. The guard had to call her fellow security guards to come and help.
10…. Then there was the patients visitor who walked through the hospital smoking a cigarette. I was walking down the hallway, behind the director of Emerg and noticed this man pass her. She stopped and stared, as did I, but she didn’t do anything. I went back and told security and while they could smell the cigarette (they later said it was a joint, but it wasn’t when I saw the man) they never found the man. He apparently walked down the main corridors of the hospital at least three times without being caught.
11…. Then there are always the kids that shove things up their nose or into their ears. Peas, beans, crayons, small toys. I guess it doesn’t hurt going in, but from the screams and tears it must hurt a lot coming out!
12…. Kids also swallow some interesting things – coins, toy trucks, pins. These x-rays are often quite interesting to look at.
13…. I’m not even going to discuss what adults swallow or put in various orifices. Nope, I’ve grossed you out enough for one day I think!