Thursday, October 16, 2014

Memories... part 2

Dr. Tallahatchie, as anticipated, required a fairly lengthy surgical procedure. He'd broken his leg in 3 places, 1 of which was a compound fracture.

Even worse (from his view) was that they wouldn't let him smoke.

Recovery from this sort of thing is not painless. After surgery he was put on a morphine PCA pump. For those of you not in medicine, this is a gadget that delivers IV narcotics controlled by the hospital patient. You need more morphine? Press a button and it gives you some. The pump is programmed with a maximum amount and frequency you can receive, and is locked out with a security code.

20 years ago, however, the security codes were only 4 digits, and Dr. Tallahatchie had a photographic memory. After watching the nurse set it up, it took him only a few tries to hack it. Due to ongoing pain, he increased his morphine dose. This made him much more comfortable.

Nursing found him still breathing, but unable to be woken. The internal medicine service, comically, called for a neurology consult, and my colleague, Dr. Violet, told them exactly what the problem was.

So they took his PCA pump away. Since his vital signs were okay Violet didn't have the heart to use Narcan.

As a result of the overdose, the good doctor was now unable to pee, and so a foley catheter was ordered. His nurse started the procedure, only to be stopped when Dr. Tallahatchie suddenly became wide awake, sat-up, and yelled "HEY! THAT'S MY WINKIE!!!"

Although now more alert, he still couldn't run the water. And when the nurse came at him with the foley again, he asked her to give him a few minutes to "prepare himself."

She stepped out, and he frantically paged me, asking me to bring him a pair of sterile size 7 gloves. He didn't say why, but I realized what was up when I got there. He took the gloves and told me to distract the nurse for 5 more minutes. He wasn't going to let anyone touch his winkie.

When the nurse came back, she was stunned to see he'd put it in himself. Correctly.

Note: As of yesterday, Dr. Tallahatchie confirmed that (20 years later) he still smokes and drinks. He has not, however, attempted climbing a tree again.


15 comments:

Moose said...

But how does he feel about people touching his "winkie"?

And, FFS, you're a grown man with children. "Winkie"?!

Also, wtf am I doing awake at this hour?

peace said...

He is the man.

Anonymous said...

But has he ever self catheterized again?

Anonymous said...

Proving the point that doctors make the worst patients?

Anonymous said...

I'm trying to think of a word that best describes this story...

BEAUTIFUL. This story was BEAUTIFUL.

It is something that needs to be displayed in a home and admired by all family and friends.

Anonymous said...

This. Was. Awesome.

RageDino said...

Mad props to catheterizing yourself!
But jeez some people are dumbasses :)

Anonymous said...

LMAO. Please tell more Dr Tallahatchie stories. Pretty please!

The Patient Doc said...

I had some great memories during residency, few involving a Foley catheter, but I have to say none of my colleagues have cathed themselves.

Stacey Gordon said...

Another doc setting the standard and being a good example for health...

Anonymous said...

If you're gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough.

Anonymous said...

Wish I knew how to hack into my PCA pump when I had my 1st back surgery. ( L5,S1) The Morphine didn't put a dent in the pain I went through!

Brian said...

He seems three parts awesome, one park neurotic, and one part death wish (smoking and drinking).

Did he pitch a fit when they took his pain med pump away?

RehabRN said...

Grumpy:

Those nurses must have been pissed. If he were on my unit, I could ask the docs nicely for a Urojet order and I'd wait 5 minutes. Be mean = no wait, no Urojet. Regular lube's just not the same.

Serves him right to lose his pump. Nowadays, they'd be after the RN's license for that little stunt.

I teach people to cath themselves all the time. Patient education IS a wonderful thing.

Shellye said...

Gor Blimey! He overdosed? They didn't use Narcan? He put in his own catheter? OMG who is this guy? He's quite impressive...

 
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