Sunday, May 31, 2009

That's Lieutenant Hurwitz, he thinks he's Ethel Merman

(for those of you who recognized the source of this post's title, congratulations!)

As anyone in this field will tell you, the alcohol withdrawal (or "DT's" as we say in the medical biz) patients can be a nightmare or entertaining.

So while on call today, I got consulted to see a 60-something lady in DT's.

Unlike Mr. Pizza Guy DT, this lady was belting out Ethel Merman's greatest show tunes, at the top of her lungs! Thought she was in a show (which, technically, I guess she was. Me and a nurse as the audience, though when the room was empty she sang to the TV).


And finishing that one, she gave herself a round of applause, and went on to "Everything's Coming Up Roses", then "The Lullaby of Broadway". This has continued, as I wander on and off the floor doing consults. Later in the afternoon she switched to Barry Manilow, doing a surprisingly on-key rendition of "Copacabana".

They tried closing her door. It didn't do a thing. Her voice was in the gigadecibel range, and the use of duct tape is (unfortunately) forbidden.

At one point a security guard with the hospital's patrol K-9 wandered by. The dog stopped outside the door and began howling along.


amy said...

Nice Airplane reference. As for what I thought, it made me a bit sad...I have a SIL who's an alcoholic and age 50; how depressing to be detoxing at 60-something.

The dog adding to her song made it a bit funny too however.

Love your blog. Found it through Nurse K.

Tex said...

I got the reference, too.
But then again, I'm an old fart.

I can also imagine what happened when you gave her PO fluids (Envision her trying to drink with eye)

Tonjia said...

I think it could be worse. she could be seeing spiders and aliens. LOLOL

Show tunes are good, I would have sung along. :-)

Knits in Church said...

That's even better than my recent detoxing gal who spent most of her time on the Ativan drip staring at a blank wall and saying "this is the best TV show ever! What channel is this so I can watch it at home?"

Anonymous said...

Tex said: "Envision her trying to drink with eye"

In Airplane!, Ted Stryker wasn't trying to drink with his eye, he simply kept missing his mouth (hence his "drinking problem").

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