Monday, April 11, 2011

Hospital Horror

My mom is still in the hospital (day 13). The good news is that I’ve now found another elevator, which actually works. It’s a bit hidden so the only people who know that it’s there are the nurses and the long-term visitors like me. The elevator is fast because almost no one rides it.  The bad news is that the doctor told my mom she might be there another two weeks. But that’s not the horror.

Last Friday (though it could have been Thursday—the days blur together), I heard some screaming. Now this wasn’t too strange. There’s a patient on the floor who moans and screams all the time. At first I thought it was post-anesthesia confusion. But it went on day after day. And the tone of his screams was more of anger than fear or pain. Even with the heavy doors closed and the tv on, you could still hear him carrying on. If I were one of the nurses, I’d seriously consider an extra dose of morphine for this guy. (Aren’t you glad I’m not a nurse?)

But the screaming we heard this time wasn’t his screaming. So I opened my mom’s door. At this point, the screaming had stopped, and I couldn’t tell what had happened. I left the door ajar. And soon, I saw three very big, very angry, very nasty-looking security guards. My mom who’d I’d helped move into a chair so she could see the goings on said, “Oh, dear.”

Of course, my writer’s mind thought a crazed gunman might be on the loose or a psychiatric patient had escaped. And even though it was time for me to go home, I stayed with my mom. I couldn’t let a crazed gunman wander into my mother’s room.

About 15 or 20 minutes later a hospital official in his expensive suit showed up and walked down the hall.  Then several men in even more expensive suits appeared. My mom said, “Lawyers.” She was right.

The wing went on “lock-down” and everyone had to stay in their rooms. Things got confused. Nurses, housekeeping, etc., all forgot to do things. We knew something was up.

The next day we found out what. Across from my mom’s room, was a room with a man who wasn’t very happy. And, apparently, was a misogynist. Though whether this was clear beforehand, I’m not sure. I suspect if the hospital had known they’d have assigned him only male nurses. But they didn’t.

So a sweet female nurse (my mom and I both know her) went into the room to help the man. And he kicked her in the face. It was not an accident. She had to go to ER.

Last week, Susan commented on my blog about bad nurses being good nurses who got burned out.  I totally understand that. Now especially.  If it were up to me, the man would get a quadruple dose of morphine, zipped into a straight jacket (do they make straight jackets with legs?), slapped with a lawsuit, and moved to a prison ward.

Of course, my mom and I worried about the nurse. Yesterday (or Saturday) she was back on the floor. My mom gave her a big hug. She gave my mom a big hug back...and she comforted my mom.

What happened to the evil patient? No straight jacket, no extra morphine, no prison ward. He was assigned a male aide. Then, two male aides. Now he’s gone. I’m not really sure what happened. He may have been discharged, but I’m hoping he was moved to the prison ward. 


  1. What a horror indeed. That poor nurse. And I really hope your mom starts feeling better soon!

  2. Wow! That guy must have serious mental issues. Hugs and prayers for you and your mom.

  3. They probably moved him into the hospital basement for. . . experimental treatment.

  4. Just awful. So glad he is nowhere near you and your mom now.

  5. Wow, kicked in the face? I know a lot of nurses, and I'm really grateful not to be one. I'm just not cut out for it. They are made of strong stuff.

  6. How dreadful! It doesn't sound like that patient belonged in the civilized section of the hospital. No nurse deserves that kind of abuse.

  7. I have several nurses in my family, and they have some stories...Sorry to hear that your mom is having to spend so much time in the hospital. :(

  8. YIKES. That's just horrible! Hugs!!!

  9. Whoa..!! I hope the nurse is okay!! And I hope she doesn't give up on humanity just yet. :\

  10. Nurses, librarians, and moms are the secret super heroes of this world.