Wednesday, March 9, 2011


We had a new nurse on 2nd shift tonight, so all us aides were trying really hard to be helpful, make sure she knew who each resident was so she wouldn't give them the wrong meds, tell her who to take seriously when they did/or said things and who to ignore and they'll stop.

But because she's new, she didn't know the difference between "Polly gently flagging down the charge nurse to come into a resident's room" and "Polly panicking and trying desperately to get your ass in here STAT but I can't leave this woman alone right now". So NewNurse wasn't as fast as I wanted. But it all turned out okay.

You see, there's a little thing called "vasovagal response" or, as you may learn to call it "fainting because you need to poop or are pooping".

This clip from Scrubs illustrates it very nicely:

Yep, it's a real thing. Pooping and fainting. What a combo.

There are a few of my old ladies that have this occasionally, but the one I was working on tonight had not ever done so since I've been working at the GreatRep. So you can see why I was alarmed when Nellie lay limp and unresponsive (but not dead! I checked that first!) in her wheelchair. I patted her hands with increasing force. Called her name with increasing volume. Patted her face. And then I brought out the big guns. Nellie HATES it when you touch her mouth or brush her teeth, and the absolute most annoying thing you can do to her is stick your fingers in her mouth. I popped on a glove and stuck a few in there, to and got no reaction, which is when I panicked and desperately waved NewNurse to come in NOW.

She also couldn't get Nellie to come to for a while, but after we both hollered and patted and pestered the hell out of her for a bit, Nellie cracked one eye open to glare at us, at which point I started breathing again. And got a whiff. And then a big, poo-shaped light bulb went off over my head. It spelled out VASOVAGAL in morse code. And Nellie woke up in time to have the biggest BM I've ever seen her have in my life. I mean softball sized, and round like one too.


So my little poop-weasel is all right, and was back to normal within a few minutes of passing that beast.

And you know what? Seeing it didn't make me faint too. Whew!

PS Next weekend is my last weekend of clinicals which means I'll have a real live day off on St. Patrick's day! I cannot wait!

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