The Ladies' Man!

I'm riding with a hospital-based ALS chase car system as part of my clinical rotations. I'm loving it as I only go on ALS (advanced life support) calls that give me a chance to work up my assessment and treatment skills.

We get called to a nursing facility across the street from the hospital. An injury after an assault. We arrive at dinner time. This place is clean, orderly and has a wide range of patients. Our particular patient was bitten on the back of her right hand by the woman sitting next to her at dinner. As I hear it from a nurse, the biter has severe Alzheimer's and sometimes acts out.

My patient is calm, well dressed and not in obvious pain. The ambulance crew who arrived before me have already done an admirable job of bandaging her hand and she smiles at me as I walk in. She's pleasant and chatty as we move her to the cot and to the ambulance. She's slim and athletic looking, about 75 years old. She explains to me that she usually helps take care of the biter, picking up her clothes and spending time with her, and she can't understand why she bit her on the hand.

She tells me she plays tennis every day and is worried that she won't be able to play for a while. I jokingly explain that she can learn to play left handed and then when her right hand heals, she can play with both and take on doubles teams. She gravely considers this.

"That's a good idea. I'm going to do that!"

Up to this point, I'm thinking she's a member of the staff or a volunteer. My preceptor hands me the report paperwork and I see she's a patient with dementia and Alzheimer's herself.

She's a real sweet lady.

We chat as I get her vital signs. At one point, when I go to take her blood pressure, I rest her left forearm on my knee.

She looks over at me and winks.

"I've got my hand on your leg, young man."

And so she does!


No comments: