January 30, 2010

I Graduated With Tyrone Biggums....WTF!

One of the disadvantages of working in a hospital in the same town you grew up in is the fact that you'll run into people you know, have known or wish you'd never met.

There's something unsettling about having to possibly perform "invasive" procedures on people you've known all your life but just didn't ever want to know like that!

A few nights ago I noticed a name on the ER tracker that sounded familiar to me.

The first name threw me but the last name was a dead give-a-way. The person was 41 years old which is one year younger than me. So, I figured it had to be this guy I'd gone to school with.

Just as I was about to walk into his room to say hello and give him the old I-hope-you-start-feeling-better-soon pep talk the guy started arguing with the nurse who had gone in before me to give him a shot for pain.

Apparently, ....let's just call him classmate.....classmate had been brought in by ambulance. The story was he was high as a kite on crack had swerved to avoid a cow and wound up in a ditch ass up! His initial complaints were neck, back and shoulder pain.

As a precaution, motor vehicle accident patients are usually placed in a C-collar and secured to a backboard with straps, tape...or whatever to prevent or stabilize possible neck injuries.

After he was x-rayed and cleared of any spinal injuries, the backboard and C-collar were removed and pain medication was ordered.....and that's when things went south.

The nurse couldn't get him to understand that he was giving him something for pain.

He ranted and raved about how he could hurt at home and had medicine at home for pain. His concern was why nobody had looked at the tiny cut on his finger...which actually was a scratch like the kind you get when you rub the thorn of a rose stem across the top of your hand....(yep, just the little line that's left) and a small abrasion on his shoulder blade.

Since I knew the guy I decided to head on in and calm the situation...I know...I should have enough of doing that, right?

Anyway when I walked in the room it wasn't the guy I went to school with...it was TYRONE BIGGUMS impersonating the guy I went to school with!!! The face, the clothes, the lips...OMFG!!!

It was shocking, sad, kinda funny and completely unbelievable. I'm saying holy crap what has life done to this poor guy.

He immediately remembered me and ....I don't know...maybe out of embarrassment....or me coaxing...he started calming down a little bit. But it didn't last long.

No matter how hard I tried to get him to realize that his wounds didn't require medical attention and that the pain shot would help him tremendously along with a good hot bath, mouth care and drug rehab...I couldn't get through. The egg had been fried waaaay to hard.

He eventually got so loud and threatening that security had to be called to escort him out of the ER minus any pain medication, prescriptions or the customary good-to-see-you-take-care that I give people I've known forever.

I thought about how my coworkers must have viewed this guy...crack head psycho...which is pretty much exactly what he was acting like.

Funny thing is....although my eyes saw Tyrone Biggums....my mind and heart saw a young clean cut teenage boy walking to school with the same hopes, aspirations and dreams of every other young person....

.....he just got lost somewhere along the way.

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