Thursday, June 10, 2010

My Patient Has Nightmares About Me

There was a patient who needed an NG (nasogastric tube).  Putting it in involves shoving a tube down someone's nose until it gets to their stomach.  Patients don't like it, obviously.  So I put in the NG tube, and the patient immeditaly grabbed it an ripped it out.  So we tried again.  And she ripped it out again.  Repeat FIVE TIMES. Finally, she decided that she would rather continue to have uncontrollable vomiting than have the tube in their stomach. Fine.

Fast forward 2 weeks- the patient is still in the hospital.  I was talking with one of the med students who was taking care of her now- and he mentioned, "Her biggest issue right now is actually this terrible recurrent nightmare that she keeps having", "Really, what nightmare?",  "I guess its a recurrent nightmare about the girl who put in her NG tube 5 times."  That's right- I have officially traumatized a patient to the point of causing recurrent nightmares.  I toyed with the idea of creepily walking by her room holding an NG tube.  But I'm not that mean; and I think I've terroized her enough.

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