Sunday, January 17, 2010

car update and Pt. escort

Just got back from picking up the car after a service job. I was a bit nervous as to the damage it was going to have on my bank account, however, it turned out to be not bad, $393 in total!
Oil was changed, everything was checked, he fixed some discs that was causing the car to shake when I braked, he cleaned out the air con filter so now it doesn't overflow onto the floor of the passenger side and he fixed the key issue!!! WOOHOO!
He said there was a spring at the base of the barrel that was stuck causing the key to lock, he unstuck it, put it in the correct position, and voila, it works!! I must admit I was a little nervous as to what the bill was going to be and very relieved to the final outcome!
A bit of a funny story though, after I picked up the car I had to stop at the mall to get a key cut (Rob lost his, oops!) and when I got back into my car, I tried to start it, and it wouldn't turn over!! I was like, what, are you kidding me? I tried again and still no luck. I was using the key that we had been using to lock the doors, so I tried the key that was stuck in the ignition, and it turned over no problem! The key used to lock the doors is actually a Toyota key that has been re-cut (I believe the previous owner had to get this done when she was having problems with the ignition) and it must be slightly different so it wouldn't start the car! Yet both keys will lock it. Let me tell ya I was pretty relieved when the second key got it going! LOL
So now my beautiful chariot is ready for the long road trip down south - whenever it is that we leave :)

Now for the story of my patient escort I had to do on the weekend. I worked Friday, evening shift, and after returning from dinner I found out that one of my patients had to be sent to Adelaide ASAP for immediate brain surgery - as Darwin does not have a neurosurgeon. As it was last minute it was near impossible to get someone in to do the escort, and an RN was needed as he had a high risk of seizing and a possibility of a brain hemorrhage. Of course I had dollar signs in my eyes and said I would do the escort as long as they could find someone to cover my shift on Saturday. The escort was more important and they would have a longer time to find someone to cover my shift, so I was given the OK to go. It was a bit of a crazy shift, trying to get my head around having to leave in a few hours, as well as make sure my 5 other patients where settled.

I got my itinerary from the Nursing Coordinator, departure was at 0135, I had to get the pt all ready as well as photocopy any relevant information so I was to come in early - around 2315. Of course I didn't get off work till nearly 2200 so I had just an hour at home to pack, and relax.
Now, to backtrack a bit - my pt, a very lovely 62 year old man, who had not been on a holiday in over 10 years, was actually pretty excited about this trip - even though it was to have brain surgery. We gave him a drug to prevent seizures, and of course, he had to have a reaction to it. Not the typical rash and hives that you are thinking though. His included: Difficulty focusing, unsteady gait (which he already had due to his tumor pressing up against his cerebellum to the point where he can not walk and requires a wheelchair), slurred speech and slowed thinking. He actually feel out of his wheelchair an hour before I was to go home and get ready. He looked and sounded, well, drunk! He did also have a beer that he was allotted with supper as well as he is a smoker - which did not help the situation. He also had the laughs and could hardly finish his sentence without laughing and giggling. I actually had him reviewed by the on call doctor before we left just to make sure he was still safe to travel! Boy was I up for a challenging trip!
I had everything ready to go and off we where to the airport at 0000. He was slightly better by the time we left, he was actually standing and transferring better which made my life a hell of a lot easier. We flew Jetstar to Adelaide and they where very accommodating, getting us a wheelchair as well as seating us in row 2. Its amazing what a uniform and a badge can do :) We pre-boarded - the first time I've ever had to do that, and he thankfully was able to walk from the edge of the plane to his seat with assistance by me and the flight attendant. He was still giggly and would not stop talking!! I thought that once we where off and in the air - with the cabin lights off, he would settle and maybe sleep a bit. But, nope, he had another side effect of the medication - insomnia! Great. Not that I really had planned on sleeping, but this made it even more difficult to relax. AND, he was insistent that he work on his crossword - but that did not work so well as he couldn't focus and get produce any of the answers. They where all on the tip of his tongue, poor guy! It was a 3 and a half hour flight and was so relieved when we landed. He was much better by the time we landed, but still was very talkative. We landed just after 6 am, and I had been up for nearly 24 hours, the last think I wanted to do was talk - but I listened well and nodded my head :)

We arrived at the hospital at 7:15 - right during shift change, awesome, but it didn't take long to get him through. By this point as well, the giddiness was pretty much gone and his gait was much, much better - thank-goodness! After a brief handover and a goodbye to my patient. I caught a cab to my hotel. I arrived by 8am, and after a quick bite to eat, I was down to sleep for a few hours - as I had to catch a flight back at 1500. It took me forever to fall asleep and was awoken by the cleaning lady at 1030, and of course woke up at noon in a panic that my alarm didn't go off. I got up at about 1300 and caught a cab back to the airport. Unfortunately I couldn't get a direct flight back so had to route through Sydney. It was a quick hour and a half flight to Sydney, I stepped outside the airport but there wasn't much to see, just a car park - the airport is pretty massive. I went back in and had a couple drinks. The drinks cost me over $8 each (I had 2) and was a little taken back, but then realized I was making double time to sit on a plane, so I didn't care much :) I got paid from the time I arrived at the Darwin hospital till I got to my accommodation in Adelaide, and from the time I left the hotel in Adelaide till I got back to the hospital in Darwin. Not bad.
I got back just before 2300 and Rob came and picked me up. I was exhausted and wasn't looking forward to waking up the next day for a morning shift. I finally fell asleep after midnight sometime and dragged my arse out of bed at 0630. But to my surprise when I arrived at work, I was actually granted a travel day and got to turn around and go back to bed!! I couldn't have been happier! And of course when I did get back I was too awake and couldn't go back to sleep. I was up for a bit then eventually did get tired and slept for a couple more hours.
So that was my lovely weekend and I start nights this week. Off Saturday morning so I think a piss-up will be in order Saturday night, drinks on me :)

Oh yeah, I made my first cheesecake... well, it was from a box, but I made it, and it turned out good :) Rob even had two pieces of it last night!!

Up next: the extraordinary amount of kilometers I have flown over the past 2 years - yes I was bored at the airport and this is how I passed the time :)

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