Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by crazymama30, Mar 27, 2010.

  1. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    I work on the surgical floor in a hospital as a CNA. Many times we have pt's with mental health issues who have surgery, and it can be challenging as many times they are not allowed to have anything to eat or drink, and this includes medications. If they and we are lucky they remain fairly stable.

    I usually end up with several of these pts as I deal well with them. It is just like being at home. It can be very very hard for me, as it reminds me so much of husband, but I always manage to get compliments on how I deal with and interact with them.

    I had several of these pts today. It was an emotionally draining day. One pt was BiPolar (BP) I (I assume because her sister who has POA said she was SEVERELY manic bipolar--suicidal and homicidal stuff). She was stable, and very self aware. She knew when she was anxious and asked for medications, she just needed more tlc and patience than many others, but really I did like her. At one point I shared with her that my husband is bipolar. I do not share this with many, but when I do I do it because I think it will put the pt at ease. Every time I have that is the result. I could tell just by looking at the pt when she was getting anxious and would ask if she needed medications, a warm blanket, or the blind pulled down, just stuff that is more calming.

    When I told her about husband, her response really floored me. She said that she was so glad I said that my husband is bipolar, not my ex. She said people always make a face and grimace and then say their ex is BiPolar (BP). She said it made her feel bad, that she was only bipolar, not a person.

    I told her that there are times that my husband irritates the heck out of me and I get angry, but that I know that many times the BiPolar (BP) is driving his actions, not him. We then talked about how her husband has problems with this too, but that he sometimes tells her it is all in her head. We got a laugh about that comment, because it is but not in the way he means.

    I just had to share this, I have been thinking about this all day, and her honesty really impressed me as did her self awareness. I wish my husband could be a little more self aware.
  2. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    I bet she was grateful to connect with you. It has to be pretty frightening to have that much loss of control.
    This site has done a great deal to teach and remind me that someone isn't a diagnosis but a full person who has
    a disorder.
  3. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    You know Fran, it gave me a whole new perspective. I know that when I tell people that husband is BiPolar (BP) (which I don't do too often) I frequently get told oh, my ex is BiPolar (BP). I hate hearing that too, it makes me feel like a push over, like I put up with more koi than I should.

    I really had never thought of it from the other side.
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    When I tell people, even fellow students and the instructors, I'd like to be a psychiatric nurse they give me the oddest expressions and tell me I must be crazy. (no pun intended)

    But in my opinion, and from experience, good psychiatric nurses can be hard to come by. I've met nurses who have worked in the depts for years who still treat the pt as if they're a diagnosis and not a person. Irritates me no end. I used to work in psychiatric many many years ago.....and I truly enjoyed it for the most part. It's stressful, but I was comfortable there, it was like being around my family. lol

    CM you gave this woman hope that not everyone sees her as a diagnosis. That was a wonderful gift.

  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You did good CM.

    I had a nurse when I was in rehab who actually shared with me that she was bipolar and had struggled greatly with it for a long time. I really admired that lady.
  6. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I know that I have a lot more tolerance for "koi" than most people because of growing up in the kind of dysfunctional home that I did with a difficult child-dad that made life incredibly difficult for everyone because of his issues. It's the only explanation I have for holding on through the first 17 years of my rollercoaster marrige with an unmedicated husband. Being on the other side of things now, I am relieved and delighted to find the person I "thought" was in there all along. It also makes the "off" days much more bearable.
  7. ML

    ML Guest

    You gave this patient the gift of caring and compassion and she in turn gave you an opportunity for enlightenment. Very cool.
  8. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    How wonderful we need more people in the health care field like you!
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    It isn't only in psychiatric work that some professionals make you feel more like a walking diagnosis than a person iwth a diagnosis. I have had major struggles with this for years. It is dehumanizing to be treated that way, for both you and the person treating you that way. My primary care doctor had one nurse who treated people this way. She was a horror. Esp because doctor is so much NOT that way.

    I am sure you are a blessing in such a tough time for many patients - and their families. Especially if the patient has to have another surgery or procedure. Knowing that you treated them caringly will make it so much easier for the patient and the family if more treatment is needed. It may even give them strength to insist on better treatment from medical people who are not so caring.

    You deserve extra hugs today!!