Minor Medical Mistakes

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Several folks have observed how we seem to have gotten taking care of Rudy “down”.  That’s comforting as, seven months ago, all of the details of giving meds, suctioning, feeding and caring for him seemed very intimidating.  But now, it’s all rather routine.  Perhaps I was feeling a bit too good about my competencies over the weekend when I did the full bath and trach-change routine on Saturday to give Trish a morning off.  Yep, I can do this all by myself without much consternation.

Last night I continued to feel pretty good about myself and, as Trish was dozing on the couch, I decided I would take care of getting Rudy ready for bed without disturbing her.  Upon changing his diaper, my expertise as a Jr. Doctor led me to conclude that some prune juice might be in order.  Since he was asleep, I figured it would be best to give it in a 30ml syringe through the g-tube.  As I was getting that ready, I decided to mix in his Singulair (in granular form) as we missed that earlier in the day.

Since it was after 11pm, I made a judgement call to do this quick and easy and tossed the powder into the syringe and then poured in the prune juice.  I thought I’d be all clever and not dirty a bowl by mixing it right in the syringe.  As it turns out, Singular granules have qualities similar to concrete and I ended up with a major plug in the tube I had hooked up to the syringe.  I shook things up as best I could and decided just to hook it up to Rudy and see if I could just push it on in there.

I suspect hindsight would reveal that many a household accident has been preceded by the words “Let’s see…maybe I just need to push a bit harder…”  Bed was calling out to me and I increased the pressure on the syringe’s plunger while nothing seemed to happen.  So I pushed harder…until the side port of the tube popped open and a geyser of prune juice erupted ALL OVER Rudy’s clean pajamas, the bed and the wall about 6 ft away (think Diet Coke and Menthos).

There’s nothing like an hour of midnight cleaning to return one to humility.  Thankfully, Rudy slept soundly through the whole episode of getting cleaned up and into fresh pajamas.  I instantly applied the learning from this one tragedy to avoid a second as I attempted to load the bedspread into the washer.  It dawned on me that I had to push pretty hard to get the whole thing in there and then had to push hard once again to get the door to shut completely.  At that point it was a wise marital move to at least rouse Trish enough to inquire as to whether there was anything problematic in the course of action.  Plan aborted and crisis averted.  Thanks to the realization that I work in a place where there’s an industrial laundry, everything will be back in order this evening.

Here’s to the valuable knowledge we acquire by making mistakes.  Today’s another day and Rudy’s thriving despite our bumbling.

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8 Responses to “Minor Medical Mistakes”

  1. amyfio Says:

    Great story…lol…thanks for sharing!

  2. B Frame Says:

    “……push it on in there”

    Classic line of the week….maybe the month. Way to go ole Rolfie-boy!!

    dude, that was one funny story!

  3. Grandma Jo and Grandpa Dick Says:

    You get an A+ for trying and giving Trish a break…………….thanks, Rolf.

  4. Judy Salkeld Says:

    I needed a good laugh! You are the best, Rolf!

  5. Oma + Opa Says:

    Do I remember times in my nursing career, when I popped of the feedingtube and spilled the stickiest red liquid over a patient and his bed. Glad he was not too much with it.
    Its part of the job!!! Oma
    Now its funny, it was not then 🙂

  6. Dawn Bettencourt Says:

    In life we find men do things a little different than women, but you gave it your best…and you guys sure do your best in everything, Happy Holidays, Nick’s Grandma

  7. kelly Says:

    That is funny stuff. Wish I could’ve been a fly on the wall……not the wall where the prune juice landed, but……….

  8. Joann Saraceno Says:

    Okay… Rudy really didn’t wake up? How about Trish, I mean it would have been a good laugh and …. where’s the photo?

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