Negligence is defined by the Journal of the American Medical Association, as “failure to use such care as a reasonably prudent and careful person would use under similar circumstances.”
Half asleep and half awake I wandered the halls of that metal prison. Nurses held me down as I kicked and started to yell about Mrs…then suddenly I was asleep. Another ’emergency’ dose of haloperidol shot through my blood stream. It was as if I watched the interaction from across the room.
When my brain caught up with my body, I awoke standing in front of the patient rights and responsibilities poster, reading and re-reading it. A fellow patient came over to talk to me asking how I ended up in there with the rest of the them. They thought of me as one of them. I was supposed to be the one giving them haldol. I started to tell my story; how I ruined it all by killing her. The patient walked away silently as the nurse walked closer.
I wasn’t in my body. I had clear thoughts but as soon as I opened my mouth, my consciousness scattered. I watched my mouth move to create unintelligible words at a high frequency. The nurse calmly directed me to my private room directly behind the nurse’s station.
After a day of bipolar reactions, they had an idea of how to deal with me. Feeding tube, IV medication, and my favorite, body guard. They controlled all of the things that I couldn’t. I wouldn’t eat and so they fed me via Glucerna. I wouldn’t sleep so they incapacitated me with trazodone and room lock down from 10PM to 6AM. I wouldn’t shut my mouth about the sensitive topic, and so they silenced me with a one to one support aide.
The day she died she must have rang her buzzer a hundred times. Dementia took total control of her earlier in year which made her a difficult patient. While all the nurses took turns with Mrs. moans-a-lot’s requests, she was my patient. She never knew who I was even when I told her the second I walked in the door.
She came in with an infection in her hip that all started with a fall in her bathroom. The doctors treated the infection and suggested blood thinners to prevent a blood clot during her extended hospital stay. It was a simple solution with a more complicated execution.
At the time, my adventure with Adderall was at an all time high. I blazed through patient rooms and requests without a moment of comprehension. I was a well oiled machine. I knew what they wanted before they even asked. A blanket thrown here and a bathroom assist there; I was unstoppable. I was also completely unaware of where I was. I spun around myself until I stood still in a closet. I had no idea how I got there because my body moved faster than my brain. On second thought, my brain was moving so much faster than my body that it ran circles around and around, not making any sense.
It didn’t make any sense to me when the swarm of doctors and other nurses ran in to Mrs. moans-a-lot’s room. She was moaning, as usually, but in an intensified manner. Following suit, I ran after them.
No one is quite sure how long she hemorrhaged for, but they estimate it was somewhere around 12 hours. I don’t remember filling her with body with thirty times the prescribed dose of coumadin. I don’t remember the bruises that developed around her abdomen. I do remember it being too late to control the internal bleed. I certainly remember the pain in her face and the fear in her eyes as she drifted in to eternal sleep.
To be continued…