Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Almost done

I told my main place that I would make next week my last. This feels good to me. I will come back after some months, but probably to a different floor. Given what I can do as a volunteer, I think I've got out of this experience all I can (from the perspective of a nursing student).
PT G was indeed no longer on the floor, which is great. There were a number of new PTs. PT K was still there.
Monday was a pretty uneventful day. I spent the time looking for things to do. I didn't really have any PT who needed particular help or wanted to talk.
Tuesday (yesterday) was somewhat more interesting. PT K seemed subdued, so I asked him how he was. "Not good," he replied. "I just had some bad news." Presumably there were unfortunate test results (he had been off the floor for a while the previous day, for tests one assumes).
He was so grateful to have his meal reheated, but disappointed by the lack of the vanilla ice cream he'd asked for. He had though chocolate would be OK, since the food service lady had offered him that flavour ice cream. There was no ice cream with lunch this day, but I found him a chocolate pudding. Again, greeted with gratitude. A short while later, I returned to his room. Turns out he's not supposed to eat chocolate since he has to avoid theobromine (something like that, I don't quite remember). He'd been on the phone with his doctor or the nutrionist. He still wasn't clear, but we looked at an information sheet he had and clearly, chocolate is a no-no.
There was a new PT. I immediately recognised a bulbous lesion on his leg - a pemphoid blister. He told me all about his condition. He'd had it for two years, managed with prednisone and cyprofloxin. Eventually his dermatologist decided that they should try and wean him off these two drugs (powerful and one a steriod). Gradually by steps they did so, finally it flared up again. Reestablishing the previous regimen didn't seem to work. He was here to try a chemo treatment (hence his presence on our floor). He was desperate. While this is not a life-threatening condition, it is incapacitating due to the pain and discomfort. E.g., he is unable/unwilling to go the "john" (as he called it) due to the pain from the sores/blisters on his behind. He is not constipated, just unwilling to endure the pain from the skin.

On another note, yesterday and the day prior there were parties! One for birthday people on the floor, the other was a baby shower for a pharmacist. This Friday I'll try and attend the baby shower for the person on our floor.

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