Poor Mr. K
I love clinical rotation. I think that it is the best time of the week for me. I usually get no more than 4.5 hours of sleep the nights before clinicals but spend the entire shift high on adrenaline. I cannot wait for Thursdays and dread 1400 Fridays. Today was no different, however today I was faced with a patient that struck so many nerves for me that it was overwhelming. Mr. K was admitted with mysterious edema to the penis, scrotum and upper legs. It was diagnosed as nephrotic syndrome, a condition common in diabetics. Along with his admitting complaint, Mr. K had multiple physical issues, he was diabetic, had renal and liver damage, CHF, COPD, alcohol abuse, 2 pressure ulcers on his buttocks, MRSA+, you name it he had it, on top of everything he also had social issues which compounded his physical issues. He lived in a low income apartment, again, alcohol abuse and on top of everything, he was INFESTED with bugs of every description. His hair, skin, clothes were covered with the evidence of lice, scabies, and BED BUGS. The frightening thing was that when I met him today, he had already been on the ward for a week, why had no one noticed his infestation sooner? I spent the entire day, in isolation garb, stripping and bagging linens etc. I felt that I spent all my time doing environmental stuff today and no actual patient care. These are not the issues that made Mr. K a difficult case for me personally. My father was an alcoholic and were it not for the dedication of my strong mother, I know that Dad would have lived the same existance as Mr. K, and ironically enough the worst thing of all is in his chart I saw that Mr. K was retired from the same line of work that my dear husband works in. I was struck with the idea that I am looking at a 30 progression of my poor troubled soul of a husband. Speaking of which, he has dumped the Roadwhore and is attempting to come back to life. I am being very neutral at the moment and not believing much until I see sincere change. He has a long road ahead of him and if I am at the end of that road then he will have to make sure he takes no wrong turns.