Assessment: Part 1

Posted: May 23, 2009 in Don't Ever Read Ever

I thought since I have so much going on in my head, covering every topic imaginable from politics to my bowel rhythm, I thought it would be appropriate for you to do a nursing assessment on me.  Don’t worry, it’s not hard; I’ll walk you through it.  Part one; general assessment.  Stay tuned for further installments, as my sloth permits.

As you walk into my room…

There I am, hunched over my broke-ass, ghetto, hot-wired laptop.  Next to me are 2 glasses full of water.  On my bed are countless wrappers from God knows where, dirty dishes, and trash.  The same song has been playing on the speakers for the last thiryt-five minutes and you became concerned, so you came to check on me.  The laundry still hasn’t been folded and put away, and there are DVD cases scattered about the floor.  What is that stain on the tile? It’s been there for some time now – you’d think housekeeping would have taken care of that by now.  A guitar is haphazzardly placed on the bed; you know I’ll have to find a better place for that if I hope to get any sleep.  The calendar still says “April.”  Also when was the last time he washed the clothes he’s wearing? Do I need to be concerned?

You ask how I am, and I begin with a big sigh, as if you have asked me to recall the entire recorded history of man.  After a short pause I respond with an ambiguous short answer; something like, “Okay, I guess.”  Two hours ago, you recall, I responded enthusiastically, but perhaps a bit too quickly, “FANTASTIC!”  “So what’s changed,” you ask yourself.

As you attempt to make yourself comfortable, you find yourself unable to sit on anything or lean on anything.  All surface areas have been utilized and stacked high, so that when you touch one thing, many other things fall.  You decide it’s best to stand.  You are a bit amazed at the selection of books at eye level as you walk in.  “No wonder he’s so fucked in the head,” you think to yourself; but you’d never let the patient – me – know you feel that way.  But I know.  And you know I know.  And I know you know I know.  And you know I know you know I know, so we just avoid eye contact to make this exchange less awkward.  

“Can I ask you a question?” You speak first.

“You just did,” I retort, as if I’d been waiting to use that one for some time now.  I smile, self-satisfied.  You shake your head, and we’re off to a good start.

You recall reading somewhere that a person’s room is a mirror to their state of mind.  A person with a very organized room has his thoughts in order, and vice-versa.  This is absurd, though.  There are clothes hanging off from every conceivable hanging surface; doorknobs, cabinet doors, the closet door, the lamp.  Do I have a system?  Is there a method to my madness?  Or is my madness just that?  “Well, he is the honor grad, and he passed his NCLEX, so he must be doing fine,” you reason.  

“Wow! Did you do these paintings?” you ask, already knowing that I must have, unless I signed someone else’s work.

“Yea.”

“I didn’t know you paint,” you add.  Okay.  Great.  So what do you want me to respond? ‘Oh you didn’t? Didn’t you get the memo?’ ‘There’s a lot of things you don’t know.’

“Yep.”

“Hey that’s cool, the medical symbol [cadeuces]” still, not a question; not therapeutic; not helpful.

“It’s kundalini; the three Nadis; the ida, the pingala, and the sushumna.” I say, as if you should already know all the useless crap I’ve amassed in my brain.

So all you have to do with me is get in and get out.  Grab some quick vital signs and make sure I have some clue what year it might be.  Perhaps make sure I haven’t poo’d the bed.  You don’t want to touch me, but you will if you have to, after all, it’s part of your job and your a professional.  Even if you must check my genitals, you’ll do so with a glazed look, so as to not focus on any part;  you don’t want to start thinking that I think you’re staring or interested or perverted.  It’s already awkward enough as it is.  But lets not think about that for now.  Uh-oh.  You totally forgot to check my chart to see what I’m even here for.  That will be a great conversation starter, “So, what’r you in for?” like it’s some sort of joke.  ‘You’re the fuckin’ nurse, you tell me!’ is probably what I’ll respond, you think.  And you’re right, but only to mess with you.  We’re in this together.  Lets play a little cat and mouse, no?

more to come…

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