Monday, October 27, 2008

The Exorcist

The little old lady in bed 7 wasn't a monster, she was just misunderstood.  Or so I thought when I volunteered to go draw blood on a demented patient that a nurse no longer wanted to deal with.

Entering the room, I found a sweet, kind, and charming woman who smiled politely while I explained that I needed to look for a vein.  Realizing that I had forgotten a vacutainer, I told her that I would be right back, and she asked if I could bring a glass of water with me when I returned.

I made it back to the beside a few minutes later, cup of water in hand, and reached over her arm to tie the tourniquet when she transformed. With rage in her eyes, she suddenly grabbed my arm and started spitting while screaming obscenities.  Climbing out of the stretcher, she tried to bite off my hand while lunging at me with her yellowed, razor-sharp, MRSA-tipped fingernails.

Calling for help, I scrambled backwards out of the room lucky to escape with my life and skin intact.

Nurses say that late in the night shift when we've cleared out the patients, if you're very quiet and stay perfectly still, you can still hear echos of her profanity-laced screaming drifting out of bed 7.

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