I never really knew her. I met her on-duty one night. The order was to take blood for Urea and electrolytes. I did and recorded the results. She was sporting a yellow brannula in her scalp. Her arms and feet were filled with the battle scars of many efforts to cannulate her veins during her lengthy hospital stays in Cornwall Regional Hospital.
We met on subsequent occasions for the same reasons. I found out that she had the new plague (HIV). She now had encephalopathy and nephropathy as a result. Twenty months old and not alive long enough to have earned her suffering, but suffering she was. We stopped trying to obtain the blood from veins... too many sticks and not enough success.
By May she had been moved to the dreaded BED 1, where DIL (dangerously ill list) patients reside. We made her anemic with our blood testing/letting.
June, I was assigned to her ward and now I was seeing her daily and realising how many times for the day she was bled. How she was often left in her own vomit by the night staff bitch...errr nurses because they didn't want to have to clean her several times in one night. I remember calling one of them over and pointing out that "I can't take blood from her as she lies in a pool of her own vomit so please clean her now so that I can work". Then I stood there and watched as she took her own sweet time to do it because I was cutting in on her sleep time and after all, she calls on me during the night to work not the other way round.
I even cleaned her up myself on occasion because it was just too painful to see. A week ago she took a turn for the better. Started sitting up and crawling in her bed. I took a video on my cell phone because no one who knew her would ever believe me if I told them. She started pulling out her urinary catheter and IV lines. We had to bandage her arms. We took out the NG tube and fed her and she chewed. Now she cried when we took the blood instead of just moaning. Veins started popping up!
Then she spiked and then spiked again. I repeated her blood culture.... No growth. Repeated her urine culture.... No Growth! She then slipped back down to where we knew her. NG tube back in and she was becoming dehydrated. Night staff not feeding her because when they do she vomits. I guess I would too if someone just poured all of my feeds down my throat in one go so they can hurry up and go to sleep.
Friday we typed up a notice that they were to feed her smaller amounts more frequently so that she got the amount of feeds she was to get for the night without overwhelming her system in one go. Saturday morning she died while I went to collect results. They cleaned her up and called the family who live in MoBay, and whom I've not ever seen! They didn't have the bus fare to come to town so we had to tell them over the phone.
Then someone gave the order to put her already wrapped body in a large red bio-hazard bag like she was a piece of f*ing garbage!!!!!
I guess to protect others from her. But who was there to protect her from us?!