Saturday, January 16, 2010

I was THAT kind of little kid

Over this past break, I got to perform TWO (TWO!) whole medical procedures BY MYSELF. Why? you might ask, would ANYONE let an unlicensed nursing student perform a medical procedure on them? Well, because my father hates going to doctors (45 minutes each way in travel time, and he claims they "never do him any good anyway").

When I got home for winter break, dad was complaining of severe ear pain, with loss of hearing, consistent with cerumen impaction. In other words, his habit of wearing wax earplugs at night had jammed lots of earwax together, and it was stuck deep in his ear. I knew this, HE knew this, and the doctor to whom he reluctantly dragged himself could see it with the otoscope. But this VERY new doctor had never actually TREATED a cerumen impaction by himself before, and didn't have the cool little wire tool used to dig them out of ears...but he did try. He told dad to get some Debrox, use if for 4 days, then come back and he'd try again.

It's really hard to put Debrox in your own ears though, due to head tilting, and the severe vertigo that can come from putting water in your ear...so I did it for him for two days. On the second day I was curious about something: Debrox is really diluted hydrogen peroxide, which is a liquid that bubbles. The ear canal can be straightened, by manipulating the pinna (outer ear)...ergo...I started playing with the ear, while instilling the Debrox, and squirting the ear canal with the bulb syringe (WARM water, thankyouverymuch)...when lo and behold...

THE BIGGEST MOST DISGUSTING THING I HAVE EVER SEEN IN AN EAR SURFACED!

Seriously, it was huge, like the size of several cashews. I have no idea how it fit down there. "EW!" I yelled, rather triumphantly, immediately hiding the thing from dad, who gets REALLY grossed out. "I GOT IT!" Dad cancelled his follow-up appointment, and has been telling everyone that I "might make a decent nurse practitioner someday".

I also got to give him his flu shot, the first he has ever consented to receive. My parents are so supportive they let me practice on THEM. :-D

2 comments:

Christine said...

My 15 y/o son came to be a while back and was complaining about his ear being blocked... so I got out the trusty pen light and could see the impaction,I just couldn't reach it.. So out comes the peroxide and the warm water with my irragation syringe and flush... " Wow Mom you actually learned something in school, like a real nurse"

little d, S.N. said...

Ouch! "real nurse" indeed. I thought that was just what WE called "RN"s from our lowly student perspective, as in: Patient: are you my nurse?
Me: no, your Real Nurse will be in shortly.