Monday, June 9, 2008

Life's little drain plug

I had a patient a while back that was a frequent flier with COPD. You know the type; non-compliant with his meds, smokes 2 packs a day, and calls EMS when he's about a second from intubation.

His only redeeming feature? The HUGE ball of belly button lint that increased in size every time we saw him. I'm talking massive. And blue.

Every time we'd wrestle him out of his sweat-soaked shirt, it would catch our eyes.

Soon it became a contest.

"I'll bring you lunch next shift if you take it out."

"I'll do all your pelvic exams for a shift if you take it out."

"I'll do all your guiacs for a shift if you take it out."

"I'll do your next Code Brown if you take it out."

My response was always, "No way. It's prolly the only thing keeping him alive!"

One day, another, less superstitious, nurse pulled out his ball of lint.

Two days later he came in via EMS in full arrest.

I think that I was right.

Never, ever touch the belly button lint.

It's as sacred as the protective coating of filth.

10 comments:

LadyBugCrossing said...

um... eeewww!!!

girlvet said...

amen sister

Nurse K said...

If the plug is pulled, the patient starts circling the drain.

Duhr.

Penelope said...

I don't even want to know what a "code brown" is. . .

Karen

RNRochelle said...

She pulled the plug!!! Hope she checked his advance directives before she did so . . .

GuitarGirlRN said...

DUDE! (..errrr, dudette)

It's not the protective coating. It's the PLUG!

When I cleaned that stinky guy who ended up dead, I dug a wad of crap out of his belly button that looked like a hockey puck.

THAT'S what did it!

Beware the plug!

Elaine said...

I did that once (though it was "eased slowly and carefully" rather than "pulled")

CrankyProf said...

I'm going to go take a long, hot shower, and scrub three layers of my dermis off. GAH!

Barbara Martin said...

I loved the punch line.

Anonymous said...

I've looked and I never have anything at all in my bellybutton!