Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Nurse Kristin

Ha, that'll be the day. Everyone keeps saying I should go to nursing school with everything that I do here with Clark. I think they mean I SHOULD go to nursing school because I have no idea what I'm doing! I can't believe some of the things they allow me to do. I really don't do that much but with the training I've had - NONE - it sometimes gets a little scary for me and Clark.

Clark is on two different IV antibiotics right now. One is for the CMV and the other is for the organism in his urine. He receives one twice a day and the other three times a day so he is on IV 8 hours out of the day. One of them is pretty harsh and gives him pain in his shoulder as it goes in, his eyes sting and get blurry, and it has killed his appetite. Someone made a lot of money by inventing a way to administer IVs at home. It is premeasured in a little bulb that I hook up to his pick line and it goes in on it's own. I don't know how he does it but Clark has figured out how to do it himself if needed. He was coming home from infusion one day when it was time to hook up. He pulled off into a Taco Bell parking lot and started "shooting up." He said he got a lot of weird looks from passer-bys and was just waiting for the cops to show up.

I have always had a paranoia of getting air in the veins. I think it started when I would watch my dad give shots and asked him why he has to flick the syringe and squirt some out the top. He must have answered something like "if you get even one air bubble in your veins you will die!" That stuck with me and I think about it every time I get a shot or when I would donate plasma. I'm not afraid of needles but I'm afraid of air! Clark has a pick line in his arm to draw and administer from so he doesn't have to get poked every time. Even in the hospitals there are only certain people who can use Clark's pick line so when I found out that I was going to be using it at home I was a little intimidated. It's really easy but then there's the air. I was aspirating the heparin from his line one night and when I drew back on the syringe, nothing came. Clark looked down and said, "Oh, look at those air bubbles in my line." I froze! I didn't know what to do. I couldn't keep drawing because nothing was coming out, yet I couldn't push anything through because the air would go straight in and kill him. Clark laughed at me (Clark laughs when he's nervous) and I just sat there holding the syringe making sure not to push or pull. Clark said, "You have to push it through. There's nothing else you can do." He tried to be comforting by telling me that all the nurses say it takes a lot of air to kill someone. How much is a lot? I freaked and told him I couldn't do it. He said he would do it himself if I just hooked it up. Taking a deep breath and looking away, I pushed the saline back through and guess what, Clark is still alive today.

Next challenge - giving a shot. Clark receives a Neupogen shot which boosts his white blood cell count. He was getting it at the hospital but since they want all his levels way up, they sent three doses to be administered at home. I have never given a shot before except to a cat. Clark was pretty nervous and coached me on how to do it. I think I was more nervous than he was but tried not to let on to him. This is a painful shot even when a nurse gives it so I didn't want to add to that pain by doing something wrong. Clark said you can't go slow, you have to go fast but not to jab it in. We went back and forth for a few minutes before I finally jabbed it in when he wasn't expecting it. I surprised myself. He said it hurt, but only just as bad as usual. The next night went much better. I hope I don't have to get used to it though. The video isn't the best quality, it's dark and you can't see faces, but you can still hear us.

Those are my two horror stories so far. Not hoping to add to the list.

Turn off the music at the bottom of the page before clicking play!


Stephen said...

Ouch! Man, Kristin, you're awesome. And Clark?, I don't know how you do it. You sound good though. Love you.

April said...

UGH! Good job, you guys. I was all nervous just watching!

Anonymous said...

You guys made me nervous just watching this! It was good to hear your voice tho Clark!

Michelle Brotzel

andrea said...

Ahhhh! I'd be freaking out!

heidi said...

Kristin, way to just go for it! I was nervous right along with you guys. Clark you sound great, it is good to hear your voice. Keep it up, your doing great, you have a strong spirit, the Lord won't give you anything you can't handle. Love you both!
Heidi Reveillac/Bartlett

Ashley Blanchard said...

oh, my goodness! This is going to sound terrible. but i laughed my head off the way you guys were grabbing clark's skin!! I was also nervous waiting for you to just get the shot over with. ooh man. The things you have to go through. even though it was a nervous laugh it was still great to hear you laugh!