Nurse Britty

My DH has pneumonia at the moment.  I would say I was worried, except that he tends to get a bout of it at least once per year, normally during Football Season when he is required to be out on a misty football pitch on Friday evenings in the fall.  I have no idea why he has come down with it in the Spring but it is what it is.

His doctor has been treating him with antibiotics both in tablet form and via IV.   Of course that meant that this weekend he came home with a large paper bag full of IV treatments for use over the weekend.   I had already spoken to his nurse and said that I was fine doing the IV treatments because, you know, in a conversation over the phone it sounded like an easy thing to do.  She assured me that she would provide very specific written instructions and that if I had any problems I could call her on her cell phone at any time.

So, yesterday, after breakfast, I laid out all the bits and bobs and swabs and needles and various other and sundry stuff and began to read the instructions.  I read them twice, then just to be sure, I read them again.   After DH was settled into his recliner I began following the instructions to the letter, at which point I noticed a tiny air bubble in the IV line going from his arm, that was there before I even began to do anything.

Now I don’t know about you but everything I know about IV lines was learned at the movies, and I know, from my experience of watching said movies, is that the surest way for spies to kill someone is to inject an air bubble into an IV line and it will kill the victim instantly.  Dead.  On the spot.   So there was I looking at an air bubble in an IV line and immediately thinking that I was about to murder my husband.  To be honest with you I would have been happier if someone had just left a message on the answering machine saying “there is a bomb in your house, you are all going to die”.

I immediately called his nurse and said “OMG OMG OMG there is an AIR BUBBLE” thinking about it I am sure his nurse heard “OMG OMG OMG there is Triffid the size of Eastern NC in the air line” because I probably made about as much sense.  She assured me that it was nothing to worry about and patiently explained to me the amount of air that would need to be in an IV line to do any damage.

I then followed the rest of the instructions with a cautionary “keep an eye on it” to the DH to ensure that the line never went dry.  I then went on to do laundry and whatever else it is I do at the weekends when I heard a plaintiff “honey I screwed up!”  The IV bag was empty and half of the line was dry.  “Great” I thought to myself, now I have to figure out how to get fluid into an airtight line tomorrow.

Fast forward 24 hours, I follow the instructions yet again and end up with a huge amount of air bubbles in the line.  I figured if one could kill someone then dozens would kill them dozens of times.  At this point I suddenly had the light bulb above the head moment, you know the one, where you smack yourself on the forehead and go “duh”.  My next door neighbor is a nurse, having been a Navy Corpsman in a prior life.  I called his wife and asked him if he was home, she said he was, and cleaning out his truck.

I wandered across the yard, IV bag and lines in hand and stood there like a pathetic waif, he kindly explained everything to me, including the fact that my spy killing someone with a single air bubble in an IV scenario was, you know, fiction.  He showed me how to dislodge the bubbles (who could have known that it was as simple as flicking the damn bubble with your fingers) explained the whole flushing the lines to me and ended with saying “just let me know if you have any problems, I’ll come over and do it” (which short of locking Cueball up into a secure facility is not a possibility).

So second day of Britty being a nurse went well, I managed NOT to kill my DH, which is always a good thing, and so far he appears to be getting better.  However, if they ever send him home with a do-it-yourself surgery kit with instructions “slice at the point under the third rib” I am quitting.

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