Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Toothless Fairy

Because I am a nurse in Home Health, I do a lot of driving. To places that I am scared to go alone. From the 'over hills over dells' boonies-away from any sign of civilization to the million dollar high rise with the 10,000 sq ft pent house. I've been everywhere man.

Today was the country mouse's day. I head towards the country from the highway, arrive on graveled streets, which eventually turn into dirt roads, which finally become four-wheel-drive-only accesses. Through the mud. Lots of mud.

After my unintentional Dukes of Hazzard driving tricks, which included spinning out, doing doughnuts, and fish-tailing, all without the song and Bo Duke by my side, I arrive at my patient's house. A tad bit frazzled.

Country mouse is precious. He has had throat cancer and uses a voice stimulator to speak. This device looks like a small flashlight and vibrates so that when held to his throat, allows him to speak. His voice sounds like he is gargling and it takes practice to understand what he is saying. I always feel bad having to have him repeat things because I have no clue what he just said, so I just nod and say something intelligent like,"Uh huh."

I have to document all the "stuff" that requires skilled care of a nurse, so I ask him, "Hey, Bob, what exactly is the name of this?"(pointing to the stimulator). He's hard of hearing, so I have to repeat it. "What do they call these things?" He shrugs his shoulders and hands me the stimulator. I am looking all over it for some name on it because quite frankly, I feel like a complete moron writing, "Voice vibrating thingy" or even the word "Stimulator". Surely to God there has to be a medical name for the damn thing.

As I am turning it over in my hand, he reaches over and flips the switch, which causes it to start vibrating. It startles me and he thinks it's hysterical. He is sitting next to me and throws back his head, opens his toothless mouth and from his tracheostomy hole...he laughs. The sound is that equal to a cat hissing. Hiiiiisssss hiiiss hiss hiss hiss. Hiiiiiiisssss hiiiiissss hiss hiss hiss.

I was taken aback and startled with: A. the sound, B. the realization that I have never heard him laugh before, and C. the fact that he was like 6 inches away from me on the couch. Now when I laugh, sometimes I "snot" out of my nose. Not some gross lugey-ish snot, just the clear stuff. I then D. panicked that poor hysterical toothless Bob was going to snot. On me. Out of his hole.

He is crying laughing by this time, and normally I would be reveling in the fact I made someone crack up, but not at that moment. I lean back as far as I possibly can so that if there is anything shooting out, it doesn't hit me in the face. I know I had the wild-horse-eyes as I am trying to smile and keep an eye on his hole. But he was ugly/cute and I soon laughed too.

So I head back after apparently making my patient's day. The drive from the mud to the dirt road is thankfully uneventful and as I drive from the gravel to the smooth road, still miles away from any sign of life, I see something in the road.

The body of a large black lab lay on the curve of the road, right in the center. I stopped my car and did the, "Awww. Poor dog." Then tried to figure out what my next move would be. I could drive into the ditch to avoid smashing the poor beautiful dog or I could move him to the side so someone barreling around the curve won't squish him. So I get out. I walk over and look down at old Blackie looking so peaceful lying there. No blood. No guts gooshed out of a gaping hole in his abdomen. I bend down to see if I can see broken bones so I can know which legs to grab onto to move him. No bones out of whack anywhere I can see. Must be on the other side, I think. I touched his front and back paw and old Blackie's head pops up. I am so startled (see a pattern here?) that when I jerk back I almost fall backwards. Old Blackie stands and stretches, yawns his toothless yawn, with his butt up in the air. All the while I am standing clutching my chest gasping for air with pee running down my legs. Okay, really I didn't pee, but I could have. Old Blackie was without a doubt old with gray around his eyes and muzzle and he slowly meanders up to me wagging his tail as if to say,"Thanks, lady for not smashing me while I snoozed in the middle of the road."

WOW! I made two toothless beings happy today. It was a good day!

33 comments:

Janie said...

God. I wish I'd been a fly on the wall...

and in the road.

Hilarious!

I bet you do have some stories to tell, chica!

amelia bedelia said...

oh, i can sooo see your face when you were on that couch. your good, sister, i would have gagged. you make all mankind happy. that's why i love you so much.

georgie said...

make that 3 toothless peeps...I kid I kid Debs not really toothless...she has her billy bob teeth
oh and pfffftttt your sister made her way round to my blog and you didnt what i am not good nuff fer ya no more? I see how you roll and I got my stink eye on you girlie

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

I had a crummy day today and stumbled on your blog and got a huge laugh! Thanks for the laughter!

The Mom said...

OMG this line, "Kenneth was going to snot. On me. Out of his hole." ...I could not concentrate on the rest of the post, my belly hurts from laughing!

Amy Amy Bo Bamey said...

Jill you never cease to amaze me. I love your witty self and the fact that I get to laugh at your expense.

Nice to know what a day in the life of Jill is like :)

jill jill bo bill said...

Jen- I actually had to go back and edit that and change his name to Bob. That HIPPA crap ya know....So you read with his real name. So shhhhhhh. It's Bob. K?

Deb said...

Jill. Friend to toothless.

I like it! Really, I do! My mom is a nurse, and I have to say I have always wondered if stuff could come out of a trach hole. Eeew.

Hilarious!

h2ofossil said...

This is the very reason that I love you, girl!

Thanks for my early morning giggle!

Hugs!
Cherry Flannel aka Brown Coffee

Jarrard said...

Sweet mother - I would have been on the road next to old Blackie hoping that I didn't get squished after passing out.

Thank goodness for sweet people like you doing the home healthcare business. It is something I would not be able to do without crying a lot.

Linda S said...

You seem nice...I'm sure your children will treat you with the same dignity when you are old and toothless...

Deb said...

ok, i was eating my chicken breakfast burritto when you starting talking about shit coming out of his trach hole. thanks for the help with my diet Jill... no, really. I wasn't hungry anyway.

Tenakim said...

God- I luv ya! My bday is the 26- but technically she could've been in labor for 2 days in between- so I say, yes, we are twins!

Tiffany said...

Just a good ole girl. Never meanin no harm. haha And I'm so glad to hear that somebody else snots sometimes when they laugh. Not that I do that. pft. And you are the "Toothless Whisperer".

NucMEd is Hot said...

I fear the trach hole, I always have. When I used to to inpatients, I always tried to avoid the trach patients. Jesus the scare the shit out of me, and the snot???? I would simply die!

gingela5 said...

Wow, two shocks in one day. I have to say I admire you for getting out to move the dog. I probably would have been crying (thinking he was dead) and totally avoid the situation!

Misplaced Country Girl said...

I'm not supposed to be reading blogs while working so I try to sneak read them. You almost made me snort out loud and blow my cover. I'm obviously going to have to move you to my read at home list.

Lisa said...

Boy, didnt you have a fabulous day!

Deb said...

Georgie,
I'm not toothless, I just have summer teeth. Sum mer here and sum mer there. It makes it easier to pick the collards out. Who needs toothpicks, dental floss or hell, even toothbrushes. My finger fits in there juuuuusst riiight...

anglophilefootballfanatic.com said...

Holy hell, babe. Where do you find these things? It's like you attract crazy redneck happenings.

Pennies In My Pocket said...

ROTFL -- I snort laugh...and just did! That was too funny.

I love the fact that you made Country Mouse's day. Just think, that may be the only time he has laughed in a long time. :)

~melody~

QueenofPlanetHotflash said...

Retired Home Health nurse here also and your story was great! I have many similar stories :o)

Ronda's Rants said...

Lord ...have mercy...you do have a full day don't you! Gosh...we do need you in Florida..to help with Granny...she just complains of her fat thighs at 91 and 140 lbs ( I might add)!! You are so funny...

Lisa L said...

Hospice nurse here, and omg sista. I feel your pain. I remember being dumbfounded as a nursing student and seeing guys smoking cigs via their trachs. Not a pretty sight. Actually, very surreal to see something like that.

Leslie said...

I cannot express to you how grateful I was that the dog was not hurt or dead. Give me a guy with a hole in his throat anyday.

Kritta22 said...

LOL Oh my goodness! I love it! I'm so glad you aren't old so you didn't have a heart attack!

Insane Mama said...

Whoa. That's all I got.
Freakin hilarious

Kritta22 said...

About my boyfriend, we were in high school when 9/11 happened. Our senior year. We had been dating for two years. We had everything planned. Our marriage, our honeymoon, our future. We were just waiting for us to finish school.
9/11 happened and he flipped. At first he wanted to kill anyone and everyone that wasn't American. Then after he did his 'research' he decided that he didn't like that the government was waiting so long to go to war. He was going over there himself, to kill all of them.
He started freaking out about how there was no God. Somehow he got a gun and starting carrying it everywhere, just waiting for them to hit Marysville!
I couldn't take it. He seriously went nuts. So we broke up. He to this day, is still crazy and paranoid about anyone who isn't white and English speaking.
So there you have to. Just a little story from my past. Crazy huh?

Kgirl said...

OMG....that is classic. I stopped once to remove what I thought was a dead deer and had the thing leep into air. I ran screaming hysterically to my car...I relate!

mommaof4wife2r said...

how many toothless wonders can you have in one day? i am dying laughing here though. so much to say...i'll just stop now!

dana wyzard said...

I am having so many mixed emotions right now that I dare not write!! The tragedies/almost tragedies/trauma that occurred/nearly occurred are messin with my hillbilly brain.

Did that dawg have a white paw?? We've been lookin for Jessy and grandpa for a few days now.

HappyHourSue said...

What a great post! How sweet that you made the old guy crack up. I bet that doesn't happen much in his life these days.

georgie said...

OKAY lil missy i am checkin in on ya...are you and th fam gonna be affected by IKE? let me know cuz i will be worried shitless tll i hear from you!