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Baby bummer! January 22, 2008

Posted by 5 Wester in General Announcements.
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croppedbaby.jpgHow do you take care of a 33 y/o baby? Beats me! Thus was my experience one evening while on duty.

I had the privilege of caring for this gentleman who came to the ER because of weakness, nausea, and vomiting blood—typical GI bleed caused by a history of PUD. Halfway through his 1st unit of PRBC he complained of “itching all over”. No visible urticaria found, just scratch marks by his beltline on his back. After stopping the transfusion I urged him to relax while I called the doctor. He was getting verbally abusive at that point. I kept my cool. You have no idea!

Thankfully the doctor came and saw him that night. He ordered a bunch of stuff, among which was Ativan 1mg to calm his nerves. I asked the patient if he had Ativan before and he said yes. He told me he had episodes of anxiety with unknown cause. I gave him the Ativan against my better judgement. If there’s anything I’ve learned about Ativan, it’s that it usually does more harm than good. I though this stuff will put you to sleep, unfortunately for me, my patient reacted the total opposite. He was rowdy all night to the point I had to have family come sit with him in hopes that a familiar face would relax him somewhat. I soon realize that it was more than the Ativan that caused this bizzare, child-like behavior.

As the mother came in the room her eyes started to swell up with tears and with a tone of despair, as if to see a dying person, she calls out to him, “Mijo, mommy is here”. A few minutes later, the wife comes in. Same thing. I’m beginning to think that the Ativan amplified what was already there. They treat him like a baby, and that’s how he’s been acting, even before the Ativan. How do you deal with a man that cries like a baby, balling, behaving like such, short of sucking his thumb? If you haven’t seen regression, there is no better picture… this was regression in all its grandeur! In fact, regression is an understatement. C’mon, how would you react if you entered the room seeing his wife rub his cheek saying, “kootchy, kootchy, koo”. I almost threw  up.

I come back the following day and was pleased (yeah right) to find out he’s still my patient. At least report time is cut in half since all you need to ask is “what’s new?”. Fortunatey the Ativan is out of his system, although somewhat of a brat, he’s a lot better now. Xanax seem to do the trick. Nevertheless, no amount of medication can undo the years of maladaptive behavioral “development”. It amazes me that this 33 y/o, father of 4 turns out to be a supervisor for a local ambulance transport company. Frankly, with this kind of behavior, I’m surprised he is. After he had calmed down at the height of his bizzare child-like episode, his mother comes to me and apologizes for her son’s behavior. I told her, “you don’t have to apologize, he’s 33 years old and an adult, he is responsible for his own actions.” Frankly I think he needs a full psychiatric evaluation, maybe some Depakote or maintenance Xanax, or maybe just to change jobs and avoid too much “stress”. Bottom line, moms… stop treating your kids, adult kids, like babies!

Ever since I can remember, my mom called me “honey boy” when I was a kid. Thirty five years later she still does. To mothers, their children will always be their babies, no matter how old they get… even at 90 and losing all your teeth. But c’mon, we need to learn to let go and treat them like adults. I’ve been way for more than 12 years now since I’ve come to America, and looking back I can see how my mother raised me to become an independent adult. She celebrated the progress me and my brothers made towards adulthood and independence. She wasn’t hesitant to give us the belt, a good whacking in the behind, if we started acting inappropriately. She didn’t raise brats. Now that I have kids, I’d be doing the same thing. I’m blessed to have a wife that feels the same way I do about raising kids. You treat them according to their age. You nurture them and show them the way. You allow them to make mistakes and learn from them. You don’t shield them, you don’t pamper them, you don’t give them what they want ALL THE TIME, and most of all, you don’t rub their check at 33 years old and say, “kootchy, kootchy, koo”… and that goes for wives and girlfriends too!

Happy New Year! January 1, 2008

Posted by 5 Wester in General Announcements.
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Another year has past and a new one has begun!

This was a scene from our home new year’s eve. Kids playing on the driveway, moon-jumpin’, sparklers sparklin’, and rockets a flyin’ as we met the new year with a bang! The neighborhood was fairly quiet except for our house. We made so much noise that you can hear it from miles away. Obviously I’m exaggerating 🙂 , but we did have a blast. See that roman candle? It almost burned the neighbor’s house down (just kidding!). One of my guests brought in the fireworks, and I made sure that everyone was safe. It was fun… until the cleanup! 😦

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I remember New Years way back in the Philippines growing up. You could hear it from miles away, the sound of fireworks coming to a “boil” so to speak reaching its climax at the stroke of midnight. I’m not quite sure where the Filipinos got this tradition from. I’m guessing we got it from the Chinese. To scare the evil spirits away with a loud noise, the Chinese would light up firecrackers, a tradition that continues to this day. I’d like to think about it as making a loud noise to our Lord, the One who gives what we need through out the year, and through the years to come. Looking back I can say, that despite all the ups and downs, we still end up on the up side. The Lord has been really good to us, and despite being a failure or being rebellious at times, He is still merciful and kind to show us how much He loves us. We are truly blessed.

As we welcome the new year, I’d like to invite you to look back and reflect on the blessings the Lord has given us throughout the year. I’m sure like me, most of you had experienced challenging times. Sometimes we even feel like the tough times wouldn’t end. Do not fret my friend, you are not alone. Even if the future looks unclear right now I know one thing’s for sure… our God will see us through! All we need to do is put our trust in Him. In this ever changing world, living in uncertain times, He is the solid rock on which we can stand. So to you my friends, Happy New Year and May the good Lord bless you and your family as we face the year together!