Jul 25, 2006

Insomnia, Stress, Anxiety

I called in sick for my first time as an RN yesterday. Luckily since I'm still on orientation (Not officially taking my own patients yet ALONE) nobody missed me. I still let them know I wasn't coming.

The reason I called in sick was because I had a terrible bout of insomnia Sunday night. I was literally up and down, side to side all night. W
hen 4:30 am rolled around...The time I get up for work....And I had accumatively gotten maybe an hour's sleep, It was time to call in.

I could list a dozen reasons for my stress induced ails Sunday night but I don't want to whine too much in this post.

I've always been one to handle mental stress pretty well IN MY HEAD. My physical body seems to suffer from it and it's not until I've reached the Hindsight 20/20 phase that I realize what the cause of the ailments were.

My boss says I'm off orientation next week IF I feel ready. I told her I wasn't sure. 4-8 weeks is usual for most new grads on my floor. I'm in my 4th week this week. I've taken 4 patients max. Our day nurses get 5- 6 (rarely 7). I'm going to take 4 patients tomorrow....and 5 Thurs and Friday.To see how I feel about it.

I can say, I do like being with someone else...Having 4 hands...Someone to consult. I should enjoy it now while it lasts, right?

But....I'm bored. 3-4 patients isn't enough to keep me completely busy (depending on the patients of course...Sometimes it only takes one difficult patient to keep you runnin')

So I think I may go ahead and cut the boss's apron strings next week. We'll see.

Since we're talkin' about Stress.... Here's a story.

Patient is in good spirits. In for an Acute illness, entirely treatable. History of Anxiety and Depression. Medicated with Zoloft and claims it is managed well but her dosage is less in the hospital then what she is used to.

She tells MD she feels fine but would like to talk to someone about her anxiety and wants to talk to Psych. MD says OK and calls a consult. 30 minutes later BRAND NEW GRADUATE Social Worker walks in to discuss funding and follow up. Patient sees this as an opportunity to open up and "Talk to someone". Social Worker sits and listens to her woes. (Keep in mind I'm in there messing with the IV for most of the conversation)
Patient makes HUGE mistake by saying " Sometimes I wish I could just stick a knife in my head to stop the pain" in reference to the anxiety related headaches. She follows that up with " But I would never do anything to hurt myself" seeing the expression on the SW's face.
SW leaves room and asks me if I heard all that. I say "yes, sounds like she's frustrated with her illness and she has some anxiety issues."
Also....keep in mind......everytime I asked how she was doing during the shift she responded with "I'm Blessed."

Then I go to Lunch.

When I come back from Lunch I find out my patient is freaking out because the SW won't let her leave the room and has called the MD to get a 24 hour sitter on her for Suicide Ideation.
I calm patient down. Call the MD and express my feelings about what I heard and actually told the MD that I thought the SW over-reacted. MD says she agrees with me (She had met with patient that AM) but just to be safe, sitter can stay until Psych team comes.
Fortunately, Psych team came fast and discontinued the sitter promptly.
Pt has less anxiety by end of shift and the new SW is not making new friends easily.

Listening to: "Lonestar" by Norah Jones


At 23:15, Anonymous Anonymous said...

anxiety is never fun, and leads to so much insomnia for myself as well. although these last few days have seen me too exhausted to be anxious about anything, so i've been getting some good sleep out of it ;) that's what you need is 8 hours running around on the beach with your daughter :)

At 01:11, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I think anxiety will keep me awake, I take a melatonin tablet to help me sleep. Or a Tylenol PM.

But there have been times where I have to get up early for work and only sleep 1-2 hrs. I just drink coffee prn and psych myself out throughout the day.

At 20:53, Blogger Unemployed Nurse Jack said...

I hope what's nagging you works out soon, Jo. Insomnia wrecks me, too. Juggling job and child is hard to do after a night of no sleep.

Here's hoping you're catching some zzzzzzz's as I write this.

At 07:51, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stress and anxiety leads to insomnia. Seacost and evening swimming is the best way to get read of it. I know it by own experience.


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