Wednesday, March 19, 2008
I should have had a V-8.
A slightly agitated senior citizen comes in with the triage complaint "My blood pressure is high."
Me: Hello, Ma'am, I'm GuitarGirl RN, the triage nurse. What's happening today?
Senior Citizen: My neighbor took my blood pressure and it was high! 178/110! He said I should come right in because I could be having a stroke or something!
Me: Ok, do you have a history of high blood pressure?
SC: My doctor told me I do.
Me: Ok, do you take your medications every day?
SC: I don't have any more. My Medicaid ran out and I have to get more Medicaid. Can someone just give me a few pills?
Me: It's very important to see your doctor regularly and take your medications for your high blood pressure.
SC: I don't even need medication every day! I use something else.
Me: What do you take for your blood pressure now?
SC: V-8 vegetable juice. I have a glass every morning and night.
Me: Ma'am, vegetable juice is very nutritious, but it won't lower your blood pressure all by itself.
SC: (getting agitated) Yes it does! It's low sodium!
Me: It's great that you drink low-sodium juice, but you need to see your doctor and take any medications prescribed every day.
SC: IT LOWERS YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE!! IT SAYS SO ON THE LABEL!!! You think I'm stupid! I know all about this! HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE IS DANGEROUS!!
SC: WHAT IS MY PRESSURE NOW?!?
Me: 186/92. You seem a little upset. Perhaps you should stay and see the doctor; we can give you some medication, and then a prescription for later.
SC: I DON'T HAVE MY MEDICAID! THAT'S WHAT I'M TELLING YOU!!!
Me: I hear what you are saying. Please wait to see the doctor; we will try to help you the best we can, OK?
SC: YOU DON'T KNOW ANYTHING! I'M GOING HOME AND HAVING A GLASS OF JUICE!
Me: Well, all right then.