CHANNILLO
Critical Diversion
By James M. Karns

Series Description:

ANNIE GETS HER WISH

Looking at all the charts with orders on them, I knew I was charge nurse on the wrong night.  After receiving eight admissions to C wing from the emergency room since three 0' clock, I could only wonder what other problems would develop during the course of the night.  "Lisa could you sign out for this pharmacy order so I can send it down?"  I handed her the from and she grabbed it as she rushed past me to start some intravenous fluids on a patient.

"Lonnie I've got to get this IV started on Mr. Moore."  Her short wiry frame and dark hair whizzed past me.  Turning to a stack of patient charts I sighed and pulled one out of the rack with physician orders on it and started to review them for completeness.  But I hadn't reached the second line when I heard a low scratchy voice.

"Let me go!"  Looking over the nurse's desk there appeared the sad eyes of a small elderly woman with long, silver hair and smoky skin.  In all of my twenty years of nursing I had never seen such a peculiar woman.  She couldn't be more than four feet ten inches tall.

"Can I help you?"  I volunteered.

"You can't keep me here!"

Cari Anderson, on of the nurse aides appeared at her side suddenly.  "We found her in the basement headed for the loading dock."

"Who is she?"

"Annie Paxton, the new admit in room five with dementia."

"Don't you people understand?  I've gotta get out of here!"

As I looked her over a thought occurred to me.

"Bring a recliner up to the desk and put her in it, we can watch her better that way.  Oh and Cari, bring a restraint too."

Soon the nurses had parked Annie near the desk, in a recliner, with restraint belt in place.

"I tell you I' leavin this place eh? ...Eh?  You think I'm just a n old woman!  eh? Eh?"

When I came around the desk my six foot frame was towering over her. "We don't want you to wander too far, Mrs. Paxton.  You might get hurt." I could hear her muttering udner her breath as I went back to the charts.  "Lonnie can you help me chang a bed?" Lola, a nurse from the other hallway called over.  "Yeah, be right here."  I went to the room to assist her and position an older man who was incontinent in his bed.  Lola had worked on this unit before she transferred to ICU, but because ICU was empty tonight, she had been floated out to help the A wing staff.  I couldn't help revealing some of my frustration to her.

"That Mrs. Paxton is something else."  "She needs to be in a nursing home, not here."

"I remember having patients liker her all the time when I used to work out here." Lola related in a calm and business-like way.  "Well things haven't changed a whole lot I guess."

"OK, I can get the rest."  Lola responded.

When I got back to the desk, I looked over at Annie's recliner.  It was empty!

"Cari!"  Then I heard the aide calling from the end of the hallway.

"Come here quick!"  When I got to the end of the long hall, I saw Annie in the visitors loungestanding c ompletely naked and smelling of urine.

"Mrs. Paxton, what are you doing down here, and where are your clothes?" She was more agitated than ever.

"You people don't care about me. Eh? Eh?"

Cari stepped up to her with her hands on her hips.

"Mrs. Paxton, if you wander off, you could find yourself out on the street."

The little woman looked up at her in amazement.  "But that's where I live!"

"Mrs. Paxton there's no one out there.  Don't you have any family?"  She shook her head.

"No children?"

"My daughter is dead.  She died in a car accident.  I was hit by a car once too."  She pointed to a scare on her belly.  "My guts just spilled out."

I nodded.  "Any sons?"

"Jus one.  I...killed the other one."  That drew me in closer to her.

"Tell me about it."

She looked at me and sighed.  "Seems like only yesterday.  Jimmy my oldest was fightin' with little Eddie.  Eddie took some money that JImmy had saved for a car, and spent it down at the Yellow Brick Road Casino.  He had some idea that he could double the money and put it back before Jimmy found out.  Jimmy found out though... "That little girdlfreind of his spilled the beans.  She was just fourteen  years old and Jimmy bein' twenty one... He used to take her back to his room and close the door all the time.  No tellin' what they were doin' back there"

"Anyhow, Jimmy came home late one night.  He was drinkin' as usual and he grabbed little Eddie at the top of the stairs. Then he started chokin' hm till he was turnin' blue.  I hollered and hollered at him to stop, but he just said, 'Shut up old lady.'  Then I tried to pull him off.  He swung at me and lost his balance.  All I could do was watch him roll down all those stairs."  The old woman was teary eyed now.  "He died of a broken neck.  I guess I died a little bit myself that day.  The court said it was accidental, and dismissed the case.  Then I lost my job, and the bank came and took my house.  I just started wanderin' after that."

We both sat in silence for a while.  Then Annie broke the silence.  "I just wish I could get away from here."

I leaned over her.  "Just try to get some sleep."  I wnd tot he lounge to start the end of shift report.  When I had finished reporting on the list of patients, I recored on the tape recorder that MRs. Paxton had a rather active evening and was now secure in bed.

Gong out to the nurses' station, the oncoming charge nurse Irene walked up.  "Boy did we have a live wire tonight!"  I volunteered.  I proceeded to tell her of all the antics that had occurred with Mrs. Paxton during the evening.  I finished by sasying, "I think she's finally resting."

Suddenly, one of the night shift aides came up.  "You better come down to room five!"  We hurried down to the room.  When we entered we saw the empty bed and the restraints dangling from the side-rails.  Not only that, but the window was open to the parking lot outside.  I ran to the window and stared out in bewilderment.  On the fence lay a pale blue hosptal gown moving gently in the breeze.  It had been snowing, but around the gown there were no tracks.

Irene stepped up to the window.  "Well, it looks like Annie got her wish."

 

 

Category/Genre(s): Mystery/Thriller, Adult Fiction
Updated: Weekly
Status: Upcoming









Series Description:

ANNIE GETS HER WISH

Looking at all the charts with orders on them, I knew I was charge nurse on the wrong night.  After receiving eight admissions to C wing from the emergency room since three 0' clock, I could only wonder what other problems would develop during the course of the night.  "Lisa could you sign out for this pharmacy order so I can send it down?"  I handed her the from and she grabbed it as she rushed past me to start some intravenous fluids on a patient.

"Lonnie I've got to get this IV started on Mr. Moore."  Her short wiry frame and dark hair whizzed past me.  Turning to a stack of patient charts I sighed and pulled one out of the rack with physician orders on it and started to review them for completeness.  But I hadn't reached the second line when I heard a low scratchy voice.

"Let me go!"  Looking over the nurse's desk there appeared the sad eyes of a small elderly woman with long, silver hair and smoky skin.  In all of my twenty years of nursing I had never seen such a peculiar woman.  She couldn't be more than four feet ten inches tall.

"Can I help you?"  I volunteered.

"You can't keep me here!"

Cari Anderson, on of the nurse aides appeared at her side suddenly.  "We found her in the basement headed for the loading dock."

"Who is she?"

"Annie Paxton, the new admit in room five with dementia."

"Don't you people understand?  I've gotta get out of here!"

As I looked her over a thought occurred to me.

"Bring a recliner up to the desk and put her in it, we can watch her better that way.  Oh and Cari, bring a restraint too."

Soon the nurses had parked Annie near the desk, in a recliner, with restraint belt in place.

"I tell you I' leavin this place eh? ...Eh?  You think I'm just a n old woman!  eh? Eh?"

When I came around the desk my six foot frame was towering over her. "We don't want you to wander too far, Mrs. Paxton.  You might get hurt." I could hear her muttering udner her breath as I went back to the charts.  "Lonnie can you help me chang a bed?" Lola, a nurse from the other hallway called over.  "Yeah, be right here."  I went to the room to assist her and position an older man who was incontinent in his bed.  Lola had worked on this unit before she transferred to ICU, but because ICU was empty tonight, she had been floated out to help the A wing staff.  I couldn't help revealing some of my frustration to her.

"That Mrs. Paxton is something else."  "She needs to be in a nursing home, not here."

"I remember having patients liker her all the time when I used to work out here." Lola related in a calm and business-like way.  "Well things haven't changed a whole lot I guess."

"OK, I can get the rest."  Lola responded.

When I got back to the desk, I looked over at Annie's recliner.  It was empty!

"Cari!"  Then I heard the aide calling from the end of the hallway.

"Come here quick!"  When I got to the end of the long hall, I saw Annie in the visitors loungestanding c ompletely naked and smelling of urine.

"Mrs. Paxton, what are you doing down here, and where are your clothes?" She was more agitated than ever.

"You people don't care about me. Eh? Eh?"

Cari stepped up to her with her hands on her hips.

"Mrs. Paxton, if you wander off, you could find yourself out on the street."

The little woman looked up at her in amazement.  "But that's where I live!"

"Mrs. Paxton there's no one out there.  Don't you have any family?"  She shook her head.

"No children?"

"My daughter is dead.  She died in a car accident.  I was hit by a car once too."  She pointed to a scare on her belly.  "My guts just spilled out."

I nodded.  "Any sons?"

"Jus one.  I...killed the other one."  That drew me in closer to her.

"Tell me about it."

She looked at me and sighed.  "Seems like only yesterday.  Jimmy my oldest was fightin' with little Eddie.  Eddie took some money that JImmy had saved for a car, and spent it down at the Yellow Brick Road Casino.  He had some idea that he could double the money and put it back before Jimmy found out.  Jimmy found out though... "That little girdlfreind of his spilled the beans.  She was just fourteen  years old and Jimmy bein' twenty one... He used to take her back to his room and close the door all the time.  No tellin' what they were doin' back there"

"Anyhow, Jimmy came home late one night.  He was drinkin' as usual and he grabbed little Eddie at the top of the stairs. Then he started chokin' hm till he was turnin' blue.  I hollered and hollered at him to stop, but he just said, 'Shut up old lady.'  Then I tried to pull him off.  He swung at me and lost his balance.  All I could do was watch him roll down all those stairs."  The old woman was teary eyed now.  "He died of a broken neck.  I guess I died a little bit myself that day.  The court said it was accidental, and dismissed the case.  Then I lost my job, and the bank came and took my house.  I just started wanderin' after that."

We both sat in silence for a while.  Then Annie broke the silence.  "I just wish I could get away from here."

I leaned over her.  "Just try to get some sleep."  I wnd tot he lounge to start the end of shift report.  When I had finished reporting on the list of patients, I recored on the tape recorder that MRs. Paxton had a rather active evening and was now secure in bed.

Gong out to the nurses' station, the oncoming charge nurse Irene walked up.  "Boy did we have a live wire tonight!"  I volunteered.  I proceeded to tell her of all the antics that had occurred with Mrs. Paxton during the evening.  I finished by sasying, "I think she's finally resting."

Suddenly, one of the night shift aides came up.  "You better come down to room five!"  We hurried down to the room.  When we entered we saw the empty bed and the restraints dangling from the side-rails.  Not only that, but the window was open to the parking lot outside.  I ran to the window and stared out in bewilderment.  On the fence lay a pale blue hosptal gown moving gently in the breeze.  It had been snowing, but around the gown there were no tracks.

Irene stepped up to the window.  "Well, it looks like Annie got her wish."

 

 

Category/Genre(s): Mystery/Thriller, Adult Fiction
Updated: Weekly
Status: Upcoming