Sunday, November 18, 2007

Speaking of kids and drugs...

This weekend was a busy one at work. This weekend I loved my job. These two statements are somewhat sononymous (can something be somewhat sononymous?), as my job satisfaction is directly related to:
#1, My partner's social skills
#2, The type of calls we get
#3, How tired I am
#4, How much overtime I have had to do recently.

A repeated theme this weekend was kids and drugs. One patient was 14~his friends called 9-1-1 with his name and age, and then left him on the steps of the elementary school and took off. Way to pick your friends, Jim *name obviously changed.* He was SO drunk that his coma score was the same as a dead person's (3/15) and he felt no pain. He did not respond at ALL. He's lucky he didn't choke to death on his own vomit. The longer I do this job the less weight and meaning there is for me in the word 'lucky,' as generally luck "good fortune; advantage or success, considered as the result of chance (" seems less and less likely, and providence "a manifestation of divine care or direction (" or sheer randomness to be closer to the truth.
Anyways, after skating on his vomit and loudly swearing about it, making my partner and the police officers in attendance laugh, I wrapped his puke soaked body in a blanket and we hauled him into the ambulance for a better assessment. He weighed so little. He WAS so little-only 14! He was hypothermic, had dangerously low blood pressure, and marginally low blood sugar. He also vomited and aspirated (breathed in) his vomit, right in front of us (he was on his side to prevent this but flung his head back as he puked, poor 'luck'), requiring aggressive suctioning and likely resulting in infection. I started an IV first try (yay me!) and gave him a fluid bolus.
At the hospital he got the full meal deal: stripped naked, rectal temperature, foley catheter, arterial blood gases, all the indignities.
He's not responsible enough to vote, drive, buy alcohol, or live alone. What the hell is he doing on the stairs of the elementary school so drunk he's almost dead?

Another one of my young patients (16 this time) triggered a seizure disorder which she will live with for the rest of her life by taking some of that lovely crystal meth we all know about, and a date rape drug frequently used by ravers. Why one would voluntarily take a date rape drug is beyond me, but there you go. It's not me.

One of my friends was raped three years ago with the use of a date rape drug. She was 6 weeks pregnant at the time. Isn't it a lovely world we live in?

Actually, it is a lovely world we live in. It's us who are not always so lovely to each other.

Should I chain my kids to my house to prevent them from making stupid choices? Really, what's a little psycosis induced by whacked out parenting when compared to near death experiences brought on by substance abuse?


Roboseyo said...

for some of the shiny stuff, look there.

the problem is, locking your kid into your house until they move out won't prevent anything, because the moment they move out, they'll go "Hey, Mom was so crazy all the time we grew up. . . I bet that crystal meth stuff she always ranted about isn't actually as bad as all that. . . in fact I think I need to try it out, partly to spite her for locking me in the house until I was 18, and partly because by making that The Thing That's Off Limits, I now define my personal freedom in relation to it." Like the Dutch Reformed Church kid who moves out, never wears a skirt again, and swears a lot because mom made her wash the dishes if she said anything worse than 'poo'

I'm not sure what IS the right way to go about it all . . . how'd your parents raise you into a centered, smart human being?

Sara, Leigh, and Kaleb said...

I couldn't agree more. My mom informed me about drugs and never made me feel like if I did them I would be the biggest disappointment in her life. She also honestly talked to me about her own drug use and my step dad's too much drug use. Somehow having seen the negative side of drugs first hand at a young age and growing up in an environment where we talked about them, it turned me off drugs completely and I can proudly say at 30 (yikes) I've never ingested, smoked or snorted any kind of drug.

I know that doesn't work for every family but being honest rarely hurts anyone.