Monday, November 16, 2009


A few weeks ago, I admitted a nice lady with a nose bleed. Her nose was packed to stop the bleeding in the ED. We carried on a nice conversation as I conducted the admission interview. Nothing overly strenous for her, but we did talk about her medical history and all that. She answered in complete sentences. About 3:30 a.m. I went into her room to take another set of vital signs. As I prepared to leave the room this conversation ensued:

Me: "If you need anything else just give me a call!"

Her: "Pee."

Me: "Excuse me?"

Her: "Pee!"

Me: "Do you need to use the bathroom?"

Her: {nods head}

Me: {I go and find a bedside commode, she uses it and I empty the bucket}

Her: "Dry." {Holding an empty water cup towards me.}

Me: "Excuse me?"

Her: "Dry!"

Me: "Do you need more water?"

Her: {Nods head}

I am not sure why she was speaking in one-word sentences but for a couple hours she did. By morning she was back to expressing complete thoughts.


  1. That's puzzling. A little sundowners? Something neuro going on? Any other deficits? Strange...

  2. No other deficits at all. And she was fine by morning. Either she was sleepy or getting a little lazy? I had another patient do the same thing to me a few shifts later. Perfectly capable of making complete sentences, just chose not to.

  3. Yeah...I was wondering if it was a TIA, but it's common for old folks to get a little off at night.

  4. I remember my Psychiatric Nursing professor telling me that when we are in crisis situation, usually when we're ill, we "regress" back to our child-like behaviors... (i.e. asking for chicken noodle soup because mom always makes it for you when you're sick...)