Monday, November 15, 2004

This Little Piggy....

…wasn’t supposed to do that!!

My first job in a doctor’s office was with a double board certified internist/endocrinologist. A highly intelligent woman. I learned so much working with her. She remains my Mother’s physician to this day.

We saw many diabetic patients. Part of their exam included a thorough check of the feet. The rule was if the patient was diabetic, their shoes and socks needed to be off before the doctor came in to see them. I was rooming a middle aged diabetic woman in a wheel chair. Her main caretaker was her husband who seemed to be quite attentive. We got the patient onto the exam table together and he removed her sweater. I asked if he could also remove her shoes and socks and I was headed out the door. He said he would prefer it if I removed them. So I came back into the room and removed her shoes and then her left sock first. I have a quirky way of removing other’s socks. I will pull the sock off over the heel and bunch it up at the toes, then grab the toe portion of the sock and yank it off in one swift motion. As I was pulling off the right sock, I noticed 2 things. The first was that I have something else in my fingers besides the sock and the second was the smell of rotted flesh. The reason the husband did not want to remove her shoes and socks was because she had a gangrenous toe which I had just proceeded to amputate while pulling off her sock.

It all seemed to happen so slowly. I panicked and with the sock and TOE still in my hand backed out of the room and nearly ran over the Doctor. She looked at me and asked what was wrong. I told her I pulled the patient’s toe off and she needed to excuse me while I went to loose my breakfast. She took the sock and toe and rushed into the room.

I will never forget that day. I felt horrible about the lady’s toe. The Doctor spent the better part of that day trying to convince me that the patient’s toe was barely hanging on. Although I was told how not to remove patient’s socks from that day forward. I am happy to report that I have not repeated that mistake an hopefully never will.


Anonymous said...

Oh my God, you poor poor thing.

- Jo

HotForSimon said...

Ewww!!!! I thought you were gonna say her nail came off or something, not her whole TOE!!! Geez!!! EWWWW!!!!!

This little piggy...that was hysterical!!!

Hey, guess what?? We got new neighbors, AGAIN!!! I saw the ryder truck pulling away when I got home today.