It must be a terrifying experience for a 19 year old to crossover to the “grown up” world for the first time! Well I mean.. be in an infusion center for adults for the first time receiving an infusion that he has received at the children’s clinic since he was 2. Now, this young man is transitioning over to an “adult” physician and will now begin to get his infusions at our “adult” infusion center.
Of course, I was the lucky nurse assigned to give his infusions. Although, we were given a “head up” about his arrival, I didn’t realize this was the patient they were referring to. Shortly after our introductions, I showed him where to find snacks and the bathroom at the infusion center and asked who came with him. To which he replied, “I drove myself”. (He means: I dont need my mom, I’m an adult!! – My thoughts: ok, I was just asking!)
As I was about to assess his arms for vein, I noticed an area on the back of his left hand where he has previously applied “LMX” cream and covered it with a transparent dressing. When he saw me look at it, he replied “I already found a vein for you and applied the numbing medicine”.(His thoughts: I’m in control here !! – My thoughts: OMG! what if I miss the vein?) Lucky for me, I got it on the first stick and I became his instant BFF!!
He had orders for Tylenol as premedication. I took the tablets from Pyxis and asked him what he wanted to drink to take the tablets. He replied: “I don’t take tablets – I only take the liquid form and I brought it with me!” (My thought: I’m so glad because we don’t have liquid Tylenol in Pyxis!) So with just plain water, down goes the cherry flavor liquid Children’s Tylenol!!
As we always do, two nurses checked the patient’s ID and the meds prior to start of infusion. After that was done and I was about to hang the IV bag, he asked to see the label. I dutifully showed him and after he read the label, he affixed a “smiley” sticker to the label and said to me, “Ok, you can start the infusion”. (My thought: cute!)
He had a long infusion that day but was very well prepared for it with the array of “electronics” he had with him. Many of the other adult patients were very impressed and several tried to engage him in a conversation to which he politely smiled then focused back to his laptop screen.
It was such a delight to be his nurse for the day. He is indeed young but certainly well experienced with his care. Perhaps being ill at an early age and having a chronic illness have prepared him well. Good luck kid! I have no doubt you will do well in the real “adult world”…