Archive for September, 2016

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you brought your kitty with you.

September 13, 2016

I had a patient who was CMO and quite obviously very close to dying. The week before, my best buddy-cat Pippin had died (and I was pretty broken up about it, still). That being said… I walked into her room, and she said, “Oh, you brought your kitty with you!” I blink at her and say, “What?” Mind you, this was the first time I’d had that patient and I hadn’t discussed my cat with her, having cats or even liking them. Her reply, “Your kitty. It’s right by your foot.” I get that frisson, that momentary shiver in my soul and ask, just for kicks, “Yeah? What color’s the kitty?” She says, “Black with some white.”

Pippin was a black tuxedo cat with white paws and a white bib. And the patient died that night.

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Satana calling for help.

September 13, 2016

Psychiatric RN here. Absolutely.

My first job was in a small, 35 bed psych hospital in California. It used to be a medical facility where surgeries were performed and, of course, people died.

A couple stories here. First off, when I’d work night shift, I’d sometimes get a phone call from the local police station asking if everything was okay. Sure, everything was fine. All the patients are asleep and it was just a normal night. The police then said that they received a 911 call from our hospital and the extension from where the call was being made was the arts and crafts room (NOBODY goes in there at night, not even staff. It’s always had a creepy vibe and used to be where surgeries were performed). The caller, identifying herself as Satana, was asking for help.

This would happen about once a month or so. Night shift didn’t have much staff, so as supervisor, I knew where all my staff was because I would be the one to help relieve them during breaks. I know with 100% certainty that no staff or patients were the ones calling 911. I know it wasn’t a patient because psych hospital doors are locked and to get to that room, a patient would have to cross 3 barriers of passcode protected doors.

Creepy, right?

At other times, our PA system would turn on randomly, usually after 10PM, and you’d hear breathing and beeping machines (none of our equipment beeped). One time in particular, the PA turned on and you could hear what sounded like a kid speaking but the content of what was said couldn’t be made out. Then it stopped. Then started again and then you could hear what sounded like an outgoing call playing through the PA. This was impossible to do because to activate the PA, you pick up a phone and dial 77. Once you do that, you lose a dial tone and cannot make an outbound call. So anyhow, the PA played an outgoing call for hours, yet not a single phone was ringing in the hospital so we weren’t sure what was happening, let alone how.

It finally stopped around 6AM and our patients were pissed. Imagine trying to fall asleep to that. To this day, nobody knew how that happened and the technician we called out at the time thought we were pranking him.

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the 1970s styled grim reaper.

September 13, 2016

Intensive care nurse here: I have many stories ranging from sheets being ripped apart, to old women in rocking chairs, but the one which ‘haunts’ me is the time I think I actual saw the grim reaper. It was 1999 late in the day, it was summer and turning dark in a busy 12 bedded ITU, in London. I was in charge and at the nurses station, there were a few people milling around, but less than during the day. I looked up to see this man opening and coming through the double doors into the unit. What was so striking about him were his clothes. He looked like he had been picked straight out of 1974 and dropped in 1999. He was wearing brown cord flares, the platform shoes men wore then an orange, yellow and brown check shirt with a cream and brown patterned tank top, over the shirt. He was white with shortish brown hair (not quite 1970’s) and about 30 years old. He walked calmly (like he did this all the time) towards a bay of patients. Not recognising him and knowing he wasn’t a relative of other health care person, I said ‘Hello, can I help?’ He looked at me directly, nodded as if to say ‘Hello’ and carried on walking. I watched him and he stopped at the end of a patients bed and turned to look at them. He never touched the person or do anything other than look at them. This unwell, but stable patient suddenly and unexpectedly deteriorated. As the staff went to assist they all acted like they didn’t see him. He turned round and as calmly as he came in he left. I never saw what direction he went as I left the nurses station to go and help with the patient, who ultimately despite our best efforts died. I spoke to the some of the staff later on about our 1970’s visitor and no-one else saw him. 17 years later it is vivid in my mind.