One thing about being single

. . .is that you learn how to do things on your own. You get used to doing things on your own, and even begin to like it.

Today, for example, I hung wallboard and panelling (not that I like panelling, but I had to match the stuff that was already on the walls). Last weekend, I took down an eight-by-eight-by-two built-out closet that was messin' with the feng shui of the bedroom where I type. Tomorrow I'll bake a couple of pies (home-made crust, thanks) and tape and mud the wallboard in the utility room. I did all of this on my own, except for loading the stuff into the bed of my neighbor's truck today. I'm used to doing stuff on my own. I'm good at it.

Which is how I came to be lying atop a fighting, screaming, thrashing man, holding his wrists with one hand to keep him from punching me and threading an NG tube down his nose with the other hand. I figured I could do it on my own.

After all, I reasoned, with six of Ativan and God only knows how much of Haldol already in his system, he's well sedated. He withdrew to pain thirty seconds before I busted out the KY and the NG tube, so I figured I was good to go.

I was wrong.

As he felt the bed starting to rise, both of his legs went over the bedrail and he started screaming. It was a full-blown, woman-like scream that went on and on and on. Dude could've made a killing in opera, I tell you. I figured that he, like most patients with encephalitis, would stick to the screaming and maybe make a small gesture here and there with one arm.

Again, I was wrong.

He scooted all the way to the end of the bed, got his legs out, and proceeded to try to buck his way out of the situation. Which is why I laid atop a person who had a history of projectile-vomiting blood and punching unsuspecting phlebotomists.

I was very glad to see Figgy, the stocky and strong intensivist, come through the door at a run. Figgy and I managed to get the guy back into the bed and tied down, then ran him down to CT.

It was a long day. I'd give my kingdom (with new wallboard!) for a thousand milligrams of methocarbomol right now.