COLUMBUS, OH – Last week a patient at University Hospital performed a feat so incredible, so difficult, that she has earned the distinction of being the world’s most stubborn smoker. Mrs. Carol Hansel of Columbus, Ohio suffers from severe cardiomyopathy. Last Thursday she had an LVAD placed under general anesthesia and went to the CICU to recover.
Hansel, who had been an avid fan of cigarettes, immediately demanded to go outside and smoke upon extubation. Her nurse, Denise Winslow, declined to take her outside and reminded her that smoking was why she ended up there in the first place. But Hansel knew her rights and in spite of 50 lbs. of equipment, she decided to go outside anyways.
Hansel, who had 3 IV pumps, 1 LVAD, 1 SCD machine and a Foley bag made her way gingerly to the elevator. She pressed the button and awaited arrival of the elevator. When it arrived, she enlisted the help of a nearby gentleman to hold the door open while she took 3 minutes to board the elevator.
She rolled her pole with IV pumps into the elevator careful to not let it tip when passing over the gap. She lifted her LVAD with perfect body mechanics and set it down, she then grabbed her Foley bag with the pinky of one hand and put the Foley handle in her teeth. The other hand gathered chords and tubing to make sure nothing was caught. She held the SCD machine handle in left pinky and draped the SCD cord over her shoulder. She used her left elbow to push the button for the ground floor.
When the elevator hit the ground floor, she carefully repeated the process in the opposite direction. She made her way slowly out to the smoking area and sat down. After a large sigh, she took out her Camels and had a nice long, well-deserved smoke. Passers by gawked at all her equipment.
Upon returning to her room, she immediately pressed the call button and asked for a bedpan to have a bowel movement because there was no way she would be able to get to the toilet with all that equipment.