Will A Stone Float On Water?

I told the little story about a postop nurse asking me a CAM-ICU question (Will a stone float on water?) after I got back to the recovery room following my retinal detachment surgery last week. I got that one right by answering “No.” But for a split second—I had to think about it.

Sena was there and remembers the nurse also asking me if I knew the day of the week. I don’t remember that question, although Sena says I got it right.

I think I was a little hazy and probably was less than fully attentive because I got some sedation during the procedure (thank goodness).

Sena found a couple of videos that challenge the notion that the answer to the question about whether or not a stone floats on water has an obvious answer. It turns out that it all depends—on what kind of rock we’re talking about and whether a scientist is answering the question.

The CAM-ICU questions about thought disorganization have been outlined thoroughly, as in the picture below:

They’re in section 4: Disorganized Thinking, where you’ll see the question, “Will a stone float on water?” and others. According to the directions, you could make one “error” here and be judged not delirious.

Sena found a couple of YouTube videos that showed some rocks will, in fact, float on water. Volcanic rocks like pumice will float.

And then there are scientists like Neil deGrasse Tyson who can talk circles around you about this issue of why some kinds of rocks can float under certain conditions.

I think I was mildly delirious. But everybody took really good care of me.

Author: James Amos

I'm a retired consult-liaison psychiatrist. I navigated the path in a phased retirement program through the hospital where I was employed. I was fully retired as of June 30, 2020. This blog chronicles my journey.

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