Sunday, January 27, 2008

Introducing the 'Uglies' - part 1

I wanted to get this started so I can completely put them out of my mind. I share my experiences to enlighten people and certainly not to start a debate. Please do not contact me and try to explain 'their point of view'.

I encountered the worst nurse ever while I was in the hospital. Actually, there were several that were bad and I am going to roll them all into one and simply call her Idiot Nurse so you know what to look out for should you ever be a patient. I complained to the responsible parties and feel confident that I was heard, so I'm done with it.

Comments/situations which caused serious panic attacks, major tears, and severe lack of confidence in the care I was receiving:

Ten hours after surgery I woke up in CCU. Idiot Nurse saw me and asked how I was doing. I told her I was very uncomfortable. Her response: 'You don't look uncomfortable to me. You've got to expect some pain when you get a tummy tuck.'

Minutes later Dr. K came in to check on me while the nurse was still there. He mentioned that it was very important to keep the pain under control today. She said she was planning on giving me a pill shortly. He told me he wanted it administered via IV since it hits the system quicker. She disagreed and said pills were better since they lasted longer. When he walked out the room she gave me half a pill and said if I was still in pain after a half hour to buzz her and she'd give me the other half.

One thing I need to note right now, the nurse the night before was FANTASTIC! When she gave me the first dose of pain meds I reminded her that I had bad reactions to Percocet in the past, so I couldn't take it. I also mentioned it in my pre-admission paperwork.

Less than a half hour after the first pill, I started to feel even worse. I buzzed the nurse who finally showed up 30 minutes later and said it was obvious that she was going to have to give me something for my anxiety. I told her I still felt terrible so she gave me the other half of the pill. Then she mentioned that the other Percocet should kick in quickly. I was shocked and told her that I wasn't supposed to take Percocet. She said: 'No you didn't, you told me that you couldn't take Vicodin.' There was no arguing with that idiot.

I started getting nauseous and my head was spinning. The first time I took Percocet years ago I felt suicidal. It did weird things to my mind and body and made me feel like jumping out the window. At that time I laid in bed and longed to throw myself at the glass so it would cut all my nerves and relieve my pain. That's how I began to feel on Tuesday when idiot nurse gave it to me.

Idiot nurse said she'd have to contact my doctor about giving me some anti-nausea meds. This took over an hour so I suffered for several hours all due to one stupid, incompetent woman.

Sometime either day two or day three Dr. S ordered that I wear some support. He wanted a sports bra that wasn't too tight. The hospital didn't have one that fit so Idiot Nurse decided to use a stomach binder. She wrapped my breasts very tight and I have to admit it felt good not to have them move, even a tiny bit. Matt brought in a bra from home but it was also too small. He tried three times before he found something that would do.

The morning after putting on the stomach binder Dr. S came to check on me. He was ticked when he saw it and asked who put it on. I told him Idiot Nurse said he told her to. He made the comment that she might have just caused the breasts to fail. He continued on with his check and asked when I last used the toilet. I told him I didn't know I was supposed to. Idiot Nurse removed my foley hours before and she told him that she was taking me to sit on the toilet. When we was finished with my check he went to speak to her. Later that day I heard her whispering to another nurse outside my room, blaming it on the night time nurse.

During Dr. S' chat with Idiot Nurse she learned that I was actually a breast cancer survivor and had very extensive surgery. He explained the details to her and she seemed fascinated by this new and exciting procedure. At one point she came in and said she hadn't realized why I was there, not that it caused her to suddenly become compassionate or anything.

Note about my pain: The first couple of days my biggest pain was in my chest. The surgeon had to cut cartilage from the middle of my chest. He had to cut muscles which made it very painful to move my arms or breathe. I was unable to pull myself up using my arms or reach for things. If the call button fell on the floor (and it did several times) I was unable to get it. I ended up screaming for help many times, which was very painful in itself.

One day my body slumped down too far on the bed and I asked to be propped back up. Since I couldn't do it myself Idiot Nurse called three other people in to assist. When the others arrived she told me that she wanted to show them the procedure. She did this often. She was so obsessed with it and took some sort of pride in showing it off. Was I comfortable with my body being exposed to these strangers who didn't need to see it, absolutely not!

Idiot Nurse went as far as to print out info from the internet on the procedure and carry it around in her pocket. Initially she saw me as the typical Main Line mom who was in for a tummy tuck and breast reduction. She could give a crap about my pain or how I was doing emotionally. Then I became a freak show who she had to show off to her own little world.

To be continued.....

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