Wednesday, January 21, 2009

If you are a nurse, please listen to your patient.

I went in for the endoscopy and colonoscopy last Friday. First, they have you hop into one of those ridiculous gowns. I asked the nurse "why do I keep trying to cover up my bottom when it is going to be revealed to the whole world?"
Then there were lots of questions for me to answer, followed by getting my i.v. started. The nurse first went for my left arm. I said "do you have to do it in the left?" she said "we prefer it, if possible." I said "usually, they go for my right." So, she switches to the right arm. She begins to poke around. I said "I've been a blood donor since age nineteen. They usually go in right here," -pointing to the hollow of my elbow. She said "I don't think I like that vein - I like this one." So, she puts the needle into a vein that no one ever goes for. Immediately, I'm in pain. She stands back "how does that feel?" Me: "Um, it feels as if it is on fire." She continues to poke. "well, it does look as if it is beginning to swell..." She takes it out and calls for another nurse to bring in one of her "special" needles. I don't know if this is code for "I screwed up, come in here and fix this," or what. The next nurse comes in, puts the needle in where the needle normally goes in, no problem. The first nurse left me a little gift to remember her by. "Peggy, (?) I forgive you." But the next time your patient tries to help you out, you might listen.
The i.v. had Benadryl in it. I was already sleepy and tired from not eating for days and for all of the preparation I'd been through. But, it was very important to me that I meet the doctor who was going to perform the procedures. So, I struggled to stay awake. They wheeled me into the surgery room (and yes, Dave, there were tubes hanging everywhere)(really). I had initially asked the admitting nurse if she had read the Dave Barry piece and asked if it was indeed 17,000 feet of tubing. She assured me that for my endoscopy, it was only two feet of tubing and for my colonoscopy, only five feet of tubing. I suppose this was supposed to make me feel better. Finally, the doctor arrived and shook my left hand (as I was hooked to the i.v. with my right arm). I said to him, "please take care of me as I am the only one I have." He said "I assure you, you are as precious to us as you are to yourself." Then they proceeded to begin the endoscopy. I felt panic rising from within "wait, I was told I would be out during the procedure..." "Oh, you will be, but we'll coach you through it..." My mind was reeling "I HATE THIS!" I did NOT want to be nurse asked me to open my mouth for her to spray a numbing agent in the back of my throat to prevent gagging. The second nurse held the beginning of the tubing towards me and said something like "now, just open up..."
The next thing I knew, Doug was standing beside my bed, a nurse is patting my hand and asking me to wake up. I said "it is all over?" wondering what Doug was doing in the surgery room.
They had already taken me back to recovery and I didn't even know it. I just wanted to snuggle down and sleep, but that nurse was kicking me out. My head was spinning and I just felt like I was going to pitch forward. Doug helped me to get my clothes on and a couple of nurses walked me out to the van. I kicked back the seat and slept. Then, Doug walked me in, I kicked off my tennis shoes and crawled into bed. At some point, my son called me, messing with me in my confused state. He told me later that I got all of his questions correct, that it just took me a long time. Then another friend called around 6 or 6:30 and I was ready to get up.
Doug was wonderful to me. I was very happy to see him standing there when the nurse roused me.
Thank you for all of your good wishes. We are waiting for colon biopsy results. No polyps, no ulcers. Just a big ol' bruise from nurse Peggy.

1 comment:

Princess of Everything (and then some) said...

Want me to kick her for ya??

I am glad that you are back!

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