Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Nurse's Day 2010!

Nurse's Day was earlier this week.  If you have a friend, relative, or distant acquaintance who happens to be a nurse, they deserve a giant Thank You.  Until I was in the hospital 4 different times to have my 4 different babies, I had no clue how vital and hard-working nurses are.

Why yes, I really AM that clueless.

I could ramble on and on about all of the wonderful ways my nurses helped me....but I'll pick my favorite moment out of a million to drive home how priceless our nurses can be.

My first 2 c-sections were very run-of-the-mill.  No emergencies and no complications.  Even the spinal block that I was terrified of turned out to be little more than "uncomfortable."

Then the 3rd c-section came along.  Again, no emergency and no complications.  But the spinal block?  Was a disaster.  Not a life-or-death disaster.  More like, "That's my SPINE.  Aren't you supposed to use a needle?  Why, then, does it feel like you're digging around with a rusty deck screw?  And why is it taking SO DAMN LONG?!"

The anesthesiologist was horrible.  An intern, maybe?  I have nothing against people learning a new skill, but when it comes to MY spine and a needle, I'd rather have someone who knows the procedure inside and out.

(In hindsight, I was concerned about this woman from the minute she walked into my room.  If you can't comb your hair in the morning and you can't keep your fancy-schmancy doctor robe from falling off your shoulder, how exactly do you plan to anesthetize me withOUT paralyzing me?  And yes, those things DO seem interrelated to me.  But, you know, I'm trying to do less of that "judging a book by it's cover" thing, so I let it slide.)

Anyway....she finally got the spinal block in place while the nurse tried to calm me.  I didn't want Nick to be worried, so I tried my hardest to stop the sobbing by the time he came into the operating room.  But I couldn't.  I was in full-on ugly cry mode complete with big, gulping, SHE HURT ME sobs.  We were both a wee bit traumatized.  So during my last pregnancy, I was....uh....apprehensive, to say the very least.  But I wasn't really sure if there was anything I could do to prevent a repeat performance.

As I was being prepped on the day of Rachel's delivery, my nurse did everything she could to make me comfortable.  When she walked into my room, she made me feel like I was her only priority for the day.  "Do you have any questions?  How are you feeling?  Do you know if it's a boy or girl?  Here's what we have to do next...."  I trusted her completely.

At some point, it was time for the anesthesiologist to come in and meet with discuss the procedure and answer my questions.  As if I weren't already nervous and OMG I'M HEADED FOR SURGERY AGAIN enough, in walked the SAME! disheveled! anesthesiologist! that I had LAST time.  That's it.  I'm outta here.  This kid can find her OWN way out.  I'm quite sure I went pale as a bedsheet, but I hid my white knuckle fear until she left.

My nurse came back in.  "How are you doing?  It won't be much longer.  Baby's heart rate sounds good!  Do you have any questions?"

And I spilled the whole story.  She easily could have dismissed me as just another hormonal, hysterical, exaggerating patient.  But she didn't.  Without making any kind of promise, she smiled and said, "I'll see what I can do."

She came back a bit later and whispered to me, "I got you the head of anesthesiology for the labor and delivery department.  He'll take care of you.  You'll be fine this time."  I wish I knew for certain, but I think he might have been the same person I had for the first 2 babies.  The procedure went quickly and perfectly.

This story is turning out to be waaay longer than I had planned, but it's just one of the many examples I could list.  There was the time when I was changing baby Benjamin's diaper and I dropped the soiled diaper on the floor.  I couldn't bend down to pick it up and I didn't want to just leave it there, so I buzzed a nurse.

To pick up a dirty diaper.

As if she didn't have anything more important to do.

She didn't get upset or roll her eyes or sigh in that "I canNOT believe I was buzzed for this" way.  She picked it up, asked if there was anything else I needed, and said with a smile, "It's okay!" when I apologized for bothering her.

I truly wish I knew the name of every nurse I encountered during my stays.  There wasn't a bad one in the bunch and it appeared to me that they were the entire backbone of the hospital.  The doctors come and go during their scheduled hours, but the nurses are the ones in the trenches....acting as the first link between patient and doctor. 

They brought me my pain meds and checked my blood pressure.  They advised me on how to feed the baby and how to care for my new incision.  They offered to bring me ice and asked if I wanted to be visited by the chaplain.  They cooed over my newborn as if he/she was the first baby they'd ever seen.  They took baby back to the nursery when I said I really needed a nap and a shower.  They were amazing.

So go ahead.  Thank a nurse.  They deserve it.....even if it's not Nurse's Day.


  1. I hear ya! Thanks to all you nurses. You rock!

  2. I agree and I loved that story! People can be so very kind and nurses top the list.


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