Can I just get this out right now … my day and night nurse were literally like day and night! Luckily the nurse I got to spend the most time with or who spent the most time with me was the nurse I preferred. Not all nurses are the same, just as all people aren’t the same. There’s usually a chemistry between people or their isn’t and this was the case for me and my two nurses.
Nurse S. was my day nurse; she was attentive, kind and thorough. She was also a great listener too … I’ll get into that a bit later. I was a bit sad when she had to end her shift, but she did have a life and family to go home to. She did make me feel like her only patient. I hope I didn’t make her feel that way because I know some patients can be time-hoggers and as a nurse you end up feeling guilty by not being as attentive to your other patients.
Nurse S. used to by an L&D (labor and delivery) nurse before working on this postpartum / GYN floor. I was kind of afraid coming to this floor that I’d be the boring, non-cutesy-baby-having-momma patient and might be ignored … but this is far from what actually happened.
Prior to being placed on this floor I was asked if the predominantly postpartum floor would be an OK place for my post-op recovery. I was asked this by the pre-op nurses prior to my surgery. If I was OK with being on the postpartum floor — the floor with all the brand new babies — then I would be on the general surgery floor. I was totally OK being on the postpartum floor even though I am childless.
Apparently there was an incidence of some woman in the past who had a hysterectomy, who already had three boys, who got placed next to a room with a new infant girl. That patient went hysterical after her hysterectomy because she had always wanted a baby girl; it was a trigger for her. Honestly, all I ever wanted was healthy normal baby with 46 chromosomes and no major structural deformities … nothing perfect … simply an intact start for my baby’s life.
So, yeah, the postpartum floor was what I wanted; I figured they knew about women’s needs better, to include female anatomy. The only weird baby situation I ran into was when I got up for a walk down the hall, rolling my IV pole and carrying my Foley bag along, was the man who walked by me and asked, Boy or girl? To which I replied, Neither. I had a hysterectomy. He looked visibly embarrassed and apologized. His question had no effect on me emotionally; I understand that not everyone knows the postpartum floor also has GYN patients, not merely new mothers.
One thing I will have to impress on anyone who goes to the hospital is to bring snacks. I was starving after surgery. It was EIGHTEEN hours before I ate something. And, no, ice does not count as eating something. I scarfed down all the orange jello and graham crackers they would give me until my meal tray arrived. The hospital food true to cliché was terrible with the exception of the next morning’s bacon. But when you’re hungry, you’ll eat just about anything.
As for my patients that I talk to when I return to work and if I’m every hospitalized again, I’m going to emphasize the importance of having available finger-food snacks. Holy cow I was hungry! And it sucks to beg for graham crackers and jello from your nurse when you know these are trivial items in the scheme of actual nursing care! I joked with nurse S. that I really wasn’t needy but wanty instead; she laughed. I also told her I might have been somewhat hangry and asked her to forgive me. She had a puzzled look on her face. I can’t believe she hadn’t heard the term hangry before. I had to bring her up to speed.
She got it and a let out a small chuckle. Wish I’d known this word years ago … it explains a lot with a lot of people I know (and have known)! I don’t think I was really angry … I was only graham cracker and food obsessed … I did have a Dilaudid pump infusing into my veins by the way!
Can this post-op day really continue? Yes, it can … I’ve got some more stuff to milk this one day into a few more posts. Stay tuned.