Sunday, October 21, 2012
As many of you know, I was released from an 11 day hospital stay on Friday. My second shortest ever. During those 11 days, I learned a lot about myself and the people caring for me. Let's begin with the fact that I have been going to this hospital for about 4 years. Despite the fact that they have recently relocated, it is the same hospital. Going to this hospital, I know what, and usually who, to expect. This time was different, very different. Since the relocation of the hospital, the floor that I used to be on has been divided. Basically, the RNs chose up sides based on their interest in intensive care or asthma and cystic fibrosis. This was a bit concerning for me at the beginning...I've grown attached, felt comfortable with, knew who would take awesome care of me. Day 2 of the hospital stay brought my first change in care providers: a new nurse, a new male nurse. Let me state for the record that I have zero issue with nurses gender and quickly found a groove with him. He teased me, I teased him. That made for a great report between the two of us. During my stay, I ended up with 6 new-to-me RNs, quite possibly my record. I didn't get along with all of them. Some days were spent wishing that those twelve hours would hurry the heck up, while others were spent wishing that the 30 minute breathing treatment could last just a little bit longer. This isn't to say that any of medical professionals were bad at caring for me; they just didn't fit. I, personally, didn't care for their reactions to certain situations, their level of attention given, or any number of little quirks. We just didn't fit. For people who are hospitalized frequently or for a long period of time, the hospital staff becomes the epicenter of the patient's social life. Good or bad, right or wrong, you are forced to spend 24 hours a day with these people. Like it or not, you have at least 4 hours with someone who may or may not know anything about you, your underlying condition, or the reason you're there. It is a job to many, nothing more, nothing less. They are being paid to make sure you survive their shift. Sometimes the individual will go above and beyond, remembering that you are a person, basically trapped, and treat you with kindness and respect. I cannot say that I experienced more than either kind of medical personnel, but having just one in your day can, unintentionally, ruin it. That being said, my carers, for the most part, brightened my days. From the RT who held my hand and wiped my tears during the 7 attempts to place a PICC line to the nurse who hasn't taken care of me since my second hospitalization and fell right back into our routine. From the PT & MT who teased me mercilessly just to make me smile to the RT that would bring students for me to teach to break up the day. From the RT student who reminded me that I am just a girl and it is okay to talk about normal 24 year old things to the physician who stayed all of a Sunday just to insure everything went well for the following day's surgery. Hospitalizations are never fun but you make it bearable.