Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Journey of 2011....................CCU..........First Impressions......

Part 1

When they came to transport me to the critical care unit it was sometime mid afternoon. Dave left when they arrived saying he knew his way around the hospital so well at this point, he'd have no problem locating me when he came back with Lindsay later that evening.

As much as I knew his logic made sense, I really didn't want to go to the CCU by myself. I was not looking forward to having more strangers taking care of me. If I had to be moved at all, I wanted to go back to the oncology unit where my riding buddy was.

I suspect my trepidation was more about my fear than concern about how those in the CCU might care for me but after being there just a short time, that began to change. I had been meet in my "new" room by my attending nurse as I first arrived and I only saw her once more before the shift change.

She was only there briefly and she brought with her gifts. My friend Wendy, and her sister, Candy, had come to visit while I'd been sleeping. Instead of disturbing me they'd left their packages at the nurse's station. Someone had brought them down and left them on the other side of the curtain in my room.

The gifts couldn't have arrived at a better time. I was feeling pretty lonely. At least if I couldn't see my friends, I had evidence that they'd been there. There was a cute, stuffed, white, fluffy dog in a flowered green and white dress and a little stuffed horse along with a tiny book of encouraging affirmations.

I must admit at that particular point in time, I was pretty darn happy to see a horse even if it was the stuffed variety. Small enough to live on the adjustable tray/table at my bed, that horse stayed in my sight most of the rest of my hospital visit.

I'll be the first one to admit I was probably heavily medicated at this point. My conception of time may be skewed but whatever it was, it had been that way in the surgery ward when my pulmonary embolism had happened and I hadn't felt neglected there.

Now, as I lay shivering in the CCU waiting for someone to respond to my call button, I was really beginning to get scared. My head was flooded with thoughts of what could happen to me if no one was paying attention. It was a very scary time.

The shift change came and went before I ever did see a nurse again. Then when I did she was closed off and defensive. I tried talking to the woman but she kept arguing with me telling me about my "condition." Many things she said were not my perception of what was happening to me so I tried to tell her my viewpoint, just like I had done with my surgeon and the nurses of the other unit.

Instead of being interested in what I had to say this nurse said, "You always have to be right, don't you?" The tone in her voice was as jaded as the question. I tried explaining to her that it was my understanding my perception was wanted by those on staff and I was only trying to do my part in keeping them informed of how things were going with me.

I explained the doctor had spent a goodly amount of time trying to learn what I had experienced. She did seem to accept this explanation but next time I rang for her, I laid there for a goodly amount of time before I tried pushing that button again.

I finally ended up calling Dave at home telling him I couldn't get a nurse. I told him I didn't know if the call light was not working or what was going on but I needed pain medication because by this time I had broken through that pain barrier and was pretty darn miserable.

I don't know who Dave called but I did get the nurse in my room. This time she complained to me, "What IS your problem? I can see you from the window and you're moving around just fine." Her implication seemed to be I was alive so why was I complaining.

To be continued..............

More on the CCU

It's been kind of a lousy day here. Not being able to go to the barn is getting really old so I went looking for a video to cheer me up. Even though I'm not feeling great, watching Dancer does bring a smile to my face.

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  1. Boy, what a difference in nurses! Hope you didn't have to put up with Ms. Attitude for long.

  2. Sadly the treatment you got form that on nurse , was at a terrible time. I realise they are terribly stressed and tired, often not having much time to decompress during critical incedents,but it is very difficult to understand when it affects patient care in that way. I have seen a lot of it over the years in the care my mom has recieved esp in ICU . But there are those angel nurses too ,who make all the difference

  3. Just what you needed when you were feeling scared and miserable. An unfeeling nurse with a bad attitude. There's no reason for that. Hope she had vacation coming for the rest of your stay.

  4. Yikes. I have vague memories of no one responding my my call button in the hospital and wondering why they even had call buttons. Ignoring patients appears to be common practice for whatever reasons. It's tough being in pain and all alone in a cold room just listening to pumps and beeps and the clock ticking. Being abrupt and rude to critical care patients shows a sad state of nursing, though. I had a nurse be rude to me when I complained of pain when in false labor. She sent me home angrily and told me not to come back until I feel real pain and the contractions are so many minutes apart. I guess they've seen so much pain that they think they know more about it than their patients, but everyone has different ways of dealing with pain and showing their pain.

  5. I was fortunate in my recent (much shorter) hospital stay - all the nurses and aids, including in ICU, were really good and pretty nice. I'm sure there's a good reason some nurses get cross and sour, but it's sure hard on the patients.

  6. What a b!tch. Not like you were there to make your own diagnoses or anything... I would have asked for someone else. If the patient nurse ratio was 2/1 surely someone else was available.

  7. Too bad about that nurse, she didnt want to listen. Glad you got gifts from friends coming to visit, thats pretty nice though.

  8. This CCU nurse reminds me of some of the hospital horror stories I've read (in Reader's Digest?). I hope she was just having a bad day and doesn't neglect all of her patients this way. Thankfully, you've survived it. One of my oncology nurses regularly moves to different areas in order to get away from the heartbreak of cancer victims. She always returns, eventually.

  9. Worst. Nurse. Ever.

    What WAS her problem? Holy Crap.

    I'm sorry you're feeling so miserable right now. I've just been catching up on your blog and caught that video of Storm. That horse is GORGEOUS. Seriously.

  10. How terrible! I mean... it's not like you wanted to be there. It's not like you weren't in a lot of pain. It's not like you were pretty helpless. It's not like that wasn't her job (hmmm... is that right with the double negatives?!) What a burned-out [insert derogatory term for a female of your choice here]!
    I hope this is the worst and your ordeal got better from here!