recipe
Jul
28
2007

Good Morning!

I’m back. It is a lovely, rainy Saturday here.

rain.jpg

I will spare you the details of my surgery for fear of boring you. I would actually have to make up something in order for it to be an interesting story. I do have a couple of bits that might help you if you are considering this or any other surgery or procedure that will land you in a hospital for more than 24 hours. These are pertaining to hospital stays in general.

  1. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. We all know this but it especially pertains to a situation where you can be ignored or forgotten if you are too compliant. As I “came to” in the recovery room, the first thought in my head was we are not going to repeat my stay when I had my hysterectomy. I WILL NOT stay in here 6 hours. THEY WILL MOVE ME TO A ROOM. So that was my goal. To see just how fast I could aggravate them into finding me a room. Now I realize it is not the nurses in recovery who call the shots and I realize it is their nerves I was getting on, but nonetheless, it was my tummy with four new puncture wounds and I wanted to be treated like I was the only one there. Selfish? Yes. Proud? No. Effective? Absolutely. So they kept practically screaming at this poor moaning man next to me to use his pump, meaning the morphine pump he was hooked up to. USE THE PUMP. USE THE PUMP. Which by the way was getting on my nerves. So I say “HEY! Where’s MY pump.” I am told I don’t NEED a pump. HUH??? How do they know? So everytime they yell at him to USE THE PUMP. I yell back “IF I HAD A PUMP I WOULD USE IT!”. So long story short, I stayed in recovery about 45 minutes. Granted I didnt get a real room straight away, but I was moved back to a day surgery room where I could be with my husband and son.
  2. When the doctor tells you that you can have something to eat besides jello after having not eaten a morsel since the night before at 7, and the nurse tells you she will go order you some breakfast and it will be right up, follow up on that. Finally I crawl out of bed, husband asking me if I want him to go check on it, me saying NO, I will go…here I traverse down to the nurses station on my floor. I stand there for about 15 seconds when the woman finally looks up. I say “Hey, where is the kitchen?” She says “On the first floor, why?” I say “Because I am going down to make myself some eggs and toast.” All this time I am thinking to myself I am probably really close to getting a psych consult. “You cant do that!” she says with this look of panic on her face. I say “Fine, then you better find out where the ones you ordered AN HOUR AGO are. And they best not be cold.” I am not happy when I am that hungry. Oddly in about 5 minutes my breakfast arrived. Nice and hot. Just like I like it.
  3. When the doctor comes around and tells you that you may go home and the nurse will be around in about 30 minutes with your prescriptions and papers to sign. WATCH THE CLOCK. After an hour has passed. Walk down to the nurses station AGAIN. Demand they take the heplock out of your hand. The same heplock you told them you didnt need because you would not be needing any intravenous drugs. If you stand there with a look of sheer anger on your face, they will immediately, at the nurses station, take it out. Then you very firmly tell them if they are not in your room with a wheel chair by the time you get your shoes on, you will walk yourself out, they will get their butts in gear. “But your prescriptions” they say. To which you reply “I will ask Dr. B to call them in when I call to tell him how long I had to wait to be released and how long I waited for food.” Just be sure to walk close to the wall because they might run you over with the wheelchair in order to beat you to the room.

Now, if you are a healthcare professional I mean no disrespect whatsoever. I could not do your job. I can tend to people I love all day long. But not strangers. NO WAY. For the most part everyone that entered my room was very sweet and kind, but they need some lessons in using their time more effectively. NO way it takes 1.5 hours to order an egg and piece of toast. NO way it takes over an hour to walk 50 feet with a prescription and one paper for me to sign. There was almost no one else on my wing. I looked as I walked down. All the room’s doors were swung open and the beds were empty. So NO excuses.

Hope these little hints help you.

I am happy to be home, though food is not settling very well with me. Dr. B told me to eat bland for 4-5 days…I dont know what I thought that meant but pork kebabs are not bland, in case you were wondering. So I spent most of the evening in the bathroom kinda ill. I suppose I will get out my dictionary and be sure I know what exactly bland means before I eat anything else. But, the kebabs were DELISH!

I am going to be working on all the recipes I owe you. May put them all in one post. Wonder about beginning a little file somewhere on here where you could click on a word file and print them out if you want…hmmmm have to work on that too.

Have a great weekend. Husband is making steaks for everyone (but me) today. I am having a baked potato ONLY. I figure bland may also pertain to the color of food, so I am not taking any chances.

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My daughter says she feels your pain.

Please make sure that you also follow the doc’s advice on not doing anything strenuous, because you just might be lifting your arms way up high to take off your shirt and bust your top incision open to which you scream for you mom, she runs to you in a panic, only to totally freak out because your insides are showing, which will lead to a 2+ hour wait in the ER only to be steri-stripped and sent home.

This happened Thursday~~8 days after surgery for the daughter.

Please…please…please take it easy!

Chocolate pudding is bland! ;)

gretchen

Ah, yes, the poor time management at the nurses station. I, too, experienced it this year. I’m glad you’re home. Take it easy, and don’t forget, the squeaky wheel also works at home. ;-)

Vicki

I’m glad you are home and doing well. I know what you mean about hospitals being slow.
Take it easy and pamper yourself a little.

Good for you, girl! Stand up (okay, maybe not straight up…..you just got out of surgery) and ask for what you want/need. I find the older I get the more comfortable I am with speaking my mind. At this rate, though, someone will smother me in my sleep before I hit 60. So glad you are home and with your family. Heal quickly…….. I want those recipes!!!!

I had the “bland” problem, too. I decided I could eat some pizza, loaded with onions, peppers, meat, the works – the evening I got home from surgery. Yeah, I paid for it in a big way.

There are still some things, several years post-surgery, that bother my stomach. These are things I’d never had a problem with when I had a gallbladder. Very strange.

I’m glad you’re doing well. Enjoy that potato.

Oh my! You have me rolling with laughter! I would have loved to be a fly on the wall listening to you talk to those nurses – LOL!

Julia

I was thinking about returning to work as a nurse, but after reading this — maybe not!!!

Glad that all went well and that you are back home and recovering. I had a real chuckle about your squeaky wheel! It does indeed get the grease. I really admire your gumption! I’m like you…I don’t do bland food! I hope your recovery continues to go well!

Oh Julia! Please do. Methinks that was a lot of the problem with my lack of service~NOT ENOUGH help. Like I said most everyone who came into my room was very kind and very good at their jobs. It was the execution of simple tasks like meals and check out that had me wired. And very likely, nursing is like many other professions – you do just what you are assigned to do or you infringe on someone else’s job (and we cant have that!) and many times certain “jobs” are left with no one to do them.

I firmly believe also that you should express your displeasure when you are not satisfied with something. How else will things get better? I also believe in letting people know when you are pleased with a task well done. I hand out compliments as well as criticisms! But as a paying customer I expect no less than I would at any other business…service with a smile and promptly please.

Julia

You’re right, there isn’t enough help and, of course, not every nurse is the best. But in all fairness, consider this: When I worked (years ago), one of my patients was an older man in the terminal stages of a long, long fight with cirrhosis of the liver. One night he kept ringing for me every 5 or 10 minutes. When I went in to him, he didn’t seem to really want anything — just to hold my hand for a minute. I would adjust his pillows, straighten his sheets, offer him some water, and just talk to him (and hold his hand) for a minute or two. This went on all night and, needless to say, I got way behind and became a little irritated at the incessant bell ringing, but I always went in as soon as I could and tried to figure out something that would satisfy him. Finally, I went in to answer his ring and he grabbed my hand, looked me right in the eyes and died. He was alone and somehow knew what was coming and needed someone to be there. I felt so bad that I had been irritated, even though I’m sure I didn’t show it. After it was over and I was doing what needed to be done, another patient, who didn’t know what had just happened, approached me to complain (loudly!) that he hadn’t received his 6 am dose of Maalox on time and what had I been doing, sitting in the nurse’s station reading a book?

The point is, even if the rooms are all empty but a few, all it takes is one person who needs something extra at that moment to throw off a well-planned schedule. Maybe you and some of the commenters here did have some lackadaisical nurses who didn’t want to be bothered — I’m not denying they’re out there because I’ve seen them. I just wanted you to know that there are nurses who agonize because they can’t always do things in a way that makes everyone happy.

Anyway, I was thinking about that all last night. Thanks for letting me finally answer the man who was so angry at me 25 years ago!

Julia,
I hope you do go back into nursing. THEY NEED YOU! And others like you. Glad you could say what you needed to say.

I know the time is coming with my mom. I hope she will not be alone at that time, and I will not let that happen unless she goes in her sleep. Not everyone has someone to hold their hand – you should be proud you were there for him.

Congrats on getting home!! And way to tell ‘em what you need.