When I was transferred to the ward for the second time in 3 days, I was back in a shared ward. Thankfully this time there was no one wailing all night like there had been the time before (I remember writing to my nurse saying ‘just give her sleeping tablets and give me sleeping tablets and all will be well. I’ll meet her in my dreams and calm her down’).
My doctors came to visit me and they said I would be moved into a private room the following day. Aah thank goodness. They checked the flap and I thought Deepti looked concerned so I asked what’s wrong. She said there’s no concern, she was just tired. Poor thing, I can imagine. My goodness these guys work hard.
Once again I thought my trachy was choking me. I was struggling to breathe and I was coughing a lot (it really irritated me, have I mentioned?!!). I wrote down a long note to the nurse, Rose, about how it was my first night and I was feeling stressed about the blood running from my nose and mouth and thought I might be being choked. She was amazing. She put my mind at ease immediately about the choking. And she taught me all about ‘suctioning’ which involved sucking the saliva out of my mouth that I couldn’t swallow (the trachy didn’t allow swallowing). Since at this point my saliva was pretty much just blood, it was nice to suction it for a bit instead of waste another box of tissues.
When it was bed time, I tried to get comfortable and sleep but I couldn’t deal with letting the blood just go everywhere so I was trying to catch it all the time. This meant no time for sleeping. After a few hours, Rose came in and suggested some sleeping tablets. YES PLEASE!
I think they managed to get me about 2 hours of sleep before a cleaner decided to burst in and started trying to clean the floor at about 4am.
When my doctors came to see me the next morning I was a mess. I had cleaned up my face but my gown and bedding were covered in blood and I was feeling pretty damn low. They ordered the nurses to clean everything, as well as change the dressing on my trachy. They also told me that at around 11 I would move to my own room.
I can tell you, by the time I was settled in that room, I felt like a different person to what I had been that morning. I even had my own bathroom! Amazing.
I was so happy to find out Rose was my nurse again the following night. In my mind she was my guardian angel. I knew she would protect me, put me at ease if anything was wrong, help solve my problems. She was also just one of the sweetest, loveliest, most awesome people… I am very grateful I had her that first night in particular, but also for two other nights too.
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Dear Jen, I`m the mum of one of the night nurses you mention in your blog 29/3/18 and when you said that you would give her a mention, we read the entry. I just want you to know how much your feedback meant, reminding her of why she entered nursing in the first place. To be able to meet and offer support to wonderful people like yourself is the main reward (not all patients are as lovely as you and nurses have to take a lot of abuse, so believe me, your words have meant a great deal, at a time when she was questioning whether she could carry on). We have a close family member who was successfully treated for a head and neck cancer and he always said that a good or bad day in hospital depended on which nurse you got!
More than anything, I wanted to cheer you on. Your grace and humour despite the all you have had to endure is extraordinary, and you write so well about it all. Every nurse and doctor should have your blog on their reading list.
“Get well soon” doesn`t even begin to cover it – but the family send all our love, thoughts and best wishes to you in your recovery. Tracy x
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Firstly, I can’t thank you enough for writing this, or tell you how much it means to hear these words.
Well I can tell you that I have met a lot of nurses in my time, and your daughter will forever stay in my mind as not only a fantastic nurse, but an absolute saviour during the worst time of my life. When I think of her, I see her surrounded in light in my memory, a true Guardian Angel.
I have witnessed the abuse of nurses by patients only too many times. It breaks my heart. I always try to let the nurse know how much the rest of us appreciate them even if they’re being abused by some other terrible patient, but I can imagine how much it must get you down! No one deserves it, let alone these lovely people who only have the patient’s best interest at heart! It is hard being ill, and coming out of anaesthetic I did tend to get annoyed with nurses (and anyone), but still never with the lovely ones. It’s never ok to treat anyone badly, let alone someone trying to help you.
I can imagine it would be tempting to give it up sometimes – so much giving, doing everything for patients, and they don’t always appreciate it. Maybe not even often. I can imagine a ‘bad day’ at work could really make you really feel down and question lot of things. But please know that the great nurses I have come in contact with have made everything ok. They have carried me through when I haven’t known how I was going to make it. Not even just in hospital, but also my oncology nurses who administered my chemo, and any others I have come across. And your daughter is at the top of the pile. So genuine, so helpful, so lovely…
Please send my love and thanks to her, from the bottom of my heart.
Thank you also for your kind words. I do hope nurses and doctors read this – I know a few of mine do. I hope it helps to give an insight and a different angle.
What a generous response. And I think if anyone is entitled to express frustration occasionally, you are! We will continue to quietly cheer you on. xx
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