Take a look at the quote above. Picture the scene. A lovely, caring and chatty admitting clerk walks me up to the ward. It's 6:30am, and there are no nurses to be found. A nurse comes out of a room and slowly wanders down the hall.
The clerk says, "I have a new patient for you," and the nurse replies, without looking at me, "Oh, is this the fibroid?"
The clerk pointedly answers, "Her name is Jacqueline Munro, and she's here to have an embolization this morning."
Rather than making me upset, this dehumanizing language almost almost made me snort with laughter. Three thoughts instantly came to mind: 1. If only I was a cartoonist, then I could have done this comment justice. 2. Who teaches these young nurses anyway? Empowering and respectful language is paramount!
Thankfully, the shift change came quickly, and my pregnant (thank you!) day nurse K was lovely!
Thoughts and questions about my hospital experience:
1. Everyone should have a doula - for anything done in hospital. At least the doula would make everyone introduce themselves!
2. Catheters without an epidural are not fun - not exactly painful, but very unpleasant. It makes you feel like you constantly need to pee. Note to the doula part of me.
3. Why are patients blamed for a nurse's inability to successfully insert an IV on the first try? "You mustn't have been drinking enough water." Nope...I'm floating in the stuff!
4. Very very very wonderful art work in the recovery area at UBC (Okay...I must be drugged) The Fellow says I have more fibroids than she can count. (I love being special).
5. Why did the anesthetist play Bob Dylan's Blowing in the Wind during the procedure? And why do the nurses and resident keep saying that it's Willie Nelson. They're TOO TOO young to be working on my body!
6. Why did everyone start talking about Halloween while I was being given a cocktail of conscious sedation drugs?
7. I want to thank the porter for singing me lullabies while in the elevator.
8. I'm not accustomed to having a heartrate of 44. Is this the effect of fentanyl or morphine? Yikes! The talk of atropine doesn't thrill me.
9. The bed was quite comfy. Drugs talking.
10. Wherever I go, even when I'm totally drugged, people tell me their birth stories in great detail, and want to know if I approve of their doctor/midwife/OB and hospital choice. I just want to sleep!
11. Who added those sickening bumps to 16th Avenue? They are not fun when you're in pain. Note to the doula me.
12. Why don't I remember seeing the specialist whose name is on all my prescriptions? Was he hiding or did the fentanyl make me forget?
One client said she's happy that I'm going through all this - at least I'll have the hospital experience fresh in my mind. Well, I can tell you that I can now relate to having narcotics (I stopped taking them asap), that I understand the agony of post-surgical gas pains and nausea (someone needs to warn you about this BEFORE the cesarean), that I know the feeling of a digestive system that isn't quite ready to start working again (also - thoroughly unpleasant), and that I now feel like I'm 10 weeks pregnant (and waiting for the morning sickness to go away).
But, I can also say I'm in awe of the fact that my hemorrhaging stopped as soon as I was in recovery. A new life awaits!
(Note from 2015 - yes, the procedure was an unparalleled success!)