God love nurses. In most cases, they are the salt of the earth, providing comfort and care to those sick, afraid, and in pain.
But I REALLY hope God loves the nurses at the hospital in Birmingham, Alabama, where my mother is currently recuperating from pulmonary surgery. Because if God doesn’t love them, then nobody does. They are bitches from hell, and the flames of their demon master shine in their eyes.
Quick background: Mom had a mass in her chest wall, which we thought was cancer. She had surgery last week to remove the mass. Surgery went well, mass wasn’t cancer, all is gonna be fine.
Subsequent testing indicates the mass was tubercular. Mom is moved to an ICU unit, where they can treat her properly. Now, ICU units are so named because the level of care is greatly enhanced. I understand that. There aren’t as many patients in that unit, so nurses can respond much more quickly to a call.
But when Mom was moved to a standard room Saturday night, things went downhill rapidly. Today was the last straw, and thus the reason for my rant.
I understand that there are around 40 patients on this floor, and that a staff of six nurses (give or take; I don’t know the exact number) can’t respond immediately to a call. But 45 minutes is ridiculous. My mother was told by the doctor (and he wrote on her chart, which you’re supposed to read, nurse) that she was to sit in a chair for several hours each day to prevent fluid buildup in her lungs. Did you think she was just gonna levitate over to the chair? You know she can’t get out of bed by herself. So my mother called for a nurse. After 30 minutes went by, she decided she needed to sit up in the bed, so she tried. With no support. She already has a bad back, and the position of the chest tube is killing her when she sits up, but she’s afraid of getting pneumonia, so she does it.
About that 45-minute wait after pressing the call button … great move on your part, nurse, to send in the MAINTENANCE MAN before checking on your patient. I suppose it’s entirely possible that the bulb over her door was burned out, and that the call button she was pressing was wired into a different nurses’ station on a different floor, as you claim. It’s doubtful, but perhaps it really did happen. But when you discovered this mistake, why on God’s green earth did you not go down to check on the patient yourself? Why is your first thought to contact Maintenance and have them send a man up to fix the bulb over her door? You apparently discovered that the patient in that room had been buzzing for 45 minutes – did it not occur to you there may have been a REASON for that?
Oh, well. These little things can happen, I guess. I’d be willing to write that off as an example of technology gone bad. But your subsequent actions leave me gape-jawed with disbelief.
After the maintenance man leaves, two of you finally drag your corpulent carcasses 30 feet down the hall to check on the patient. She is now weeping in pain. This is a woman who has seen one of her children die, who has to put up with me as a son, who lived through the Great Depression … in short, she has seen much of what is bad in life. Thanks to your incompetence, you have reduced her to a crying ball of agony, unable to cope with what is happening to her. So obviously, the important thing to do is stand there for ten minutes with her medication in your hand and discuss your car payments, right? I’ve seen paramecium display more intelligence than that. Could you not give her the medication WHILE you’re talking, if the conversation is so important to you?
But wait! Your scintillating intellect tells you there is more to do for this woman! She was scheduled for her sponge bath at 10 a.m., so since it’s 12:50 p.m., might as well get cracking on it, right? A word of caution to you, though: When mixing soap and water for a sponge bath, it’s not advisable to use one part soap and one part water. See, she’s unable to rinse off. If you put that much soap on her, it’ll harden into a shell and she’ll become like a moth pupa, trapped in a cocoon of Ivory soap. Actually, you’d probably like that – with her arms and hands immobilized, she won’t be able to push that pesky “Nurse Call” button and interrupt your important discussion of what your boyfriend bought you for Valentine’s Day.
However, if you EVER – and I mean EVER – in my presence respond to my mother as you did when she pointed out that you used too much soap, I can guarantee you you’ll find out what the aforementioned soap tastes like. You’ll also find out just how much it burns when it’s forcibly injected into your nether regions. I can understand having to be firm with cranky patients. I cannot understand dumping the soap/water globule into the sink, thrusting the pan at this bedridden lady, and then saying “Well, hallelujah! You can do it then. That means I won’t have to.”
Good nurses are angels here on earth. You, on the other hand, are not fit to be a festering pustule on the most diarrhetic discharge from the worst nurse in the world.
As of this moment, I do not know your name. I can assure you, though, that I will discover it. I will make my displeasure known to you, your boss, the chief nurse, and the administrator of the hospital. I will personally call your boyfriend and tell him your gonorrhea test came back positive. I will notify your bank, in writing, that you are unable to pay your upcoming car payment that is so important to you and ask them to repossess said car. I will track down and bitch-slap your mother for having the gall to bring such a worthless excuse of a human being into this world. I will masquerade as a fashion designer so I can convince you that horizontal stripes are the best way to disguise that fat ass of yours. I will replace your Skin-So-Soft lotion with Clorox. I will cut you off in traffic. I will be a lifeline for you on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” and intentionally give you a wrong answer. I will notify the IRS that the “children” you claim as dependents are actually goldfish.
In short, lady, don’t fuck with my mother anymore.