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17 October 2010 @ 07:33 pm
Faulty stairs and massive fractures: Part II  
I had never had a general anesthetic before, and the idea scared me. However, two days later they put me under, and tied my bones together with wire.

X-ray with wire in
They literally just pulled it off a fence and stuck it in my arm.*

I woke up the next morning to find myself under the "care" of "Nurse Ratched," whom I nicknamed after the evil nurse in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. She was completely unpredictable. She would be lovey-dovey one minute, then yell at me the next.

By the time I had been there one full day (the following morning), I wanted desperately to go home. I overheard her talking to the young man (possibly even a teenager) in the bed to my left. This was at 8 in the morning.

Nurse Ratched (waking Young Man up): "You need to take a shower."

Young Man (exhausted): "What? I'll take a shower when I get home today."

N.R. (Laughing in his face): "What makes you think you're going home today?!"

Y.M.: "They told me I could go home today. I've been here three days already! My dad's picking me up!"

N.R. (Laughing again): "You're not going home today. Now take a shower so the doctor can see you."

Y.M.: "I don't need a shower. Let me sleep."

N.R.: "Don't be a dick. Get in the shower." (She then laughed and shook her head, mumbling something about how men can be such idiots.) 

As somebody who had only been in the hospital for one day, I found the idea of being stuck there for three days completely appalling. It was an unpleasant if not frightening place to be. On top of that, this guy, practically a child, was being called names by somebody who was supposed to be looking after him. There was absolutely no need for a shower. The doctor was going to come and ask him a couple questions about how he was feeling, and tell him how his surgery went. The nurse was being a megalomaniac.

So when she got to me, I decided not to argue with her. I felt helpless enough and I didn't need a nasty nurse making me feel even crappier. I wanted to get her name so I could report her to her superiors later, but I didn't have my contact lenses in and I couldn't see a damn thing. So, with my left arm completely broken and bandaged up, and a cannula in the vein in my right arm, I took the most painful, unnecessary shower I had ever had. I couldn't move my left arm and my right arm hurt, because there was a plastic tube sticking into my vein! But Nurse Ratched had refused to remove that, too, and I wasn't about to argue with her. 

The second conversation I overheard from her was with the young woman whose bed was to the right of mine. She had been trying to communicate with a Filipina nurse all morning, telling her that she was nauseous. The nurse had responded, “I don’t understand. You’re noisy? You’re noisy?”

Finally, Nurse Ratched stepped in.

Young Woman: “Can you help me? I don’t feel well.”

Nurse Ratched: “Well you just had surgery, so you’re not going to feel well.”

Y.W.: “But isn’t there something you can give me? I fell yuck.”

N.R.: “You feel yuck. You feel yuck. What the hell does that mean? That doesn’t mean anything.” (Walks away immediately)

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I had been lucky enough to understand the effects that morphine had, and had asked for an anti-emetic (anti-nausea, prevents vomiting) before the surgery. They just stick it into your IV. It’s really not that hard, and most people have that reaction to morphine!

Luckily, by the time I offered to help the young woman, another nurse had come by and given her an anti-emetic. But I was once again disgusted with Nurse Ratched.

After those horror stories were over, the doctor came by and told me he was happy with the surgery. My bone had come together nicely, and it should be able to start the healing process. I was told I could go home.

Phew. Good thing I took that shower!

...Stay tuned for Part III, the riveting conclusion!

*Note: I accidentally put the "fracture" label too low; it should be at the top of the olecranon.

I am feeling: crankycranky
Music of My Soul: Horror movie music