I worked today. (Well, I work everyday! Whether I am at home cleaning and folding laundry, at the surgical center acting in my role as RN, or in front of my computer blogging – yes folks, I take this very seriously and make it my responsibility to work and write my daily blog!)
So, I worked today … at the surgical center. I must have had twenty patients. And they were all different. And although I had each one for maybe only twenty minutes post-operatively, I love how much I can get to know about them in such a short time. There were two factors that stuck out today as I observed my patients.
The first factor I found most interesting was what drink or food patients wanted after their surgery. We offer them water or juice. In case you didn’t know, patients must not eat or drink after midnight the night before their procedure. They come to us hungry and dehydrated. The most obvious response we get is “I would love a cup of coffee.” Oh yeah. I can relate. It just isn’t morning … It just isn’t a day … It just isn’t possible to get your game on without that morning cup o’ joe. We don’t offer that, but we encourage patients to leave and go grab a steaming hot cup on the way home. One gentleman today turned down our offer of a drink – and we get that occasionally. We don’t let them get away with it! They have to drink before they leave – c’mon patients you are dehydrated and we have to get you juiced up before you can leave! But then there’s the woman who couldn’t wait to get home to drink her diet Pepsi. Ah … the sugar-free caffeinated soft drink person! And then, after being starved since the night before, the cravings are expressed. “I got a turkey sandwich at home I can’t wait to eat.” Okay – not my first choice – but she was happy about it. One little old lady was leaving us and going straight to Bob Evans for mashed potatoes! That was her go-to comfort food that she swore made her feel better and back-to-herself every time. Bless her heart! There was another woman who was not looking real good on my monitoring equipment and I suggested she take a few deep breaths. She coughed and then said it was probably because of her emphysema. She then talked about the cup of coffee she couldn’t wait to drink and added that she was also hoping to smoke a cigarette on the way home. Wait. What? “You can’t do that” I smiled, “Not with your emphysema.” “I know,” she smiled back. But she really was going to smoke one. We both knew it. Bless her heart.
The other factor that I found quite telling today was the identity of the person that accompanied the patient. A person cannot have a surgical procedure that involves anesthetic and then drive themselves home. The effects of the sleepy medicine might cause them to fall asleep at the wheel. Not a good thing for other drivers around that car. The most obvious companion is a spouse. Many times the accompanying person is an adult son or daughter. We get lots of friends, and many lovely nieces helping their dear aunts. And then there are the ones that come alone. Our center has a van and we can give the patient a ride home. But they come alone. 🙁 Makes me so sad that they have no one to come with them.
And then there was this one man who had his wife, daughter, and daughter-in-law with him. In recovery I found his blood pressure to be a little too high for my comfort. The man sat quietly, eyes large and staring, while the family around him spoke non-stop. I tried to make light of the loud and over bearing family members and I asked the patient if he was bringing his whole posse with him next week when he was going to have his other eye operated on. He replied, “Why do you think my blood pressure is so high?” Poor fellow!
What do you fill yourself with? Who do you surround yourself with? The answers to both questions tell others a little bit about who you are.
Just something to think about.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
Proverbs 25:21 If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.