A story I wanted to share. (Long)

  1. When I was 14 I became incredibly ill one evening, probably around 8PM, with throbbing pain in my lower back. I had experienced backpain all day and hadn't thought much of it, but as it got dusky I started to realize something serious was going on. I got my Mom to take me to the ER when I told her "WE NEED TO GO NOW!!"
    When I got to the ER I was incredibly shocked at how busy it was. I think it was a Wednesday night. I checked in with the receptionist and sat down, and I was shaking with pain but trying not to moan and make a scene. This pain was unbelieveable. I'm not a baby about pain, either- I have tattoos and piercings, I don't flinch when I have blood drawn or get a shot. But this was like someone stabbing in the back with a knife; sharp, unrelenting pain.
    It was probably 30-40 minutes before I was admitted to my cubicle in the ER by a nurse named Tina. I still remember her face, how blond and tan and pretty she was. She had on a pink scrub top with tan pants. I knew instantly she was kind and I knew she was exhausted. She was even sweating a little.
    Tina took my vitals and asked me what I was in for that night. When I explained my symptoms- back pain that began this morning and had gotten worse all day- she immediatley suggested I might have a kidney stone or infection to my mother. She wrote some things on her chart and then left. She came back shortly and gave me a urine test- but because I had been on my period recently, she had to use a catheter. I remember how embarrassed I was but also how comforting she was to me, how she kept telling me it was ok, we would get this figured out and get me some meds for pain. I remember her joking that 'if a catheter and some pee is all you're going to throw at me, I'm having a good day!"
    But that was not all I threw at her. As soon as she was done collecting the sample and I began to sit up I felt a hot streak of vomit shoot out of my mouth. I could not control it. Stinky, rotten, undigested eggs from breakfast (my first and last meal that day) flew all over her pink scrub top. I was MORTIFIED, crying, and in the worst pain I could ever imagine. My mother apologized and asked when I could get some medicine, and my nurse excused herself to check with the doctor.
    She came back in a clean scrub top and told us the doctor was in an emergency procedure and may not be available for awhile. She apologized profusely, but my this time it had almost been an hour, and I was literally crying and screaming with pain. My mother was stressed and displeased, and I felt bad for my pretty young nurse when my mom sort of snipped at her- "Its been almost two hours since we've been here! She needs medicine!" The nurse explained to my mother that the urine test was positive for blood and infection, but that she couldn't administer medicine without the doctor's approval.
    At least another hour passed and I continued to cry and vomit. I am sure that Nurse Tina must have had many, many patients that night but she continued to come by, quite frequently- at least every 20 minutes- to see how I was. I knew she cared, and my Mom and I knew that when the doctor was available she would be right there to get him.
    When the doctor came he looked at my labs and looked me over quickly. I am sure he was a busy man himself that night. He ordered me tylenol 3 and my Mom said simply 'that will not work. She is in too much pain. I know you are a doctor, but..." At that point Tina stepped in. "Dr. ____, Lindsay has been in pain for about three hours and she is very worked up." was all she said. The doctor nodded his head and commented on how long I had been in pain, he was sorry, they were swamped. I got an IV of morphine and was finally able to relax and sleep and get relief from my pain.
    I ended up in the hospital for 5 days with a severe kidney infection. When I was lonely or scared, thirsty or in pain, I called a NURSE. It was the nurses that helped me wrap my arm in a garbage bag when I desperatley wanted a shower, and it was a nurse that helped me to the bathroom to vomit and didn't even bat an eye, even though it was disgusting. It was a nurse who found me some toast when I just couldn't eat the hospital eggs in the morning, and when I was sick in the ER and my mom was stressed and felt helpless, we found comfort in Tina, the nurse that was so compassionate. None of them ever complained or had a bad attitude even one time with me- I recieved excellent care.
    I still haven't forgotten this. Nurses do the Lord's work. So to all of you who sometimes think that you work without thanks, know what even though your patients may not tell you, you may make such a difference that a patient remembers your name 7 years after they met you.
    •  
  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   ShayRN
    I see your profile says your a nursing student now. Good luck and welcome to the journey.
  4. by   leslymill
    Your an angel.
  5. by   Sabby_NC
    Simply well read and from your heart. Thankyou so very much. I wish you well in your future endeavors.
  6. by   IMustBeCrazy
    THIS is much better than any Press Ganey result. Thank you Mslinzyann!
  7. by   loaparker
    Little Ms. Linzyann- you are going to make a fantastic nurse!

    Would you like to hear my story from 1971? I know that seems absolutely ancient to you, but I was 5 years old.

    I remember the stark white walls and the way that the nurses shoes squeaked on the floor. I remember smelling the 'hospital smell' that I had become so familiar with. But what I remember most was my hero of a brother, crying clutching onto my mothers dress, looking much younger than his 8 years. Then the nurse, whose face I can not remember, but whose voice I will never forget snap;
    .....' can't you shut him up!!'

    My hero was dead 3 months later, a distinct looser in his battle with leukemia.

    I have always hated that nurse, the way she made my mother struggle to hold back her tears and my brother not only cry in fear of the horrible chemo, but cry with shame for simply recalling the effects of the useless, previous chemo.

    38 years later... in 6 days I finish nursing school and begin my own career as a nurse. Surely that nurse left an ember of anger that lasted through engineering school, a career, and a family of my own. Maybe that ember slowly began to burn and I was drawn to nursing to help equal out that injustice. There is only one thing I know for sure. No one in my care will EVER feel like my family did in 1971. I am going to be the opposite nurse and hope to God I will always be like your Tina.
  8. by   Agnus
    Thank you.
  9. by   TazziRN
    Wow.......to both of the childhood experiences. The first made me cry and the second made me want to rip some old bat to shreds.
  10. by   Lissyann
    Wow, Ms Linzyann! That was wonderful! I actually shed a tear.

    Thank you (and we almost have the same user names, lol)!
  11. by   Drysolong
    Quote from TazziRN
    Wow.......to both of the childhood experiences. The first made me cry and the second made me want to rip some old bat to shreds.
    Yes!!!. And both experiences re-emphasize to me that NURSING is more than just a job.
  12. by   Ms Kylee
    Quote from TazziRN
    Wow.......to both of the childhood experiences. The first made me cry and the second made me want to rip some old bat to shreds.

    Amen, Tazzi!
  13. by   ericalynn
    It's stories like this and patients like you who make me PROUD to be a nurse. Thank you!
  14. by   rgroyer1RNBSN
    I agree with Tazzi, the first one almost got me, and the second one made me want to rip some old bag to shreds.

    Both of you who wrote the stories thank you and good luck in nursing!

close