Nurse becomes patient


Recently, I had my gallbladder taken out. I know, its not a big operation, and although I knew what to expect in general by being a nurse, I was still scared, worried, and all the other emotions our patients face.

I woke up one morning at midnight with severe stomach pain. Nothing I did would relieve the pain, and I began vomiting around an hour later. At 3:30AM, I decided I couldn't take the pain any more and went to the emergency room.

I really wasn't thinking it was my gallbladder. i certainly didn't anticipate surgery, complications, or anything like my experience.

When they broke the news that I needed surgery, of course panic and concern flooded over me. I had never had any type of operation before, and although in my mind I knew this was a simple and routine operation, there is always a chance of complications.

I was immediately reminded of a video I had seen in the military years ago. The men was a pilot, who was burned over 75% of his body by jet fuel after a plane mishap.

Suddenly, he was a patient. Nobody thought he would live more than a day or two. Some of his nurses and doctors treated him as such. He couldn't speak. Most of his face was burned away. But his mind was sharp. And he remembered everything. And shared it to us.

I had a wonderful experience overall. The doctors, nurses, aides, ancillary and surgical personnel were awsome. But, there still were times when I needed medicine, or needed to go to the bathroom, or when a nurse would come in to do a procedure and not make me feel comfortable and like a person.. just another injection, or just another pill... and I would think these are the things I need to hold onto... these are the times I need to burn in my memory, and try to always be attentive to my patients needs and treat them like I wanted to be treated...

A small, simple surgery. Admitted on Monday, out of the hospital on Thursday, due to Hypokalemia and a post-ansthesia irregular heartbeat.

Only one small voice in a constant sea... Remember to all, tomorrow, it could be you.

God bless you all for what you do every day.


33 Posts

Specializes in LTC.

What a great story that was to share. Thank you for that. I'm sorry you went thru so much pain before that. And the emotinal pain that pilot went thru. How awful to feel that way. Sad truth though, yanno? I'm glad to hear you're better now though! I bet that video will always stick out for you.

I had my gallbladder out 4 weeks into starting NS! I ended up having to stay 2 extra days. Draining too much fluid and my heart rate kept fluttering around. Grrrr..... 2 months after that I also had to have a partial hysterectomy over Thanksgiving break (so as not to miss ANY class time!) My gallbladder was misdiagnosed years before as GERD. So for years, I went with that pain. I feel your pain! Poor Dr. that checked me out almost got whacked when he touched me...LOL

Thank goodness when I was on the med/surg floor, I had a brand new RN student that could do the drain. She had never gotten to do it in clinical. She was sooooo nervous the first time that she would hurt me. Poor girl!! Glad I could help her out.LOL And my Gyn floor nurses were also the nurses that were there when I delivered my kids. Beth even brought me out to the desk to show me stuff. She said" Get yer butt outta bed girlie. We're walking!" LOL Gotta love nurses!

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