Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sunday Grateful Post 2 - Nurse Kristen

In my last post I mentioned the bariatric nurse Kristen. I was lucky enough to have her care for me 2 out of the 3 days I was in the hospital. I'm glad that I was "with it" enough to have my dad pick up a thank you card for me to write her a nice note before I was discharged. I'm pretty sure that most of it was in coherent English, too. As this one was done "on the fly" I don't have a typed copy to transcribe here. However, it's not hard to remember the general gist, or the reasons why I am thankful.

Kristen was the perfect nurse for me. She came when needed and left me alone when that was appropriate as well. Her bedside manner was excellent - upbeat (but not to the point of being annoying), engaging, thoughtful, honest, helpful, but not pushy. A few questions came up while I was in her care that, upon reflection, may have sounded like I was doubting her expertise when I asked them. The responses I received reflected no hint of resentment at this fact but were instead delivered in a manner that set my mind at ease and wholly answered the question. For example, I noticed what looked like a bubble in my IV line at one point - I don't remember the entire explanation, but it satisfied not only my drug-addled brain, but my mother's sharp one also.

Another great quality was that I never felt like any question was stupid, even though I may have felt silly while asking. It also never felt like I was taking up too much of her time or that she was in a hurry to do anything other than take care of me and my needs. To my credit (if I do say so myself), I made my best effort to learn and call everyone by their name and to thank them after each visit, even if it involved waking me up in the night to do a vitals check. I assumed that theirs was sometimes a thankless job, and it was my duty to give appreciation where it was due. Another perfect example was when Kristen came to remove my catheter - a quick and painless process, though mildly uncomfortable. As the tube came out, a few drops of pee squirted out of the end. Totally beyond my control, but I was mortified. I managed to stammer out, "thanks...I mean sorry...and thanks!" If I didn't know better, I would have thought that she didn't even notice the mini golden shower that I bestowed upon her.

Even though our time together was a good portion of my hospital stay, it was only an instant in the course of a lifetime. However, she made a huge impression and I'm grateful that our paths crossed.

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