Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Hardest Part Of The Last Four Days

It wasn't the constant headache.

It wasn't the worry that this was the beginning of some downward Multiple Myeloma slide.

It wasn't the egg on my head.

It wasn't six holes/bruises from my IV insertion (or attempted insertion) sites. Very colorful.

It wasn't the worry about missing four days at work (God! That's going to smart come payday!)

All those things were/are tough.......but not the hardest part.

It was the pressure to nice.

You have no idea how difficult this is for me.

The Jordan is one of my employer's biggest referral sources. I wasn't "Maggie" or "patient 123". I was "Maggie from X-Company". Everyone knew that. So everytime I would have snapped at someone......everytime I would have demanded something.......everytime I might have said something snippy.......I had to bite my tongue.

I was unrelentingly cheerful. Everything that happened was met with a bright "Thanks, that's great!" or "That's no problem!"

Up to and including smiling and joking Thursday night as my IV was changed. The EMTs put the original IV in my anticubital fossa (vein inside the elbow) of my left arm. It was awful, lol! I am left handed and everytime I bent the elbow it hurt. So on Thursday when it was clear that I was going to be stuck there another night, they were ready to move the IV to a better site with a smaller gauge IV cath. I asked specifically if it could be in my right hand. I've only had three previous IVs (two babies and one Zometa treatment) and those all went quite well. Well the nurse said she didn't think hand insertions were good. She asked if she could put it in the inside of my forearm. I deferred to her request. If I was "just Maggie" I would have said "No, put it in my hand please." The first insertion was a failure. I never look at these sorts of things when they are being done to me......but there's no mistaking what's going on when you hear "Oh shit". She said she'd try again and picked a site near the first. Another negative "Why can't I do this? You know I am really good at this." At this point "just Maggie" would have said "Stop, send up an expert." Then she said she'd try the outside of the forearm. "Your vein rolled!" So I said - nicely, calmly - "Ok, well let's just go for the hand." Three bruises, one success. Next night, same nurse. My IV was kinked and needed to be reinserted. "Just Maggie" would have said "Get someone else." Again she didn't want to put it in my hand. One failed forearm attempt and it ends up back in the inside of my elbow! At least it was the right elbow.

After all, I am a company girl! I even smiled when one of the discharge planners came in to meet me (I have been talking to these people on the phone for years). After telling me how happy she was to put a face with the name and not to worry about anything while I was there - yes, there is an upside to being "Maggie from X-Company" - she leaned in and KISSED ME!!!! LOL I am not a social kisser. I called my boss immediately "Hey! The things I do for you. So-and-so just kissed me." She might have responded, but I couldn't understand because she was laughing so hard.

1 comment:

SK said...

Holy crap! You can't be left alone for a minute. But if you should ever decide to try something similar in the future, feel free to call me. I have lots of practice in dealing with hospital people, and I do NOT have to be 'nice'. lol