Ode to the Nurses
I’ve spent the better part of the last month on my back. In other words, I’ve spent a lot of my time lying in bed, cursing the fates. On the 2nd of September, I was working a shift in my brother’s bike shop. It was the usual kind of day at the shop; we sold bikes like Captains of Industry, and we had some fun. At quarter to four, I went to take a leak. And, the fun stopped.
It stopped on a fucking Dime.
I started having a very uncomfortable pain in my lower back on the right side of my body. In the span of about 20 seconds, it escalated from uncomfortable, to incomprehensible. I cannot describe this pain to you; all I can say is that I couldn’t even cry. I was in so much pain my ability to express this pain was short circuited. I turned ash white, and I thought I was going to vomit on the floor I hurt so much. The next hour was taken up with agony of waiting; a ride in an ambulance punctuated with occasional spurts of warm morphine shot into my left hand and up my body to my heart; thus dispersed into the rest of me. Understand the following: by the time we got to the hospital, a 15 minute drive AT MOST, I had already been administered the amount of pain relieving narcotics that the law would allow an EMS agent to give out. I had tapped the supply before getting to the god damn hospital. I spent another few agonizing years (minutes I assume, but it felt like years) waiting to be attended by the ER doctor available. I had been asked a number of times how I would rate the pain: 1 to 10. I asked if there was a higher number available, I said I was dying. To be fair, I really thought I was.
Want to take a guess? I’ll describe the symptoms, you can pretend to be a doctor, we’ll play the virtual game of Operation. Don’t touch the sides. I hadn’t urinated in ages. I had radial, wave form pain on my lower back, moving forward into my front. I could barely speak from the pain. You got it kids.
I had fucking kidney stones. Well…one to be exact. A big son of a bitch too. Once this was realized, I was placed on the on-call list for surgery, and sent up to the Show. Here’s where my point comes in to play. After talking to me, the doctor basically punted me up into a unit to await the beck and call of a urological surgeon. I was turfed. I spent the next 24 hours being taken care of by what I assumed at the time was some kind of angelic wing of the medical community. I was taken care of by a couple of great nurses. I was hammered with anti-inflammatory drugs and pain killers whenever I even hinted I was uncomfortable. I feel guilty in fact that I can’t remember the names of the 3 ladies who took care of me over the course of my stay. In my defense I was in a state of near encephalopathic dementia due to the fantastic universe of Bristol-Myers products floating through my blood stream.
To be honest I don’t know much about the nature of how our government spends money on services in our province and country. I doubt I’m alone in that regard, which is a bit sad. I do know that our medical spending is not great, that and our education system are the first things on the docket whenever the subject comes up in any kind of debate. I don’t know what Nurses in our province or country are being paid but I can tell you this: it isn’t enough. Because no matter what it is, there’s nearly no compensation to be given for the constant stream of shit that they have to deal with. How any of them can maintain the angelic disposition that was displayed to me and the level of care I received while lying abed and praying a meteor would hit me remains a complete mystery to me.
So for all the nurses out there, Thank you. The only reason I wasn’t brought to tears was because of you and the work you do.
And the fucking stone? It was so big when they scoped me they couldn’t get it out normally, they had to laser the bastard and leave a tube in between my kidney and bladder. Want the punch line?
I had the damn surgery again last Tuesday because the tube migrated into my kidney, had to have a new one put in.
Kiss my ass Kidney Stones.
- Ode to the Nurses
- by Crom
- Published on November 3rd, 2006
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