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Saturday, January 14, 2012

No Offense to Nurses or Doctors

Let me just say I have had my fair share of hospitals in the last six months and while I have had some of the kindest, most understanding nurses and doctors ever (Sue, Nico's nurse while in the hospital, Dr. Hulett, both of our doctor and my preop and post op nurses for my mouth), one thing remains true...those that let my family or friends be with me or with my family member that was going through the health crisis (or triumph) made the experience so much better. I understand that the nurses and doctors need to do their job. I am not an idiot but letting my son have his aunt and cousin in the room with him before he went into surgery (not an emergency one, mind you) so that it made him less anxious wasn't hurting anyone so what was the big deal? Letting his aunts come and see him and then later, his friends aided in his frame of mind to recover faster and the appreciation for having people that cared enough to come see him made him feel so good (Thank you, Sue and all of his nurses...some of the best we have ever had for a painless experience).
We are not a normal family and I get that other people don't understand our closeness. When one of us has a baby, we all want to be there. When I had Nico, the nurses wouldn't let my family be with me and I needed their support because it wasn't happening as quickly as they would have like it to. My sisters are some of the funniest women around and having them around to distract me would have helped immensely. They weren't allowed in. I know I would have had a different experience if they would have let them because they did with the twins and Gia and it was completely different. We are not big people. We don't take up that much room. We can also leave if need be but we want to be there. I can't stand to live farther away than ten minutes from my mom and dad and hate that I live a half hour from two of my sisters so when they are going through a health crisis or are having a baby, I want to be there for them. Maybe it isn't the norm or healthy but it is how it is. My sisters are my best friends. My mom and dad also. My nieces and nephews are my kids' best friends and I love them like they are my own. We support each other and when someone goes through something, we help by being there. To have a nurse or a doctor dismiss that and act like it is a burden fires all of us up. I can throw my best friend, R.C. in the mix of that. Forgive me if you work at Alexian Brothers but the experiences I have had there are not good ones. She had her babies there and it was a fight every single time to see her because we weren't technically family. She has no sisters and maybe I am taking it upon myself to say so but Gina and I are her sisters so to not be able to see her was killing us. Her husband finally lied to the nurses and said we were her sisters and the nurse rolled her eyes and said, "Sure...go on in but not too long." R.C. didn't have a traumatic labor (I'm pretty sure she had one of the ones we envy), she was in good spirits and was happy and wanted to share it with us. What was the big deal?

I know nurses and doctors see things every day. As a relatively healthy family, we don't so when someone has something that threatens to take our loved one away or change life as we know it, we are scared and nervous. Making us wait all day and then not telling us what is going on will cause us to panic. Starting procedures without alerting us that they are happening (after telling us you'll be out in 20 minutes to tell us either way and then saying, "Oops, that's my fault. I was supposed to tell you) will cause normally sane women that avoid confrontation to tear you a new one. The bedside manner of the nurses and doctors at Alexian Brothers was terrible. They made us feel like we were bothering them just to find out information about our loved one. Is it a good hosptial? Yes and I am not disputing that. My nieces and nephews (in our family, best friends' kids are your nieces and nephews) running around healthy and my best friend coming through labor and delivery and loved ones that were able to avoid invasive surgeries are proof. I'm just and love are important, too. Wanting to say goodnight to a loved one before leaving them for the night should not be met with aggravation and ignoring us. I asked my sister, who is a nurse, how she felt about it and she said she tells her patients that as long as she can get to them and the people don't care if she knocks them over to do so, they can have as many people as they want because she is from the school of thought that love and support help in the healing process. I like that and that is why she is the best nurse out there.

I understand that a lot of this is hospital policy and that the doctors and nurses are just doing their job but why do some follow it and others don't? Why did we get the one that followed it while the people next door didn't? There were times when we got the ones that didn't follow it and I love them for it. I really do. Maybe it is too much to ask that someone stand up and say, "What is the big deal?" Support matters. Having someone that in some small way was making a stand made a difference in all of our experiences.


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