Nurses make all the difference and a tangent on America

We’re obviously still in the hospital. We’ve been through a lot of nurses since we’ve been here, day nurses, night nurses, nurses’ assistants… the doctors pretty much stay the same, but the nurses change almost every day. We had a great nurse for two days in a row, Jan. She was a very sweet, mothering type, which promptly sent me over the edge. I’m fine as long as no one is acting concerned about me, but the minute they start asking me how I’m doing I completely lose my shit. There was some crying. Plus, we had an unpleasant visit in the Eye Center, yesterday, that left us a bit deflated. The Husband’s been having problems with his eyes, his vision is blurry, foggy, his eyes feel grainy, and it worsens as the day progresses. Obviously this has all gotten worse since we got here due to lack of sleep, the dry hospital air, and some anxiety. The eye doctor wasn’t a very nice person. Which is fine, because, in my opinion doctors need to be good at being doctors and their personality is secondary to that. Of course, in an ideal world, all doctors would be great at their job and have fantastic bedside manner, but I’m not an idealist. But the husband got very anxious, and a bit depressed, and when that happens it becomes really hard to get him out of his downward spiral. Jan helped with that a lot.

Nurses have a thankless job, in my opinion. They do a lot of cleaning up after patients, of measuring disgusting bodily fluids, of coddling people who are ill, and cranky, and unhappy. They have a lot of paperwork, they have to always be attentive cause a mistake could be fatal, and no one really thanks them for it. When people get better they reference the doctor, oh, so and so doctor was amazing, he saved my life… but what about the nurses? And it’s harder to establish a relationship with them cause their shifts are all over the place. Generally, you see the same doctor or two every day, so it’s easier with them, nurses come and go.

We have another great nurse today, John. The first thing he did this morning at the beginning of his shift was come in and say that he was Italian too, by his great grandfather or something like that. He immediately tried to establish a connection. And I guess it worked cause both the husband and I like him quite a bit. Of course, it made us laugh because he’s about as Italian as my knock off, made in China, Prada, but he’s a great guy, he made a point of trying to make us comfortable.

Also, and I’m off on a tangent here, I love that in America everyone (or rather, many people) have a sense of their roots. I’m Italian, I’m Irish, I’m Chinese, you hear from these people who have been living here for generations, who’ve never set foot in their countries of “origin”, who have none of the original traditions left other than what has evolved within their own families to give them a sense of who they were. This is just so quintessentially American to me. An Italian would look at this guy and be like dude, you’re so not Italian man, you’re the typical American (which, incidentally, is what the husband and I were doing in our bitchy heads this morning), but he still has a sense of belonging to a culture that he only knows second, or rather, third and fourth hand. And I imagine that this connection that he feels to his roots is probably what his great-grandfather would have wanted to preserve when he took that difficult and lonely boat ride across the Atlantic to an unknown place in search of a better and more optimistic future.

So the nurses here, they are great, and I just thought it needed to be said.

2 thoughts on “Nurses make all the difference and a tangent on America

  1. I’m just now reading this and I so agree. I have never had to be in the hospital other ha to give birth to my children… and throughout the whole process it’s really the nurses who are there, who hold your hand and try to make you feel better. So yeah, kudos to nurses. I hope, you guys are not at the hospital anymore and your husband on the mend! Good luck

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