Monday, March 15, 2010

A few pros and cons of being in the hospital

I always try to find the positive things in every situation, even if the situation or experience isn't pleasant or fun. I'm just that kind of person and always have been. Here are a few of the pros and cons I noticed from my recent hospital stay:

I absolutely hate being in the hospital for various reasons, but most of all it's just hard to be alone in the hospital, especially since I'm unable to move or do anything physical for myself. I don't like being alone, but thankfully my mom/sister/friends spend a good majority of each day with me so I don't have to be alone for too long. However, my mom and sister go home at night, so they can get a good night's sleep so that they don't get too worn out. Being alone at night is tough for me since it's almost impossible to sleep through the night since people are constantly coming into my room to do different things. A lot of times I lie awake for hours, feeling extremely bored, just watching the clock for 8 am to roll around because my mom usually arrives at the hospital between 8 and 9 am. Being alone is the absolute worst!

Another downside to being in the hospital is when I have to deal with nurses or other hospital personnel who don't treat me with the dignity that each person should be treated with. I have to give props to St. Anthony's because almost everyone that cared for me was very nice. Sadly, it's the people that don't treat me well that always leave a lasting impression. In this last hospital stay there were only two people that I had problems with. The first person was a nurse who came in to help my nurse transfer me to a different bed. She was so rough, and I was asking her if we could do things a little differently than she wanted to so that I would be more comfortable. She didn't want to take the time to listen to what I had to say, and she said, "Let's just get this done." When she left and my mom came back in the room I was really upset and I said, "Thank God she's not my regular nurse!!" (I affectionately nicknamed this nurse "Nurse Ratchet.")

I was so bothered and insulted that Nurse Ratchet didn't want to take the time to listen to what I had to say. I know that she is a nurse and that I am just a patient, but I've lived as a quadriplegic for more than six years, and I know what makes me comfortable/uncomfortable. I know what works for me. I think it's really important for hospital personnel to listen to the patients and patient's family members/caregivers, especially when the caregivers have been taking care of their family member for an extended period of time. (Like how my mom has been taking care of me for the past six years. We have a system. We know what works for us.)

The other person that I had troubles with was a respiratory therapist. I don't really want to go into the whole story, but again, she wouldn't listen to me. Sometimes it seems like hospital personnel have the "I know what's best" mentality, and they won't listen to what the patient says. It's really frustrating when this happens! But like I said, just about everyone I came into contact with was very kind and willing to listen to my suggestions when it came to my personal care.

One of the pros to being in the hospital is being able to talk to the different people I come into contact with. I love talking with my different nurses, techs (nurses aides) and respiratory therapists, as well as the housekeeping and dietary staff that clean my room and bring my food trays. I'm a really chatty person, and I love telling anyone and everyone who will listen to me who I am, what's happened to me and what my life is like now. I enjoy finding out about their lives, too. Being able to talk with new people is definitely one pros of being in the hospital.

Another plus side of being in the hospital is that I always seem to learn a lot. When I was in nursing school before my accident I loved learning, so when I'm in the hospital I ask lots of questions so that I can learn about all of the aspects of my care.

I definitely try to make lemonade out of the lemons life has thrown my way. I know that happiness is a choice, but for me, I just couldn't live my life any other way. I know that I have the potential to be consumed with anger and bitterness, but that would make my life that much more difficult. Happiness is the only way for me!


ionamin-W8FW8 said...

If anyone knows how to make lemonade, it is you! I would say you've made many gallons of it!

Tyler and Jen said...

I was catching up on your blog and I have to agree with Nathan, I was starting to wonder if you were human too! You really are amazing. Your example has helped me more than you will know! Love ya!

Kathe said...

Love your attitude and you are a great example for all of us!!

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