I am hoping this was an unusual hospital admission and not the norm. I am trying to have some compassion for my admitting nurse’s behavior because I arrived at change of shift time. I know this can be difficult. This nurse’s comments and dirty looks toward the previous shift nurse told me that she wanted the previous shift nurse to do the admission tasks.
My nurse was grumpy and did look at me. With a scowl on her face, she stared at the computer screen and scrolled down. She said, “Why are you here? I responded, ” I am here for five IVIG transfusions. My diagnosis is Myasthenia Gravis.” She continued to scroll and then said that there is no such thing as IVIG; you mean IVP; you are a kidney transplant.”I am not here for a kidney transplant” was my quick response; “My diagnosis is Myasthenia Gravis”
My bed was also the scale. It showed my weight as being 20 pounds less than my actual weight. I made a joking comment about liking the lighter weight. I emphasized that my doctor’s scale and my scale matched. She said she needed the bed scale’s number (wrong weight) to calculate my IV.
As she continued to try to argue with me, I suggested that she search for IV immunoglobulin. She found it and with a click, she moved on. IVIG is one of the few treatments for Myasthenia Gravis. It was becoming very clear to me that she did not know anything about my disease or it’s treatment. Sadly, it was more clear that she was not interested in learning about it.
Four times, she asked if I was diabetic. Each time , I said “No”. She seemed to be obsessed with her diabetes question. She seemed to forget my answer each time. Several times, I told her that I need oxygen and that I have used 2 liters of oxygen for the past two years. I looked at her blank face and wondered if she noticed I was short of breath. I also did not receive my Mestinon, the oral medicine that I have taken for the past two years.
This admitting nurse attempted to start my IV four times My arm was quickly purple and swollen. She said , “Look at how puffed up your arm is..that proves I am in your vein.” Her logic was so bizarre. She then said she would not try any more and that the IV would be started the next day. She answered her phone and she argued with someone who was reprimanding her for not having given morning meds to a different patient.
Our relationship began when she brought me a pill at about 7:30pm. She announced that the pill would relax me and make me sleepy. I asked if she was still planning to do my admission procedure and start my IV. She said “yes” and I said that I would decline her 7:30pm sleeping pill. Her admission interactions concluded about midnight.
I asked for some hot water to use for the herbal tea bag that I brought from home. She told me that patients were not allowed to drink hot drinks, in effort to prevent burns. This was not true. Hot soups, tea, and coffee were brought regularly to patients by others. Another nurse saw me running tap water, as I tried to make my tea. She immediately brought me a cup of microwaved water while telling me I should have asked my nurse for hot water. Yikes????
Needless to say, I was sick and weak during this episode. I would like to say that things got better during the next six days. It did not get better. I will be telling stories of my experiences in upcoming blogs.