The hospital in the town I just moved to is great! I had a good feeling from the time I called the Infusion Room to make an appointment for fluids. At the hospital I went to in my old town, they made me feel like I was annoying them because I didn’t have regularly scheduled appointments. I really don’t know when I am going to need fluids. I wish I did, but I don’t! Sometimes I’ll know the evening before I need them, but usually I just wake up and realize if I don’t go get them, bad things are going to happen. So, I decided I had to give in and call and get an appointment for fluids. It was late morning, so I was expecting that I wouldn’t get an appointment until the following day. I was bracing myself for the annoyed nurse. Surprise! It was completely different when I called this hospital. The nurse said “Come on in whenever you can. We’re ready for you!” There was no sigh or edge to her voice about the short notice.
When I got there, the receptionist greeted me with a smile. She said, “They told me you were coming, let’s get you all set up here!” She directed me to the lab to get my blood drawn. When I came back, I was greeted with ANOTHER smile and was told to go on back. Then, guess what? I was greeted by a SMILING nurse. She looked like she actually was happy to be helping me. I understand nurses have incredibly stressful jobs, but every single time I went to get fluids at the other hospital, they seemed annoyed by my very existence. That’s unacceptable no matter how stressful your job is. I’ve worked in high stress jobs, and I never let it impact how I interacted with clients. It’s not the clients fault you’re stressed.
Anyways… The Infusion Room is one big room with a bunch of Lazy Boy type chairs. A few patients said hi to me as I came in. I met a woman who has Chronic Lyme Disease and I knew what it was thanks to some of you bloggers out there. She gave me information about a good doctor near here should I choose to look more into that. The nurse came over and started working on getting an IV in. The best spot to put an IV in me is kind of beat up, so she wanted to try a different vein. It looked like it’d be a really good one. I am told I have lots of valves, so my veins are never what they appear. She kept apologizing and saying she was torturing me. She only had to stick me twice which isn’t all that bad. I told her it was okay and I didn’t mind needles. She said, “Oh stop it, needles hurt. You don’t have to say it is okay — because it isn’t.” How sweet is that? These nurses have empathy for their patients and it made my experience of getting fluids completely different than what I had gotten used to. (Note: Not all of the nurses at the old hospital hated their job, just the ones that did ambulatory care) I could tell some of the patients were regulars, and there seemed to be really positive patient-nurse relationships. After she got the IV in, it got even better. She asked me if I wanted coffee, tea, soda, water… I declined as I was nauseous. Then she asked me if I wanted a warm blanket. I said “Yes please!!” I love warmed up blankets. They are the best thing about the hospital.
An hour later I was feeling like a new woman. Fluids really help so much when I am at rock bottom. I used to dread needing fluids. Not only was I sick enough to require an IV to get fluids, but I knew the hospital staff would make feel annoying for needing them. I dreaded calling. I never knew if they’d work to fit me in or not, even when I called a day in advance. They would literally sigh when I asked for an appointment. Maybe they had more patients than they could handle, but their frustration over that should not have been passed along to me. Good news… The nurse at my new hospital explained to me that if I need to come in, a few hours notice is best. However, if it is urgent, they will get me in right away. It made me so happy to hear that I no longer had to stress about stressing out the nurses. I no longer dread getting fluids for any reason except it means I am really sick. Thank you so much to the nurses at this hospital for treating me so well. Being chronically ill is terrible, but these nurses made this part of my illness a little less terrible.