Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Community Nurse part II

So there I was sitting in my kitchen, thinking about my phone sitting alone in the dining room, wishing I could think of some excuse to make the community nurse hurry up and leave. That seems a bit unfair, she was a perfectly pleasant lady but it always unsettles me slightly when medical people don't really....'get' it. By 'getting' it, I mean references which I would think would be fairly basic and standard concepts within the medical field. And when my trust in them begins to waver, then I internally begin to panic about whether they are fully able and qualified to do the job they came to do, in this case, change a dressing on a PICC line in my arm. Which runs near my heart. Which must be kept sterile at all times. So the conversation continued...

Nurse: "So the diabetes, that came after a surgery?"
Me: "Yes my tr-"
N: "-And what surgery was that?"
M: "A transpl-"
N: "Oh a transplant, I see it's written here! What type?"
M: "Lungs"
N: "Just the one lung, was it?"
M: "No lungs. Two."
N: "Ohhhh! And what was that for?"
M: "Well I have Cystic Fibrosis"
N: "Ohhhh! Cystic Fibrosis? And was that to cure it, yes?"
M: "Well, no. Like I don't have it in my lungs anymore, but the rest of my body still has it, so I'm not cured."
N: "Ohhhh I see! And how long have you had Cystic Fibrosis then?"
M: "Well, it's genetic. So I was born with it. "
N: "Ohhh! So a long time then, says you!"
M: "Yeah. I was diagnosed when I was six months old."
N: "Ohhh! Six months, so you've had it a LONG time then!"
M: "Well, yeah. I was born with it. "
N: "And when did you get the transplant?"
M: "Four years ago, almost."
N: "Ohhh! And how long were you waiting for it?"
M: "Emm about si-"
N: "For ages I bet!"
M: "Six months?"
N: "Oh that was quick!.... Oh you have a dog! Oh I never even noticed him. Oh isn't she gorgeous?"
M: "Yeah, that's my dog, he's very sweet"
N: "She's like a fox. Or a deer. Or a doe-a-deer! Oh will she bark now?"
M: "Oh no, he never barks, ever really."
N: "Oh I bet she'll bark"
M: "No, don't worry, he doesn't bark"
N: "Oh she'll make strange for me I bet!"
M: "No don't wor-"
N: "- right so I'm here to do a dressing then, so let's see, why do they want me to do that? Where is it now? Oh look at the eyes on her [the dog]..."

And so it continues. Turns out she doesn't have the right supplies, so I agree to go the pharmacy later and buy them. She has what will make do in the mean time. I become very worried that the pulling and prodding will make the line come out, so she agrees to hold it and I remove and dressings. Of course, this is all done through some more bizarre conversation, but seeing as I am studying for exams right now, I haven't the time to blog about it!

Thankfully the IVs are well in the past now, my lung function is back up and beyond where it was (I think about 104%) and I'm feeling much better! : ) I just have to concentrate on passing these silly exams (anyone know anything about statistics, neuropsychology or usability engineering, if you wouldn't mind disguising yourself as me and sitting my exams, it would mean hours more sleep and three less exams for me to do!).

My parents went to the CF conference this weekend, and so when I get a chance I'll blog up all I learned second hand from them.