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Pre-Admission

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Surgery again for my girl.
She is braver than I.
When they ask about anxiety before surgery
I forget.
I forget they are asking her.
Not me.
Because the answer is yes.
Yes, I do get anxious.

Hello Again, Hospital

Bedside again, watching her sleep and waiting for the doctor. Post operative complications have overshadowed our Christmas, though we were home for Christmas this year.
I fix her pillow, adjust the bed, fetch a blanket, fuss at her and generally drive her mad. As much as she loves me and relies on me, she is still a 15 year old girl and I am still mom.
It’s a kind of prayer, this fussing… a kind of promise keeping. I can’t fight the infection she is battling, can’t take the pain away or make her stronger. I can brush her hair back from her eyes, I can bring her water and do those small things anxious mothers do. It might irritate her as much as it helps her but I can’t help myself. She is my job. Whatever else I am in the world outside this curtain, in here she is my only work.
And she gets it. She understands and is so patient with my fluttering, my over helping. She thanks me, lets me adjust and smiles at me, almost always. And she lets me kiss her forehead as often as I need to.

For the Nurses

My daughter and I have been keeping company with some pretty wonderful nurses in our general hospital this week. It amazes me, what they do. They poke, prod, cajole, encourage, insist and assist. My gal has come through a pretty painful operation and is recovering slowly, and the nurses have been great. I would love to say the same about her surgeon…. I can’t.

It’s fascinating to observe the God Complex in action, up close. It truly shocks me that even today some doctors prefer patients (and presumably patient’s mothers) who do not ask questions. I was treated to a fabulous display of petulant rage yesterday when I asked the doctor a question…he took it to be (I guess) an insult or assault on his skill. It was the first time I have seen a surgeon yell in a hospital room. Lovely, and so good for patient morale, don’t you think?

Which brings me squarely back to the nurses. I imagine it can be incredibly challenging and sometimes draining to deal with sickness and death, with interfering and emotional families. I think it must be enormously difficult to have to be the liaison between difficult doctors and their patients. Our surgeon has a reputation for his atrocious bedside manner….pity the nurse who must step in afterward to clean up that mess.

So to all the nurses working 12 hour shifts on hospital wards with patients who don’t always cooperate, families who don’t always understand and doctors who don’t always give a damn, thank you. You help in ways you’ll never know.

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