A very kind Nurse
On my second night at the VA, the nurse on duty was one I had not met before. I could not sleep, nor could I lie down flat on my bed. Lying down brought some trouble with my breathing, which then progressed to pain in my chest area. Along with my ‘ice pick’ headache, sleep was pretty much impossible. She introduced herself as Sarah (not her real name) and that she was going to be our nurse that night. The first thing I noticed about her was the tonality of her voice, it seemed to soothe and reduce anxiety. She asked how I was doing and I told her of my pain. She asked me what level; I responded that it was between an 8 or 9. The last nurse on duty would only give me one Tylenol every six hours, which not enough deal with the pain. It would mute it for about an hour and then start to build up. Inside I was frightened, which humiliated me and made me angry. Having pain and feeling that relief was being withheld for no reason also made me feel frantic and scared. She looked at me; left the room soon returned and gave me two Tylenol. She communicated to me that she could see that I was in a lot of pain, and since it was an over the counter medicine, she could not refuse me. I was so thankful. Eugene my roommate needed a lot of visits so I was awake for the rest of the night. The lessening of the pain was such a blessing that I did not care. She was very gentle with Eugene and was never out of the room for more than 30 minutes. It was like she could be in more than one place at a time. All the nurses there were good and kind, but she was different and touched me in such a way that I still feel it. Perhaps it was because she actually saw me, listened, empathized and did something about it. I was not suffering from Tylenol toxicity, so she did the humane thing and gave me pain relief. Over all the care was good, but I don’t understand why the hesitation in dealing with pain. They may have their reasons, but what they consisted of was never relayed to me. The next time I go into the hospital, I will take a bottle of Tylenol. I don’t abuse it and refuse to be treated as if I do.