Too much excitement just might kill me!
This afternoon, I went to the local supermarket to buy our weekly groceries, as I do every week. I was feeling blue, because another child I know grew his angel wings in his mama’s arms last night – the day that the love of his life finished her last round of chemo, as though he had waited to make sure she would be alright before he left.
And there she was, pushing a trolley around like nobody’s business. A nurse from the hospital where Monkey was treated.
And not just any nurse.
On every ward there seems to be one nurse who just really isn’t cut out for the job. Most of them are amazing at what they do, and amazing people, but a very small few (in my experience) should really find a different vocation.
She was that one, in the surgical ward, after Monkey had his tumor biopsy, bone marrow aspirates, chest drain and infuser port insertion. The one who filled in for an hour when the primary nurse went on break right before giving Monkey his morphine. The one who decided that she would only give him half a dose, despite the fact that he’d had surgery mere hours before, despite a clear pattern of elevated heart rate when the pain relief wore off, and despite the fact that the primary had told her to give him the full dose to keep him comfortable.
And when his heart rate monitor kept alarming every 90 seconds because his heartbeat was too high (an indication of pain in a child so drugged from anaesthetic that they cannot scream), she repeatedly came and silenced it, telling me it was nothing, telling me if he was a few months older, they would be using different settings on the machine. Like that would make me feel better. The one who made him wait much longer than necessary – “just to see” – before giving him the extra medicine he needed to settle.
I hated her that night. I have wished so many times I had advocated more strongly for Monkey in that instance, but it was all still so new to me then.
This morning, I could not have told you the first thing about how she looked. I wouldn’t have expected to be able to recognize her. But I did.
And it was like a slap in the face that took me right back there.
I hope I don’t run into her again.