There are simply too many heroes to keep track of when you’ve been in hospital for two weeks with a serious illness. But I’m going to try.
In the ER Dr Dennis was the one who came and held my hand and told me my liver was on it’s last…legs…if we didn’t act fast. Lee, the overnight ER nurse, made me feel as if I was her only patient despite the fact that I now know there was a very full house. ER RN Trevor brings the adorable factor (and boy does he know it!) looking like an escapee from a boy band and with a cheery enthusiasm for every patient.
Just a word about male nurses – I think it’s time we stopped identifying them this way. In the ER nurses were split about 50-50, male to female. On the 4th floor about 1/3rd were male. On the 8th, where I spent most of my time, there were fewer men but they were every bit as enthusiastic and competent as the women. A nurse is a nurse, no matter the gender. We no longer say “female police officer” as if it’s some sort of novelty. We should do the same for men who are RNs.
On the 4th floor, where I was housed in a non-patient room (on the plus side it was private – on the minus side it had no bathroom, sink
or proper lighting) the staff were wonderful. Jacqui, Martina, Jeff and Kim were standouts. Jeff in particular said he had a ‘lost decade’
until he figured out that he wanted to be an RN. That made me want to root for him.
It was on the 4th floor that I was handed over from General Medicine to General Surgery and had to say farewell to Dr. Rock Handsome and
his team. I can’t remember his real name but he looks like the kind of guy who would be called in to consult on a difficult soap opera
medical case and when he arrived the other doctors and nurses would breathe a sigh of relief because Rock Handsome was now in charge!
On the 8th floor I met more wonderful nurses, students and doctors. Cynthia, Sarah, Katrina, Erin (a stunningly beautiful woman inside and out): Nancy, with her easy laugh and calm manner; Donna who told us stories of close calls with angry seniors who lashed out at her over the years; Heather, Raf, Teresa, a nursing student whose confidence shone like a bright light; Maryann who has seen it all but isn’t the least bit jaded by it; Travis who took my good natured suggestion that wearing a well-worn UWO hoodie over his scrubs might not be the best first impression to make on a patient. (I actually made him show me his ID! He looked like he had been doing a drug deal outside the methadone clinic in that hoodie.)
My biggest virtual hug has to go to surgical resident Dr. Jhou whose job it was to update me on my case every morning. He’s a young man with an easy smile and crazy, uncontrollable black hair that always made me grin. After the battery of tests they ran he spent about fifteen minutes one morning listing everything they found inside me from harmless little water pockets here and there to – if memory serves – a Keebler elf building scaffolding on my kidney. These are things that many people have but never have reason to know about. They will never
harm me but they’re there nonetheless. They searched every square millimetre of me except my right earlobe and my big toes. So it was up to Dr Jhou to tell me each day what was new with me and why some of it, like the elf, didn’t matter!
Dr Hernandez is the liver specialist at University Hospital. Twice he has planned to go in and work on my liver and twice he cancelled. He really doesn’t want to do it unless it’s absolutely necessary and because my blood results keep coming back better than expected, he continues to put off the invasive procedure in hopes it will never be needed. (Now it’s tentative for the end of Feb.) I respect that a lot more than a cowboy who’s just itching to get in there and show off his wrangling skills on my liver!
Even the cleaners and food delivery people were great. One cleaner downloaded the Cut The Rope game app to my iPhone for me. Dumb, addictive, fun game! It took two minutes out of his day but it’s given me a lot of giggles.
These doctors will be part of my life for some time to come. The nurses, I will never forget. They earn every dime they make and if I
ever hear of their profession or them as a group being put down I will come out swinging. They are caring for people who otherwise would be suffering alone. It’s not a job I would ever want to do but I’m grateful that there are many who will do it. Thank you, thank you, thank you.