Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The favorite nurse...or, Terry the Talker

The nurse that made me think outside the box.

It’s not because he’s a man.

We’ve been here at the hospital for 2 1/2 days now. (Make that 5) It seems like more because each day is broken in half by 2 nurses. Each nurse feels like a day, as they frequently come in and check on Dom, and as I mentioned earlier, have somewhat of a disregard for day or night sleeping. That’s okay, they are doing their job, checking on levels and vitals and making sure we win.

We have really liked all the staff. There’s myriad of cultures represented here. There’s so much kindness and thoughtfulness present.

Along comes Terry. Oh Terry. Terry is a big guy. With a lot to say. At any time. Dom is friendly to everyone. And he has engaged everyone in conversation. I think he appreciates a nurse who will sit and shoot the breeze with him. I, on the other hand, am not a huge fan of Terry initially. It feels like Terry thinks he is the first person to give us any information, and I’m weary. His shift started at 7pm, and imagine as we’re winding down exhausted, Terry is winding up. He has all the analogies and stories and explanations. Dom bites. I’m on information overload.

Meanwhile, our first visitor arrives after a long hot drive. We’re so honored this friend has come. Terry has already been talkingandtalkingandtalkingandtalking. We invite our friend in, and Terry gets into a squat against the wall as if he’s getting real comfortable, to stay a while. In front of our friend, he lectures us on having friends visit, they bring germs, he’d advise against it. In front of our friend. After a hot two hour drive. You shouldn’t be here person.

Dom doesn’t care, he’s the nice one. I’m about to flip out.

So, finally, all Kamala style, (I wish) I suggest that Terry be on his way. I point out to him we have a friend who drove a long way we’d like to visit with. Of course I’m the bad guy.
I get shushed. He keeps talking. And after taking his authoritative stance, takes his leave.

We have a nice visit with our friend who has come bearing gifts that by default come to me. We laugh and shake our heads at what is happening. We so appreciate the visit. And at just the right time, he knows it’s time to leave.

We go through the rituals of bed time. We have a few moments of alone time, and express how tired we are. We snuggle down and dream of sleep. We know that at midnight, Terry will be back with more treatments.
He’s back at 11:30. To check in. To squat and talk and tell us all the things. About his job, his life, whatever. You name it, he tells it.
He’s there to tell us, at 11:30 pm, that it’s important that we guard our time and not let friends over stay their welcome. He’s there to tell us it’s important we get our rest. He’s there to tell us he can be the bad guy and let people know it’s time to leave. I’ve been lying on my side the whole time trying to send the message it’s bed time. It is definitely time to leave. I have had enough at this point. I sit up and let him know I can be the bad guy too. Big sigh. Flop down.

Too late to sleep now, time for more bags and lines and vitals.

Dom asks if he has to be awakened for every treatment and check. The answer is no. But it’s really yes, because again, we are intentionally awakened through the night.
I wake up around 5 hearing them talking. Again, and Terry has printed out all the drugs, and thinks that 5 am is a good time to talk about the drugs. His self importance is more than I can bear and I let him know, I’ve already asked for and have all of that information. Well, you can’t have too much paper, can you? He says. Yes, yes you can have too much.

I don’t want to be mean. When I fully wake and sit up and say good morning, I smile at him, and act like everything is perfectly normal.

Dom likes him.  I don’t *not* like him. I just want to punch him when he keeps us awake talking about how our friends will be terrible people keeping us awake.

He really is a nice guy. Don’t get me wrong. It’s clear he loves his job. He love people. I think? The day nurse says he’s hyper. She says he’s the nicest guy, but he hasn’t been able to transition from day to night nursing. She’s able to come in and out of the room, and if Dom’s eyes are closed because he’s catching up on the lost sleep from the night before, she touch’s him as little as possible, walks silently and changes the lines and reads the numbers, all without waking him. And definitely not talking full volume. It is possible.

But Dom likes Terry, and that’s what matters. So here’s me thinking outside the box. Not the all nurses are women box. The box of how I see people. Terry does have a lot to say. But he means so well. He’s been our nurse two nights now, and he and Dom have developed a rapport. He brought Dom cotton balls with oils he researched. He “doesn’t know yet how all that stuff works,” but he thought it may help with the distress to sniff some lavender. He always asks me if I need anything. He is super attentive, and even if his timing is off sometimes, the thing is, he has made all the time to be present for Dom on his shifts. So no matter my initial thoughts of Terry the Talker, he’s on team Dom, and that means I’m on Terry’s team.

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