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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Welcome To My World -- Needles, Veins and Black & Blue Marks

Moshe is home and doing a lot better.  Thanks to all for your concern, support, and help!  I do not know how we would manage without such a loving community to embrace us!
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Drawing blood or inserting a Heperin lock is an art.

Some doctors/nurses find a vein, seemingly effortlessly, while others insert the needle under your skin, then start poking around, because they missed the mark and the needle is not correctly inside a vein. 

I cannot stand it when people hurt me with needles. I have a "one-chance" policy. You get one chance to poke around my veins. If you fail, no second chances.

True, everyone can have a bad day. But, I am sorry, get your practice on someone else!

On Friday, when we arrived at the ER, the triage nurse did not insert the needle well.  I could see Moshe grimace in pain, as the nurse poked the needle around, under his skin. The nurse finally removed the needle and began looking for another point of entry.

"Please have someone else insert the needle," I asked softly.

"No problem," responded the nurse, and directed us to the surgical ER. I was so relieved that he was not insulted and so readily forwarded us to someone else.

Igor, the next nurse who tried, got the needle in, relatively painlessly, on the first go. (Thank you, God!) (Am I the only one who meets someone names Igor and immediately thinks of Young Frankenstein??)


We don't remember why that IV was removed, but when Moshe needed another IV, one of the doctors inserted the needle... not well, but it was in.

That was on Shabbat. 

As you will recall, I left Moshe on motzai Shabbat (Saturday night), fully convinced that he was much better and would be released the following morning, (Silly me!) only to receive his call Sunday morning, about how miserable his night was (more details here).  He told me how that same doctor inserted an IV three more times during the night, and none of them were inserted well.  His last IV caused him excruciating pain, and it took the staff around FOUR HOURS to remove it!

"You let her poke you FOUR TIMES????"  I almost jumped out of my skin! 

"I'm coming right away," I almost cried, "I will take care of you!"

RivkA to the Rescue!!

I switched into high gear.

When I got to the hospital, I was not my usual, charming self.  I was all business.

Moshe had an excruciating headache;  he was clearly dehydrated (he was not allowed to eat or drink, because he might need a surgical procedure).

I went out to the desk, and told the doctor on duty that I wanted to get a specific doctor from oncology to insert the IV.  The doctor on duty replied "I am also good at inserting an IV."  I told him, "OK, but you only get one chance."  He laughed.

He thought I was kidding.

The doctor inserted the needle and started poking around, finally removing it in failure.  Then he started looking for another vein.  "Don't poke him again," I commanded.  I smiled as I added "I told you; you only get one chance."

I repeated that I wanted to bring in the doctor from oncology.  "How do you know he will come?" the doctor and nurses asked me.  "I know him," I replied, "He will come, as a favor to me."  I spoke confidently, and they acquiesced. (I hoped I was right)

I left quickly, before they could change their minds or have someone else poke him.  The oncology ward was on the same floor, just across the hall.

I entered the oncology ward and was relieved to see there was no one waiting for blood tests or an IV.  I asked the doctor if he would do me a favor and insert an IV for my husband, who had been tortured during the night, by the doctors in Urology.

"The doctors agreed?" he asked, careful not to step on anybody's toes. 

I assured him that I had cleared it with the Urology staff, and he came right away. 

He took one look at Moshe's bruised arms and said, "There are plenty of good veins here."  Without further ado, he inserted a needle straight into the vein.  After a few seconds of discomfort, Moshe confirmed, "it doesn't hurt."

That IV was good for the remaining 3 days of Moshe's hospital stay.

Mission accomplished.


Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.

With love and optimism,
RivkA

9 comments:

Melissa said...

Dear Rivka,

Moshe is so blessed to have you watching out for him. You are a champion.

I will be praying.

Melissa

Risa said...

You are amazing! Both of you.

mikimi said...

Mission accomplished-you should have been my advocate!

Anonymous said...

I have that same Dr from oncology do ALL my IVs - even when I have to go to Hadassah.... He is a godsend!

And good for you for standing up for him - it took me a while to realize I actually had to do that!

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

RivkA: I have the world's worst veins for donating blood. The MDA vampires usually miss my veins 3-4 times, leaving my arms black and blue for a few days.

Unfortunately, that makes it even harder for me as an EMT to give people an IV. Of everything in MDA that I do, the worst (for me) is opening up a vein for an IV.

Blood, guts and gore don't bother me...its putting the IV in.

RivkA with a capital A said...

Melissa -- all modesty aside, I have to agree with you. I ain't lettin' nobody mess with my man!

Risa -- awwww, shucks....

Mikimi -- When you need to go to the hospital, always bring with you a relative or friend! Everyone needs an advocate!

Anon -- he really is an angel. I wish others could learn from him.

Jameel -- maybe you want to take some lessons from my doctor?

LeahGG said...

Amen, Sista! When I went (l'havdil) to give birth to my daughter, and then had a post partum hemorrhage, they missed veins left, right and center. By the time I was released my second time, I had 9 gaping holes in my arms...

fortunately(?!), I was messed up enough at the time they did most of them that I didn't even notice.

Baila said...

It is so important to advocate for ourselves when we are in the hospital, even it's not in our personality. I learned this when I was sick, and I made my daughter understand that she could say no when she was ill as well. My veins are shot from my chemo (years ago) and I also have a one-chance policy. I also ask for the smallest needles (in America it was called the butterfly). You can also usually tell when you have a sticker who is not so confident in their skills. When I see that, I mention my bad veins and they usually will say, let me ask someone else. I appreciate that.

Moshe is a lucky guy, BTW.

Ranting Zelda said...

so happy to hear that moshe was released from the hospital and is okay, B"H. may you and your family be well and may you be blessed with lots of koach.all the best, zelda