Monday, September 21, 2009

On, On, U of K

I think it would be a mistake of neglect to post again without singing the praises of those compassionate women who took care of me during the labor and delivery process, the University of Kentucky Hospital nursing staff...and specifically nurse Linda Berry (who would probably curl up into a ball and die if she knew she was being mentioned here). I really don't remember how or why UK Hospital got its less than desirable St. Joe East and Central Baptist exceeded UK regarding maternity and mother-baby care. I mean, UK has spent a lot of money on their pediatric hospital. If you see a UK-blue ambulance with children painted on the side, speeding down Nicholasville Road, that ambulance has a child in it. I've never seen a St. Joe or Central Baptist ambulance that is dedicated to the care of babies and children. And I've never heard of a baby or child being choppered in to St. Joe or Central Baptist - but that certainly happens at UK. And I don't know why I was met with such inner anxiety when I learned that the only OB-GYN's that were accepting our insurance were UK doctors. "Oh freakin fantastic," I thought..."I just hope they clean the rust off of the utensils before they stick em up there." Yes, it was probably not all that helpful when the UK doctor burned the UK logo into a woman's uterus after surgery. I'm all for school pride - but that belongs on the basketball court, not in the operating room. One way or another, UK has become known as the ill-behaved stepchild of hospitals.

So let me take a second to clear the nurses of Labor and Delivery of any wrong-doing. From the 60+ minutes it took for them to find a vein (through no fault of their own, apparently I am the posterchild for dehydration) to the moment we were released to go home, we were treated with such compassion and patience, that I just wanted to take them all home with me. Linda was working the night shift when we came in on Tuesday. She listened to my concerns, advocated for mind and body-numbing pain medication, shared her own story of miscarriage then labor and delivery, stayed past the end of her shift so that she did not leave me in the midst of delivery, and even stopped by the next day to see how we were doing. I count myself as one lucky duck to be guided through such impossible circumstances by someone who had been there herself. We became sisters that night...even though I may never see her again. Andrea was the 3rd shift nurse and although I was in a ketamine-induced fog and only remember her walking me to the bathroom around 4 am, I am told that she checked on me regularly. I wonder if I made any outrageous "could you have the cabana boy bring me another margarita? This one is weak. Stop watering down your drinks or I'll be asking for a full refund!" I do remember that my IV began to leak sometime in the night and I was convinced that I had wet the bed. I thought I was going to kiss her when she said "no, your IV is leaking". Thank goodness - I still had control over some things. And Edyie came on as day nurse, checking to see if we needed anything and practically shoving Ibuprofen 600 down my throat - as she knew what was to come and I had no idea.

We could very easily cancel our Tricare health insurance and pick back up with the state's Humana coverage. But there is really no reason. Why give up a good thing?
Much thanks to Linda, Andrea and Edyie. While the doctors were fantastic, it's the nurses who got us through the night.

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