Monday, May 5, 2014

A Nursing Story-Making a Difference

It was Friday May 20th 1988. My husband picked me up from work at lunch and we headed to the hospital to induce labor for our very first child. I was two weeks over due and the doctor felt like it was time to do something.  The joke at work was I was to have the baby on Friday and be back to work on Monday. Needless to say we did not pull that off.

The oxytocin drip was started and the dosage kept being increased in with no results. The monitor was showing contractions but I told my husband, I felt like a worm was crawling on my belly.  After a while the doctor came in and the decision was made to procede with a C-section.  That evening, my beautiful baby girl was born. I remember hearing her cry until they placed her in my husbands arms.  He then was allowed to carry her to the nursery while they closed my incision.

  The events that followed are a bit hazy so this is combined with what my family told me happened after my daughter’s birth. My mom stayed with me the day after while my husband ran some errands.  She noticed I was not perking up like she thought I should be.  She even mentioned it to one of the nurses. The nurse explained to her that I had just had major surgery, and that it was to be expected.  My mom told the nurse that she did not understand. “This is not like my Mary Carol”.  As hours passed,  mom was becoming more and more concerned. On Sunday evening, a nurse named Susan was assigned to me.  Mom told Susan that something was wrong. This was not like her daughter at all. Susan contacted the doctor on two different occasions and requested that he come and check on me.  Finally after the third call he came in and ordered ortho blood pressure tests.  Those bottomed out and he followed up with an ultrasound that showed a bladder flap hematoma the size of a softball.  They quickly slam dunked two units of blood in me and I was wheeled back in for emergency surgery to remove the hematoma.  Concerned, Susan put a call into our church and requested prayer for me because my life was in the balance. After surgery, I was then admitted to ICU for several days. Days passed before I was moved to the step down unit and finally able to go home with my baby girl.

After that experience in the hospital, I made the decision to go back to school to obtain a nursing degree. I wanted to make a difference in others people’s lives like Susan had made in mine.  Susan saved my life!  Had she not been persistent in calling the doctor, I would have bled to death in that hospital.
Fast forward to May 15th, 2005

I was working as a nurse for a company that contracted with Hospices in Iredell County and several adjoining counties. Part of my job was to administer the IV pain control via a patient controlled analgesic pump for their patients. This particular day, I was setting up a lady in my own county. I got to the home, rang the door bell. Her husband  answered the door. He welcomed me inside and I could hear her voice in the kitchen. I knew that voice!  She walked in the den from the kitchen and her first words to me were, “I know you”.  I laughed and said, funny you say that because I recognize your voice but I don’t recognize your name. She smiled and said, well, I’m Carol.  I was your nurse in ICU after your daughter was born.  

In the following weeks, I learned from Carol that when she found out she was getting an OB patient in ICU, she tried to talk one of the other nurses that had OB experience into taking me.  She told me she was scared to death when I came down from surgery because  I was holding onto life by a toenail.  She said she kept talking to me all thru the shift telling me that I had better not die. I had a baby girl to take care of now and that baby needed her momma. I thanked her many times for the difference she made in my life. Needless to say, we became fast friends and I loved her dearly during those short months of caring for her. Carol passed away from ovarian cancer.

 I will forever feel blessed and thankful that God put these two wonderful nurses in my life.

So this is Nurses week. Thank a nurse that has made a difference in your life. 

Mary Carol Pons RN
Guest Blogger

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