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Yet Another Ostomy Memory

Posted by HenryM, on Tue Jul 07, 2020 4:12 am

Last year I was hospitalized for three nights due to dehydration related to kidney issues.  It's difficult enough to sleep in a hospital bed, but one night I awoke and slowly became aware of a nurse standing over me.  She didn't say anything at first.  It must have been sometime between midnight and 2 AM.  Finally she spoke up:  "Can I see your ileostomy?"  I must be dreaming, I thought, and turned away from her.  I had flashbacks of fifth grade when Prissy Fortallo said to me, "I'll show you mine if you show me yours."  Then:  "Can I see your ileostomy?" she said again.  Now it was getting serious.  Sleep interrupted, and not for the usual temperature taking or sleeping pill idiocy.  "It's the middle of the night," said I, burying my head in my pillow.  Finally the young lady backed away and left the room.  I must have fallen back to sleep but eventually, laying there thinking about it, it dawned on me what she wanted.  She'd never seen an ileostomy before and was curious.  For her, it was just a bit of medical education, as it were.  An hour or so later, she came back in just before shift change.  Being the accomodating sort, I gave her the thrill of her young life.



Last edited by HenryM on Tue Jul 07, 2020 5:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
Reply by ron in mich, on Tue Jul 07, 2020 10:04 am

Hi Henry when i had resection surgery a couple years ago i had a young nurse come in to do the usual routine of BP, temp, and so on but looking at my chart she saw ilieostomy and said can she look at it so i showed her it and she asked does it hurt and i said yeah the incision is fresh the staples are still in and she points to the stoma and says no the red thing i touch it and said no so she asks can she touch it  so then i knew she was a rookie, on a differant note a couple days later they wanted to move my IV and same nurse was given the task and failed badly as she was fishing around in my arm for the vein, i told her to stop and get someone else which she did.

Reply by HenryM, on Tue Jul 07, 2020 12:09 pm
ron in mich wrote:

Hi Henry when i had resection surgery a couple years ago i had a young nurse come in to do the usual routine of BP, temp, and so on but looking at my chart she saw ilieostomy and said can she look at it so i showed her it and she asked does it hurt and i said yeah the incision is fresh the staples are still in and she points to the stoma and says no the red thing i touch it and said no so she asks can she touch it  so then i knew she was a rookie, on a differant note a couple days later they wanted to move my IV and same nurse was given the task and failed badly as she was fishing around in my arm for the vein, i told her to stop and get someone else which she did.


I can sympathize with your experience re the bungling nurse who couldn't do the IV.  I've had the same thing happen.  Stay well, Ron.

Reply by w30bob, on Tue Jul 07, 2020 7:26 pm

Hi Henry,

  You gave her the thrill of her young life............but did you ever show her your ostomy?

 

;0)

bob

Reply by ChrisP, on Wed Jul 15, 2020 1:39 pm

A few years ago I had a tiny skin issue on the edge of my stoma requiring a 5 min treatment each day for a period from the local nurses. Our District Nurse practice for the village is interesting for being three nurses, all male.

As the days passed, I was boggled by how each day I would see one of the usual nurses plus one if not two I had never seen before! After a while I twigged - stomas are a very rare sight in rural France, so they were inviting all their colleagues from neighbouring practices to 'drop in for a peep'. It didn't bother me, but did wonder how much they charged for the tickets....

Reply by Immarsh, on Wed Jul 15, 2020 8:46 pm

Hi All,   How this posst brought back memories...  thanks Henry.    I was only 15, when I had my surgery, at a NYC teaching hospital..   I'd spent the previous 3 years, in and out  for weeks, and months at a time, for treatment for  a very active case of Ulcerative Colitis.   So, by the time I was having my surgery I had a lot of " friends"   Medical students, doctors & nurses,   on staff..    But my primary care givers for this 4 month ( two  operation) stay,   were three student nurses,   as well as several medical students who were on my doctor's service..    They never treated me like a " kid", and this was a time way before there were stoma therapists.   Once the  surgeon did the surgery he was  finished,   and it was the hospital staff that helped me learn to manage my stoma.  In some cases, they knew less than I didn..  In those days,   more experienced ostomates, from the various  Ostomy associaations, were called in to help advise about supplies..    But because I was in the hospital so long,  I didn't get a chance to meet those who would later be of help in finding more permanent pouches.    But if it hadn't been for the interest, and the help of all those students.....nurses and doctors,   I really would have felt alone..   I was an Oddity to say the least, because at the time, Ulcerative collitis, and the resulting surgery was not as common in young people.. I kept in touch with those student nurses for years, as we were only about 5 years apart in age..  Eventually, as I got on with my real life, we lost touch.    I'd also   Met one doctor....( who was  a 4th year medical student at the time of my surgery )   and then was a resident when I came back 4 years later for final surgery.    He use to visit me on his off hours.....helped me learn to change my disposible pouch,  reprimanded me, when I was childishly unooperative,   and  helped me develop the confidence to cope with what had happened to me.   It was years later, that I realized that I was a " learning" experience for all of them!!    I estimated that "Henry"  was about 10 years older than me..   A  number of years ago,   I tracked him down (  he 's a gynocologist in NJ)   and actually called him, and thanked him for all the time and attention he had given me at the time..   Truly must have been a voice from the past for him,  and sadly, he didn't remember me.   But it made me feel better to have called him, to let him know..    

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