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Night Nurse, The Pain Is Getting Worse

, , , , | Healthy | May 15, 2019

CONTENT WARNING: This story contains content of a medical nature. It is not intended as medical advice.

(I am a 22-year-old female and have always had problems with my feet, which are completely flat and also wide. I’ve been having intense pain in my left foot for a few years, and not one doctor or specialist I’ve gone to has had an explanation. Finally, I am told by a foot surgeon that I have a deformity in both feet that has caused arthritis and is the reason I am unable to walk properly. I am advised to have two metal screws implanted in my left foot to alleviate the pain and hopefully correct the structure of my foot. I go in for surgery and this happens when I stay overnight after the operation. “Nurse” is my day nurse and “Night Nurse” is the nurse assigned to give me the pain medication during the night.)

Nurse: “I’m going to take your vitals and let you get some rest. Your night nurse will come in to give you the pain medication soon. Can you swallow pills?”

(I tell her I can and expect to have no problems. Boy, am I wrong. Over the course of the night, I am pretty loopy from the anesthesia and all I want to do is sleep. A night nurse comes in to take my vitals again sometime in the night and says someone else will give me pain medication later. This repeats for some time with her and one other nurse until the morning, where I’ve recovered enough to realize I am in intense pain and nobody has given me the pain medication I need. Early the next morning, I am exhausted and crying from the pain when my parents come to see me.)

Mom: “What happened?! Why are you crying?!”

Me: *crying* “I’ve been up almost all night and nobody gave me pain medication!”

Mom & Dad: “WHAT?!”

(They track down a nurse and repeat what I’ve said.)

Nurse: “Um, a night nurse would have given you medication. You’re supposed to take it every three hours.”

Me: “Well, no one gave me anything. They woke me up to take my vitals several times and that was it!”

Nurse: “I’m going to look into this. Let me talk to the other nurses.”

(She leaves for a bit, then comes back with the night nurse who I recognize from last night. They both don’t look happy.)

Night Nurse: “We gave you medication last night. You just don’t remember it.”

Me: “You and some other nurse woke me up to take my vitals and said someone else will give me the medication. If I took the medication, I wouldn’t be in so much pain!”

Nurse: *hands me a pill bottle* “Just to make sure, these are what you’re supposed to take. Have you had these at all?”

Me: “No! I haven’t taken any pills!”

Night Nurse: “Well, did you tell someone that you needed it?”

(My parents and the other nurse just stare at her in disbelief.)

Mom: “Of course she needs it! You’re in charge of making sure she gets the medication on time!”

Night Nurse: *snotty* “She’s a big girl. She has to tell us if she needs it or not!”

(My nurse rushes the night nurse out before the situation escalates. My parents are furious and my nurse is also frustrated. I’m angry, too, of course, but more exhausted, and I just want to go home to recover in peace.)

Nurse: “I am so sorry. I had no idea this happened. There is no excuse for that. You are absolutely right: the night staff is responsible to get you that medication and they should have been keeping an eye on you.”

Me: “Can I just go home? I really don’t want to be here anymore…”

Nurse: “Unfortunately, now that I know you haven’t had any medication, I have to keep you here to catch up on the doses. I can’t send you home until I get this in your system and make sure you’re okay.”

(I was more upset by this, but I knew she had to do her job and didn’t say anything else. Over the next few hours, I was finally given the pain medication and I basically slept all day until she told me I could go home in the evening. Thanks to the night nurse’s negligence, I had to keep taking the medication for an extra few days until the pain got under control. We filed an official complaint against the nurse, but nothing has happened so far.)

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