Friday, May 08, 2009


Dear Shelley’s mother, daughter and I visited her in the ICU last night. She looked so peaceful, as she continued to sleep off her anesthesia-induced sleep. I told her I loved her, stroked her hand, and talked to her for a half a minute or so before leaving.

After our short visit, the three of us went out for a nice little (and late) snack at a local diner. I had a taco salad and split a slice of cherry cheesecake with Dear Shelley’s daughter.

I mentioned that Dear Shelley looked peaceful only because the pre-op nurse, someone I jokingly (not so in retrospect) referred to as Palsy Polly, a too-old pre-op nurse, apparently missed the vein when putting in the IV that would carry morphine after the first surgery last week. As Dear Shelley came out of the anesthesia, there was little or no morphine in her. She described the pain to the nurse as 11 on a scale from 1-10 that first night. The next shift’s nurse (Nellie) noticed the missed vein (swollen hand) immediately and fixed it. So…Dear Shelley went a few hours without any pain medication to speak of. I was furious when I found this out. I’m still furious. I don’t know what, if any, recourse we have but I think this is something that needs to be addressed officially to the hospital. That kind of mistake is absolutely inexcusable, and someone needs to hear about it.

The very thought of Dear Shelley enduring that level of pain because of an unacceptable mistake hurts my heart.


Rimpy said...

That is terrible about Palsy Polly missing that vein. Some nurses just aren't as good at that as others, but if Polly is really getting too old to do her job correctly (the mistake should have been quickly noticed and corrected), then you should definitely address that to the hospital.

Anonymous said...


I am happy to hear that Shelley is going to be alright.

I agree with you that this type of ineptitude needs to be stopped immediately. Here is hoping that you address the issue to the proper person at the hospital.