Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Still more nursing episodes - I

Some nurses had the strange habit of complaining to me about things that I had nothing to do with. For eg., if there was too much or too little spice in some dish or perhaps they wanted a different type of glove , they used to crib to me about it. The first few times, I called Jaya and told her to ask the nurse what the problem was. At these times the nurse would say that she didn't have any issues and everything was perfectly fine.When this happened a few times, I started ignoring their cribs to me.


One nurse was briefed by the agency about the patient she had to look after before she came here, as per their usual practise. She was told that she had to look after a male patient who was bed ridden and couldn't speak. She assumed that her patient was an old man who was on his death-bed. She had looked after many such patients and assumed that she will have a short stay before she moved on. When she came home, my father-in-law opened the door and she was nonplussed - here was the bed-ridden old man she had assumed was her patient welcoming her in!

She didn't know what to say. She came to my room where Jaya introduced her to me. So this was the patient - but he was much younger and didn't look like croaking in a few days! She kept quiet, went to the balcony and then to the kitchen and stood for a few minutes. From her demeanour, it seemed to Jaya and me that she will not stay for long. But as it has turned out, she is still here after 10 months. Her plan of an early exit has not worked out.


In a previous post, I had written about the strangeness of failing to notice the nurse giving me feeding. This sort of thing happens frequently. For instance, I was recently watching a film starring the Malayalam superstar Mohanlal (my favourite actor among the older stars). I was so absorbed in watching the fiery dialogue that I didn't notice the time.I suddenly realized that it was well past the feeding time and reminded the nurse about it. She told me that she had already given it and I didn't have a clue!

Nowadays, I am often reluctant to remind the nurse about feeding if I suddenly remember it. I will not be able to make up my mind about whether the nurse has forgotten the time or whether I failed to notice feeding being given. Knowing that I missed noticing the gorilla, I am prepared to accept the latter explanation.


Some nurses are impatient especially when it comes to my passing urine. A few seconds after keeping the can, they will ask me if I have passed urine. There is some connection between emotions and the bladder muscles because when I feel some psychological pressure from the nurse, I will not be able to pass urine even if I feel pressure in the bladder. This also happens when my attention is diverted  by the nurse when she asks me some question or when I pay attention to something on TV. After the urine flow has started, if the nurse asks me whether I have finished passing urine or if there is slight movement of the can, the flow immediately stops.

This situation is similar to that of a baby. If you disturb a baby even slightly when it is passing urine, the flow immediately stops. This reflex diminishes as the baby grows older and gains more control over the functioning of its bladder. Following my stroke, my bladder control seems to have reverted to the situation of a baby. When an impatient nurse comes, I wait till the last possible moment before calling the nurse. I will hope that this will ensure that the urine flow will begin as soon as she keeps the can but sometimes, even then the urine flow will take some time to start because I will feel the psychological pressure.

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