Wednesday, July 3, 2013


Surgery Nurse
courtesy free clip art
There are times when I have had to get a blood draw for a test, and usually the phlebotomist does a fairly painless job and my remark to them is “You are very good.”  A few times they hurt me somewhat, and I am polite enough to just keep quiet, because soon it will be over.

Today was a new day, and the nurse gave me a gown to change into and a mesh hair net as they prepared me for my cataract surgery.

The first nurse said, “Here you go up and into this chair and we will put a warm blanket over you.”

The second nurse placed a blood pressure cup around my left arm and a clamp on my right finger to keep my pulse and blood pressure checked. 

The first nurse began to ask me questions.  “What is your first and last name? What is your date of birth?”
I gave her the correct answers then she said, “Are you in pain?” I answered “No. 
Then she asked “Why are you here?” again I answered “Right eye surgery.” 

Again she asked, “Are you in pain?” And I said, “No.”
About that time, the second nurse brought over tubes and a needle to hook up the IV.

She took my left hand and proceeded to find a vein on the back of my hand.  She must have gone completely through the vein and into the flesh because - - - I can’t remember ever being in so much pain.

Immediately I told the first nurse, “You asked me if I was in pain, and YES I am in pain.  She appeared shocked as she looked up at me, and I rolled my eyes to the left, and nodded my head toward the second nurse, who was applying pressure to stop the blood.

Almost in the same sentence I continued with the Un-Christ-like, rude words—


As soon as the words left my mouth, I realized I had said the wrong thing.  That poor nurse was trying her best, and I could have phrased it a bit differently, but the damage was done.  No one likes to be told they are not good at what they do.

The nurse doing the IV mumbled something about being sorry as she was having trouble, and I managed to say, “I forgive you,”

When she tried the other arm with the IV she did fine...  Later I realized I had not told her this time she did good.  It was a stressful day for me and for the nurses.

My surgery went well, and I am home and following the care directions that I was given.

God was good to answer prayers and I am believing for a speedy recovery.
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  1. Like I just said, pain makes us say - and think - some pretty out of character things. Been there, Hazel - sometime I'll have to tell you about the cancer experience :)

  2. I'm glad to hear you are recovering well. And I love your honesty in this post. It can be hard to show love when someone is inflicting pain on us.

  3. Dear Hazel
    Oh, dear friend, I know those times when we wish we have rather harnessed our tongues!! I hope you are recovering nicely.

  4. I'm glad your surgery went well. It's so easy to focus on pain when we're going through a difficult process. Thanks for sharing so honestly.

  5. Ahhhhhhh! I still have a scar on the back of my left hand from when I had a double hernia surgery! That searing hot pain is intense! Every time since then when they try to administer the IV in my hand I refuse and make them use the vein in my arm instead. I know that pain, I don't blame you, if they don't get feedback how are they going to get better?

    Glad you're recuperating and well, Hazel. Got your new book enroute to read and am looking forward to it!

  6. well, it was your way of expressing yourself and sometimes we say words that are not so polite. But, you were sorry and I know God forgives you:)

  7. Ahhhhhhh! I know that searing pain! I still have a scar on the back of my left hand from a botched IV attempt from when I had my double hernia surgery. Every time now I refuse to let them use my hands and make them use my arm instead. I don't blame you, they need feedback for them to get better as well. Glad to hear you're home and doing well. I'm praying for you. And I have your new book enroute for me to read and I'm looking forward to it. God bless, Hazel.

  8. I'm glad you're home and doing fine. There really is a knack to having blood taken and an IV put in right, and I know the pain you are talking about. It's hard to be at our best when we are having surgery. Bless you.

  9. Oh - I am glad you are home and recovering. I know that pain...unfortunately my nurse proceeded to tell me what a child I was and that her pre-teen daughter was better than I. That did little to curb my bad attitude. :( But, you are so right - our words have a profound effect on the hearer and we need to take care about how we use them. Thank you this very thought-provoking post!


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