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Friday, July 15, 2011

One, Two, Three, Pee

After the glorious moment that the catheter came out, my favourite nurse told me the downside was that for the next 12 hours, they had to measure my pee-doctor's orders. The put a "pee catcher" in the toilet (the same kind I had when I did the 24 hour urine test). Every time I pee'd I was supposed to buzz the nurses station and tell them to "come measure my pee". Really? Apparently so. She told me they knew they had to do it so they shouldn't give me a hard time.

Off she went. In the two-three hours left in that shift, she came in a few time on her own to check without me having to call (remember she wasn't even my nurse).  Maybe this wasn't going to be so bad. Then shift change happened. New nurse-one I don't think I had had before. She introduced herself, writing her name on the Alberta Health white board. I told her I had, in fact, just pee'd and invited her to measure it. She did and wrote it on the white board. She told me if I didn't feel comfortable saying "come measure my pee" to the nurses station, just to tell them I needed to see my nurse. Great! That sounded easy.

Now remember I'm still drinking a ton of water and juice as per the doctors orders. I would say on average, I was using the "facilities" every hour (plus I was nervous about it so I think I was going more). After the first time I have to go after our initial introduction happens, I call the nurses station:

"I pee'd-can you come measure it?"

Annoyed silence from whomever was on the other end followed by "Okay we'll send your nurse". I went back to reading my magazines. An hour went by. I had to go again. Hmmmmm. Still no nurse. So I buzzed the station. "Can I see my nurse?"  Sure I could. Another 30 minutes went by. This was a bit ridiculous.  I went in the washroom and review my initial deposit. Based on the number written on the whiteboard I knew which of the measurements she was taking. I recorded the number on the board, dumped out Round One and moved on to Round Two.  I was a little worried I'd get in trouble so I left it in there, thinking she'd show up soon. I waited awhile and decided to buzz the nurses station one last time even though it stressed me out. "We'll let someone know". It's not like they said she was busy or even seemed to think this might be a repeat request. Just that they'd send someone.

Now I know from my numerous laps around the floor past the nurses station that tin addition to a least one floater for the ward, each nurse is assigned to three rooms which would give them three to six patients (but in most cases more like three). There had been no code clues and no code 66s (I learned the night before the kidney donation surgery that meant the nurses think the patient is going downhill but not at a code blue yet). So I am not sure what was going on. All I know is that our first meeting at shift change was our last till after 10pm (right before shift change again). She came in and saw the list (including her original one) of my seven pee amounts. "Oh good.  Someone came in and counted-I need to record that on your chart". I tilted my head to the side and gave her a look. I saw the wheels turn in her head. She said "Oh.......did...you record them?"

Yes, yes I did. DIY healthcare.

At least she said thank you. I was one of those moments I wished very hard that they could be in the patient's shoes for a second and see how things are. Awkward. It wasn't a hard thing for me to do but should I really have been doing it?

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