The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Content within the patient forum is user-generated and has not been reviewed by medical professionals. Other sections of the Melanoma Research Foundation website include information that has been reviewed by medical professionals as appropriate. All medical decisions should be made in consultation with your doctor or other qualified medical professional.

Nurse Ratched Gets Fully Demoted To Candy Striper

Forums General Melanoma Community Nurse Ratched Gets Fully Demoted To Candy Striper

  • Post
    lovingwifedeb
    Participant

    Now, I have never before considered myself a quitter. My life has taken me in many directions where I’ve had to pick myself up and move along because nobody else was going to do the work for me. I am demanding, so I’ve been told… sometimes hard to work with, and most of the time a perfectionist. These are qualities that drive my husband crazy while we work together. These qualities especially show up during the times we work on our home together remodeling on this project or that.

    Now, I have never before considered myself a quitter. My life has taken me in many directions where I’ve had to pick myself up and move along because nobody else was going to do the work for me. I am demanding, so I’ve been told… sometimes hard to work with, and most of the time a perfectionist. These are qualities that drive my husband crazy while we work together. These qualities especially show up during the times we work on our home together remodeling on this project or that. “It’s the big picture that really matters most”, he constantly reminds me.

    My husband, Bob, just spent 5 days in the hospital again last week due to a leg infection. Since his surgery on July 22nd to take out the melanoma tumor and all surrounding lymph nodes (18 that tested negated), the drain tube for lymphatic fluid in his leg was moved and replaced 3 times. His doctor tried to let Bob’s lymphatic system dry up on it’s own but it was not cooperating and infection set in finally. Since the lymphatic fluid did not slow down and infection was now happening more surgery was decided to end the problem thus sending Bob home 5 days later with an “open wound”.

    Nurse Ratched (that’s me, Bob’s funny nickname for me from One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest) was not very happy and demoted herself to “Candy Striper”. The reason? “Gauze Packing For An Open Wound”, it has lots of history so “they” say… My stomach started to turn.

    Gauze packing for an open wound deep enough to see into the crater the doctor had made into my husband’s leg was just was enough to make me question my role as his caretaker. I never wanted to be a nurse and who signed me up anyway? Well, this was a volunteer position, right? I can’t be fired, right? Ok… that was a whine, I admit it. I’m so sorry, Bob. He has been the greatest patient I could ever ask for, really. All I’ve done so far is fetch, reach places he couldn’t and make sure he takes extra care of himself. But this was a definite line I was drawing. I couldn’t go near him and look at this wound in his leg as he tended to his cleaning of it morning and night, no stomach for it… sorry. Maybe if his life depended on it, really? But worry about him, I do. Love him, most definitely. Proud of him, overwhelmingly. In the last 6 weeks this warrior has faced challenges new to him just as I have, with heart and courage. We are going through this together, never alone.

    Not everyone is a hero.

     

    If you would like to leave Bob a message please send one here:

    [email protected]

     

    If you would like to follow our family blog page please go here:

    http://redesign08.blogspot.com/

    Loading spinner
Viewing 7 reply threads
  • Replies
      lhaley
      Participant

      Deb,

      People in the outside world of cancer have no idea of what our caretakers have done for us behind closed doors. 

      Hope Bob heals quickly so you both can get on with "living" your lives!!

      Linda

      Loading spinner
      lhaley
      Participant

      Deb,

      People in the outside world of cancer have no idea of what our caretakers have done for us behind closed doors. 

      Hope Bob heals quickly so you both can get on with "living" your lives!!

      Linda

      Loading spinner
      PhyllisP
      Participant

      I had a similar experience with my husband Curtis who had surgery for an abdominal cancer.  The incision was 8-10" long.  He had surgery in another state and I wasn't there when they gave the instructions for the "wet to dry" technique.  So he and a friend told me how to do it.  I was nervous not by the incision but because of the chance of infection in what looked to me like a gaping wound!  The first time we went to a walk-in clinic.  I thought that by watching someone do it I could too.  Well, they didn't know what they were doing, even with Curtis telling them.  It annoyed both of us! At that point I decided I could do a much better job myself.   After the first couple of times we had our routine down. To this day I am surprised by how well the incision  healed w/o any infection. Just my experience.

      I totally understand your feelings.  I can do things like that but couldn't be in the room for IV starts, Subclavian Caths, PICC lines etc.  I always get light headed.  Best wishes for quick healing.

      Phyllis

      Loading spinner
      PhyllisP
      Participant

      I had a similar experience with my husband Curtis who had surgery for an abdominal cancer.  The incision was 8-10" long.  He had surgery in another state and I wasn't there when they gave the instructions for the "wet to dry" technique.  So he and a friend told me how to do it.  I was nervous not by the incision but because of the chance of infection in what looked to me like a gaping wound!  The first time we went to a walk-in clinic.  I thought that by watching someone do it I could too.  Well, they didn't know what they were doing, even with Curtis telling them.  It annoyed both of us! At that point I decided I could do a much better job myself.   After the first couple of times we had our routine down. To this day I am surprised by how well the incision  healed w/o any infection. Just my experience.

      I totally understand your feelings.  I can do things like that but couldn't be in the room for IV starts, Subclavian Caths, PICC lines etc.  I always get light headed.  Best wishes for quick healing.

      Phyllis

      Loading spinner
      bill58
      Participant

      You did the best you could do.  At least you tried.

      I am the one with the large crater in my leg and have had the drain tubes and all that.  I don't know if I could have taken care of my wife the same way she, and my kids, have taken care of me when I could not do those things myself.

      Drain tubes.  Who ever heard of such a crazy thing.  I would not look forward to that again.  Actually, I would not look forward to any more surgery, radiation, rehab.. but what else can you do if you want to stay alive.

      Just love your husband, take care of his other needs and get a wound care specialist to come to the house.  Too bad my insurance policy only covers 60 home visists in my LIFETIME.  That is correct, Lifetime, not per year.  May need to upgrade my policy next year to one that covers 120 visits per year.

      Bill

      Loading spinner
        lovingwifedeb
        Participant

        Dear Bill,

        Thanks for mentioning insurance, and home visits. Being diagnosed with this disease has been so recent that I keep forgetting all the avenues that might be open to us. I certainly haven't received a package from our insurance policy trying to help us with our "recent diagnosis" if you know what I mean? We will definately check out "home visits" and if we even have them on our health policy as a benefit.

        It's hard being our own patient's advocate when you know nothing of the health care system except for the average doctor's visit and are thrown in quite suddenly for something major like this that could destroy my husband's life. It's been hard to know where to start and what to ask. The last time my husband had surgery was on his knee and that was over 30 years ago. He's been quite healthy ever since, it has been a shock to both of us and to our family. This web site has been very helpful because of all the people responding to my postings with suggestions that we can use and both of us have learned a lot in such a short time.

        My heart tells me I will grow into this disease as I need to or not. My husband and I have faced many issues together as a couple and this one won't be any different. Thank you for the support.

        Blessing you and your family.

        Deb

        Loading spinner
        lovingwifedeb
        Participant

        Dear Bill,

        Thanks for mentioning insurance, and home visits. Being diagnosed with this disease has been so recent that I keep forgetting all the avenues that might be open to us. I certainly haven't received a package from our insurance policy trying to help us with our "recent diagnosis" if you know what I mean? We will definately check out "home visits" and if we even have them on our health policy as a benefit.

        It's hard being our own patient's advocate when you know nothing of the health care system except for the average doctor's visit and are thrown in quite suddenly for something major like this that could destroy my husband's life. It's been hard to know where to start and what to ask. The last time my husband had surgery was on his knee and that was over 30 years ago. He's been quite healthy ever since, it has been a shock to both of us and to our family. This web site has been very helpful because of all the people responding to my postings with suggestions that we can use and both of us have learned a lot in such a short time.

        My heart tells me I will grow into this disease as I need to or not. My husband and I have faced many issues together as a couple and this one won't be any different. Thank you for the support.

        Blessing you and your family.

        Deb

        Loading spinner
      bill58
      Participant

      You did the best you could do.  At least you tried.

      I am the one with the large crater in my leg and have had the drain tubes and all that.  I don't know if I could have taken care of my wife the same way she, and my kids, have taken care of me when I could not do those things myself.

      Drain tubes.  Who ever heard of such a crazy thing.  I would not look forward to that again.  Actually, I would not look forward to any more surgery, radiation, rehab.. but what else can you do if you want to stay alive.

      Just love your husband, take care of his other needs and get a wound care specialist to come to the house.  Too bad my insurance policy only covers 60 home visists in my LIFETIME.  That is correct, Lifetime, not per year.  May need to upgrade my policy next year to one that covers 120 visits per year.

      Bill

      Loading spinner
      washoegal
      Participant

      Deb, this is the first time I've replied to one of your posts.  I love your writing.  Thanks for the humor, we all need to laugh a little.

      I do need to say I am amazed at your story though.  I had 32 (yes, that number us right) lymph nodes removed from right arm pit.  Drain tube for 25 days and never reached the correct amount of fluid, Onc finally pulled it for fear of infection.  I went back because I had one spot that blew up about half the size of a grapefruit, Onc refused to drain it for fear of infection.  Warm compress and showed me how to massage it.  

      I they sent me a bill for anything that had to do with the infection I'd tell them to put it where the sun don't shine!

      Loading spinner
        lovingwifedeb
        Participant

        Dear Washoegal,

        Bob and I just got back from his doctor's appointment, it seems he is healing appropriately in his surgeon's eyes. If I hadn't heard it from the horse's mouth I would have questioned my husband's sanity but the instructions for this next week until his follow-up appointment? Insert "Calcium Sodium Alginate dressing" doused by saline and cover all this up by gauze and tape. Can leave this on for 48 hours. Can shower after the 48th hour, let the water and soap wash over the open wound, this will help clean out his leg. His doctor's own words… "the germs and bugs will wash right out".

        Now you can imagine my complete amazment at what was transpiring… what bugs? 

        So sorry about your experience, I do wonder about quality of care in the medical field. So far, Bob's experience has been good but we are but infants.

        Thanks again for following, Bob's strength is empowering but his encouragment in my writing is what keeps me going.

        Deb

        Loading spinner
        lovingwifedeb
        Participant

        Dear Washoegal,

        Bob and I just got back from his doctor's appointment, it seems he is healing appropriately in his surgeon's eyes. If I hadn't heard it from the horse's mouth I would have questioned my husband's sanity but the instructions for this next week until his follow-up appointment? Insert "Calcium Sodium Alginate dressing" doused by saline and cover all this up by gauze and tape. Can leave this on for 48 hours. Can shower after the 48th hour, let the water and soap wash over the open wound, this will help clean out his leg. His doctor's own words… "the germs and bugs will wash right out".

        Now you can imagine my complete amazment at what was transpiring… what bugs? 

        So sorry about your experience, I do wonder about quality of care in the medical field. So far, Bob's experience has been good but we are but infants.

        Thanks again for following, Bob's strength is empowering but his encouragment in my writing is what keeps me going.

        Deb

        Loading spinner
      washoegal
      Participant

      Deb, this is the first time I've replied to one of your posts.  I love your writing.  Thanks for the humor, we all need to laugh a little.

      I do need to say I am amazed at your story though.  I had 32 (yes, that number us right) lymph nodes removed from right arm pit.  Drain tube for 25 days and never reached the correct amount of fluid, Onc finally pulled it for fear of infection.  I went back because I had one spot that blew up about half the size of a grapefruit, Onc refused to drain it for fear of infection.  Warm compress and showed me how to massage it.  

      I they sent me a bill for anything that had to do with the infection I'd tell them to put it where the sun don't shine!

      Loading spinner
Viewing 7 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
About the MRF Patient Forum

The MRF Patient Forum is the oldest and largest online community of people affected by melanoma. It is designed to provide peer support and information to caregivers, patients, family and friends. There is no better place to discuss different parts of your journey with this cancer and find the friends and support resources to make that journey more bearable.

The information on the forum is open and accessible to everyone. To add a new topic or to post a reply, you must be a registered user. Please note that you will be able to post both topics and replies anonymously even though you are logged in. All posts must abide by MRF posting policies.