Following a six-hour overnight stay in the ED, my symptoms of severe pain worsened and even spread when the VA Telcare nurse instructed me to return to the ED. My subsequent eight-and-a-half-hour stay saw constant and very professional care by nurse Aaron Caines. Mr. Caines first verified the information I'd just provided to the triage nurse and then asked more specific questions for a clear amplification of my situation. He assured me that he would coordinate with the ED physician and get back to me.
As I was focused on my pain and worrying about diagnosis and treatment, a lady (probably VA employee) approached my room, smiled, and silently handed me a greeting card, and disappeared. Inside the right side was handwritten, "Thank you for being a blessing in my life, protecting my freedom and guiding our planet to become a more peaceful place. Your beautiful souls are treasured!" On the left side, the card read, "You will always be in my heart and cherished in my thoughts." I have no clue who paid for the card, let alone the identity of the mysterious lady, nor even more importantly, the author of such kind words. The card now remains among my treasured memorabilia at home.
For the remainder of my stay, Nurse Aaron made matters even better.
He returned and took my vital measurements for an accurate record of my resting BP and heart rate, unlike so many nurses who take those measurements as my heart is still racing away wildly immediately after my obese body has ambulated fast on my walker from a seat in the waiting room to the sphygmomanometer.
Nurse Aaron continuously and regularly monitored my condition. He remained easily accessible for me to report changes in my condition, which he unfailingly relayed to the doctor. He is the ultimate team player, as he then would come back to me with the doctor's reaction to those changes.
1200 marked six hours since my last pain medication taken at home. Nurse Aaron ensured the prescribed next medication was approved by the doctor and given to me to avoid a missed dose. There were other patients and duties for him to attend to, but I never once felt neglected.
Eventually, an MD specialist saw me in addition to the other doctor, and Nurse Aaron instinctively and compulsively kept track of both physicians' decisions and opinions and unfailingly kept me informed. The pain was unbearable. I hold Nurse Aaron personally responsible for making the best of a bad situation.