I had a minor outpatient procedure in April. I sailed through the procedure with absolutely no pain or discomfort. Exactly one month later I had the same surgery on the other eye and unfortunately this time it was not near as easy. In the recovery room, I was having a lot of pain and discomfort. I refused pain medications as I did not want the nurses to have to call the physician. I thought if I could just tough it out for a bit and get home to take Motrin that I would be fine. I was embarrassed to look so helpless and like a weakling, especially for such a minor procedure.
Lisa Almanza was my nurse for the first procedure, but not the second one. She was walking by my room when she recognized that I was obviously not handling this procedure like the first one. She came in and tried to soothe me, she was very compassionate calling me “sweet lady” and it was obvious she really cared. I told her that I had refused to have the nurses call the physician for pain medications and if I could just get home that I would be okay. She left without a word and within a few minutes returned with IV Tylenol. She stated, “I cannot stand to see you in pain and we are going to fix that.”
As a nurse myself, I am rather stubborn, but I was thankful for Lisa that day. Needless to say, my pain was immediately relieved. She helped me dress, gave me plenty of freshly iced saline gauze to get home, and personally wheeled me to my car. Lisa took the chance by moving ahead with obtaining an order for pain medication, I know that she would have abided by my wishes if I had continued to refuse.
Lisa could have handled this situation much differently. She could have easily said, “let me get your nurse” or “okay let me help get you out of here so you can get home”, but that is where she took the stance that we all should take, advocating for our patients when they are too stubborn to do it for themselves.