AT RANDOM: Nurses No. 1

A trip to the hospital identifies some true angels

Whatever nurses make in this province, it isn’t enough.

I can say this with authority after being a recent guest at Vernon Jubilee Hospital, with a short trip to Kelowna General Hospital attached.

My little adventure began at 4 a.m. when I woke up with chest pains. Bad chest pains. I’d been having these pains off-and-on for a few weeks. Everytime I had them, they’d go away after awhile.

I saw my family doctor about it, and he suggested it may be heartburn, though I said it didn’t have the “burn” normally associated with heartburn. Still, taking an antacid seemed to work.

But not on this morning.

I took three antacids and the pain was not going away. It wasn’t getting worse, but it wasn’t disappearing.

My doctor had prescribed some nitroglycerin pills and said to take one if the pain didn’t go away. If the pain vanished, he said, I needed to get up to emergency right away because this was my heart acting up.

The pain vanished within a few minutes of the nitro pill dissolving.

Yes, I stupidly drove myself to VJH at 4:45 a.m. where, for the first time in my life, I got an excellent parking spot.

I checked into emerge and, before 6 a.m., I’d had a whack of tests and the on-call doctor telling me not to make any plans because I wasn’t leaving the hospital that day.

This is when I began to truly appreciate nurses and everything they do.

Into my room walks Kelly, looking more Angel of Hell’s than Angel of Mercy.

Kelly is bald, piercing eyes, well-manicured goatee and with tattoos that covered both wrists, elbows and forearms.

Kelly is cool. Awesome. Terrific. I couldn’t have asked for a better nurse on that first day. He took care of me, talked to me, made sure I was fed and watered – especially on Day 2 when I got “missed” at breakfast AND lunch – and made me laugh when I needed laughs. Particularly about how sexy I looked in the hospital gown from circa 1979.

Pat and Sarah were also on-hand in the ER to look after me, every bit as efficient and professional as Kelly. There’s so much going on in ER yet they all had time to answer questions, make sure I was comfy.

Mid-afternoon of Day 2, I got transferred to the cardiac unit where my three roommates – all over 80 – said nothing as I got wheeled into my new corner spot.

On this unit, Samantha, Christy, Denise and Michelle were outstanding. All of them warm and caring.

Same thing when I got wheeled down to Kelowna for a procedure on the morning of Day 3.

I was scared as hell. But any fears I had were alleviated by the team of John, Natasha, Stephanie, Sarah and Tracy, nurses in the Cath Clinic at KGH. I even let John shave part of my chest with a disposable razor.

The morning of Day 4, Denise took my blood-sugar level, gave me my buffet of medications, smiled and told me to get dressed; I was going home.

Everybody during my little ordeal was great.

The doctors, both sets of ambulance attendants, the hospital clerks who popped in to my rooms to say ‘hi, how are you?’ or drop off a magazine or snack, really everybody in the health care field.

But the nurses, the nurses are special, no matter their ward or specialty.

They put up with a lot of crap – literally and figuratively – from patients, doctors, visitors during their shifts yet maintain a positive, professional demeanor.

They truly are angels.



Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

City of Vernon crews are responding to a small sinkhole on Lakeshore Road in Vernon Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (Contributed)
Sinkhole slows Vernon traffic

Lakeshore Road has been reduced to single-lane alternating traffic Saturday

A map released by the BCCDC on Jan. 15 shows the number of new COVID-19 cases reported for each local health area between Jan. 3 and 9. (BCCDC Image)
Salmon Arm and Vernon see increase in new COVID cases, curve flattening elsewhere

The rate of new cases is levelling off in Kelowna, Penticton and Revelstoke.

The Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs is inviting everyone to join them in celebrating Pink Shirt Day safely at home. (Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs)
Pink Shirt Day re-imagined as COVID-19 pandemic continues

The Boys and Girls Clubs are introducing Breakfast in a Box

(Photo: Pixabay)
Enderby chamber proposes new rural e-business training program

The program would help rural-area businesses expand using online tools and insights

Vernon-area photographer Carla Hunt snapped this photo of the ‘biggest bobcat’ she’s ever seen Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. (Carla Hunt - Contributed)
‘Biggest bobcat I’ve ever seen’: Vernon-area photographer

Photographer Carla Hunt captures wild cat on camera

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

Half of the most expensive homes are on 2080 Mackenzie Crt, which is across the street from Revelstoke Mountain Resort. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
The 10 most valuable homes in Revelstoke for 2020

Combined, the properties are worth more than $35M

Lake Country native Evan-Riley Brown is in the cast for the new film Journey To Royal: A WW II Rescue Mission to be released on video on demand and streaming services on Feb. 2. (Contributed)
Okanagan actor lands role in WW II movie

Evan-Riley Brown, from Lake Country, cast in production labelled as hybrid of a feature film and documentary called Journey To Royal: a WW II Rescue Mission.

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
More than 20 days have passed since the last case of COVID-19 was confirmed at Lakeside Manor. (File photo)
Salmon Arm retirement facility reopens social areas after COVID-19

More than 20 days have passed since last confirmed case at Lakeside Manor

A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Sooke’s Jim Bottomley is among a handful of futurists based in Canada. “I want to help people understand the future of humanity.” (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)
No crystal ball: B.C. man reveals how he makes his living predicting the future

63-year-old has worked analytical magic for politicians, car brands, and cosmetic companies

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virtually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Most Read