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My SO is out of the hospital, having sworn on a stack of hospital gowns that he will make appointments with GI and Pneumo doctors Monday morning. In 7 days he has had 12 different nurses taking care of him and I have seen a side of nursing I have never seen before.

Ten of the 12 were the most extraordinary, wonderful people I have ever met--dedicated, caring, hardworking. I am still amazed that they didn't drop from exhaustion, and I'm relatively sure that the only reason they didn't was that the whole floor worked well as a team, filling in for each other one after the other, so that each of them got a break and a meal period.

Only two were duds. The first day my SO was admitted, his hemoglobin count was 6, he couldn't breathe except in gasps, and he had chest pain. After he was settled into his room and all the tests had been done, I was able to sit with him and keep him company for a bit, even though he probably didn't realize I was there, he was so out of it.

When his first nurse came in to take his vitals, I asked her how he was. "Fine," she said. Fine? FINE?? But I thought maybe she didn't want to say how poorly he was doing where he could hear her, so I trailed her out of the room and back to her workstation, where I asked her the question again.

"How is he doing? Blood pressure, pulse, oxygenation levels?" I asked.

"He's fine; don't worry," she replied as she walked away from me. I nearly came unglued. The man was most emphatically NOT fine.

I cornered her and she gave me the information I sought, though no explanation of what all these readings meant and so forth. I realize she was a busy person, but she could have taken 5 minutes to talk to me, I was so worried and upset. The other nurses certainly took a few minutes to talk to me.

Except for the other one who kept calling me "Sweetie" and "Honey" and who took his vitals and then disappeared for nearly 3 hours. I can't comment on her, because I hardly saw her during an entire morning and half the afternoon. He couldn't feed himself or anything, and if I hadn't been there, I guess he would have fasted.

But I shouldn't focus on the losers. The others were terrific at what they do, and I can tell you right now, whatever they're paid, it isn't enough!

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