Today I got to go observe in the PACU. Before going there though, we (my counterpart and I) followed a patient from admission through a short procedure, and then into the PACU, to get the patient's experience. She was in for a D+C to take out some polyps, and came through it like a champ. We watched the surgery (which worried the nurses, once they figured out it was my first time in an OR...I think they were afraid I'd faint) and it went swimmingly. We helped settle the pt. in the PACU, where she woke up almost immediately, and smiled at us. I was amazed. Here this woman was- just barely out of surgery, and smiling at us, asking if we learned anything important from her surgery. I just wanted to give her a hug.
Next to her was a woman about my age, just had a lung resection for cancer. She's never smoked, no risk factors. Just lung cancer. She looked so scared, and kept getting cold. I ran warm blankets to her until she looked like the michelin man...but at least she was warm, and cuddled in blankets.
The patients who made me grit my teeth were a pair of VERY overweight women just post knee replacement, who were unwilling to accept ANY pain, and called the nurses "bitches" for not giving more morphine for a reported pain level of 3-4. "But i'm still FEELING PAIN!!!" They moaned, like a greek chorus. Well...um...your KNEE got taken out, and now you have a FAKE ONE!!! There's NO way that you're going to be consious and not be in a bit of pain!
Then I went to the gym, had a nice long workout, ate dinner (mmm..chicken!), and am sitting with my feet elevated, on my futon. OOOF.