Tag Archives: nurse

Stitch removal

10 Apr

After my morning classes, I went to University Health Services to get the stitches removed from my lip and my chin. After waiting in the lobby for a short while, I was seen by the triage nurse, who I’ve learned is responsible for prioritizing patients based on the severity of their conditions. The triage nurse today was actually the same nurse who had bandaged my wounds on Monday, so she was somewhat familiar with my story. On Monday, though, I had been able to talk reasonably well, but today it’s very hard for me to convey information to other people, so I was relieved at not having to repeat my whole story.

I was kind of annoyed when the triage nurse asked how I was going to get enough food with my mouth wired shut and then added “You’re already such a little guy.”  I’m about 6′ 1″ tall, and I weighed 155 pounds when I stepped on a scale during spring break. I certainly don’t consider myself to be big, but this was the first time in a long time that anybody described me to my face as “little.” I could afford to lose ten pounds before I’d be classified as underweight. The remark seemed particularly inappropriate coming from somebody who was supposed to be giving me a medical evaluation. I mean, if I had stepped on a scale, then it might be appropriate to bring up my weight, but I think it’s reasonable for me to expect the nurse not to make uninformed comments on health-related issues. I know she meant well, but it still seems inappropriate to me.

After the triage nurse, I was seen by a doctor and a nurse. I was amused that the doctor who looked at me asked if my bicycle was damaged. I did my best to tell him that it wasn’t even scratched, although I haven’t cared enough to look at it. The nurse took out the stitches. She had a fair amount of trouble with this because the thread on my chin was the same color as my facial hair, which I’ve been unable to shave since the accident.

I went into UHS hoping to ask somebody whether I should be concerned about the pain I’ve been experiencing in my left ear. I think it’s probably just swelling around the site of the fracture, but I wanted to check. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to communicate this question to anybody. Looking back on the visit, it seems like somebody should have recognized the obvious difficulty I was having in communicating and offered me a pen and paper to write down my answers. On the other hand, perhaps I should have brought my own pen and paper.

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