by Lori Dwyer on April 20, 2011 · 41 comments

I’m back in the suburbs, a day trip to do boring adult things, but I ge ta few hours break from my kids, a few hours to just be Lori, instead of being “Muuuuum…”

I walk around a large, brightly lit supermarket, packed with stores and clothes and people all close together, colours and lights.

There’s a man walking near me, just ahead of me, and I know I know him from somewhere, and I feel like I know him well. It’s his moustache… where do I know this man from?

And then I stop, dead still. People stare at me and I don’t care don’t care because I can’t move, if I do I may scream and run and I’m not sure if I’ll go in the direction of the door or this arrogant man’s stupid head.

We’re in the ICU and there’s a nurse on duty, for Tony, a man with a thick moustache. And he has no compassion, he’s not like the rest of the nurses here, who let us cry and speak soft words of hope to one another and to Tony. We know the reality, we know that it will be only a matter of hours before he is declared brain dead, but still we speak in tones of gentle hope because there is little else we can do.

But this nurse, this horrible man… he suctions Tony’s throat, and goes to great lengths to point out that Tony should be gagging. We know that. He pokes Tony’s feet, with a long pin, for no other reason then to show us that there is no reaction to pain. We know that. We didn’t ask for him to do any of this- who made it his job, to burst the fragile soap bubbles of hope that float through the ICU?

He tells me that the drug screen came back positive for opiates. “Heroin?” I say, think no fucking way, run it again, that’s not possible, and he says “The doctors will discuss it with you.” And they do, and they dismiss the opiates immediately as the morphine they have given him and I feel so stupid for not realising that and this nurse, he is in the meeting, and he stands against the wall, when the rest of us are sitting, arms crossed, smug and seeming to smirk and I want to hit him.

I see him again, before I leave the brightly lit hive of shops. He passes me in the electronics aisle of a department store and I literally, physically, shudder.

It’s things like this, that fuck with the most. The ones I can’t prepare for.

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{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

Kymmie April 29, 2011 at 11:51 am

This is so awful Lori. I'm so sorry you had to deal with that as well as everything else. As if you didn't have enough to deal with at the time.


Trik82 April 26, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Your restraint in not tackling him to the ground is admirable!! Hoping these unexpected moments of shock and pain become few and very far between.. ((HUGS)) x


Kellie April 21, 2011 at 9:32 pm

I'm concurring with everyone before me. Whether you report him or not though, Lori, karma will find him. Big hugs to you. xx


MaidInAustralia April 21, 2011 at 9:05 pm

If you can find the strength, report him, so others don't have to go through what you did. Otherwise darling, take a breath, and let it go. You are in Paradise now. You are recovering. Focus on you and your kids. (Personally I would report him, but it may make things worse not better, so it's your call). xo


Watershedd April 21, 2011 at 8:58 pm

I don't understand that guy. Why work in healthcare with such an attitude? In ICU, of all places? It can;'t even be put down to him having a bad day, because his actions were sadistic. I'm with the others. Report him. He should not be in that environment. X


Tracey from Central Coast Seachange April 21, 2011 at 5:33 pm

It's amazing isn't it that some health care professionals forget that they are 'health care professionals'and are just zombies. Met a few of these types this January as well as my father lay dying. Perhaps, in order to deal with people dying all the time, these people turn into arseholes to help them do their job. What happens of course is that they make the entire medical experience more unpleasant than need be. This guy is probably an arsehole in every facet of his life. No wonder he has a moustache.


Crystal Cheverie April 21, 2011 at 9:59 pm

Wow – yeah, something like that can really fuck with your head. I'm with a lot of your other commenters – how can someone that callous end up in a CARING profession?!?!?

Anyways, I can imagine I'd feel the same way if I ended up running into the nasty little snots who bullied me throughout middle school and caused my mom to have me pulled out… HUG!! Sometimes this world is just too small!


Anne-Maree Palmieri April 21, 2011 at 11:19 am

Hi Lori, just wanted to follow up on my earlier comment. I was on a mobile then and couldn't do a longer comment.
What happened with in your case with this nurse is so totally wrong and against every ethical standard of his role. Nurses are not there to harm people, nor to make value judgements as he clearly was. He needs to be pulled up and a big bright light needs to be shone on his behavior. Maybe if he is lucky he will be able to be educated to alter his attitude and actions.
But Lori, he has caused a traumatized person even more unnecessary trauma and psychological damage, and he needs to answer for that.
It's just wrong on every level.
When I think of all the relatives I've hugged, counseled, held hands with and told the terrible truth to….. I just hope that you received that care from the others. Disgust fills me at the thought of someone in my profession hurting you this way.

Big hugs,
Annie xxxxxx


Janet NZ April 21, 2011 at 5:06 am

Listen to the nurses darling – report the prick!


Cassondra April 21, 2011 at 3:16 am

I was date raped in college, and I've thought I've seen the guy who did it out of the corner of my eye in all kinds of situations since. It's never actually been him, but just the idea that he might be there has been a bucket of cold water on all kinds of sunshiny days.

I'm sorry you had such an awful nurse. I've had doctors just as cold during my miscarriage, thyroid diagnosis, and other medical misadventures. I'm sorry you had to have him in such an awful circumstance, and I'm sorry you had to run into him again.


rageagainsttheblackdog April 20, 2011 at 11:44 pm

Yikes Lori!

What an asshole. I'm sorry that you had to experience him and sorry that you had to deal with such an unpleasant flashback.

Take care of yourself,


Melissa April 20, 2011 at 9:37 pm

oh how horrible. A letter to the hospital would go a long way towards preventing this from happening to anyone else, and hopefully give you a sense of power over this scum bag and those horrible memories. so sorry lori.


Miss Pink April 20, 2011 at 8:08 pm

Oh Lori! How awful. Try to find comfort that you are not a person like him, that you would never set out to upset or hurt people like that.
I agree with Anne-Maree, report him so he cannot do this to another family.


Amy xxoo April 20, 2011 at 7:52 pm

What a sad pathetic little man. He's lucky it wasnt me he'd made feel that way because i have a feeling i wouldnt have been frozen with anxiety as you were, but unable to control my rage…


Anne-Maree Palmieri April 20, 2011 at 7:09 pm

Lori, I'm a nurse, and I'm telling you REPORT HIM!
You need to write to the general manager of the hospital, the director of nursing at the hospital AND the health care complaints commission.their webpage is HCCC.nsw.gov.au.
Really, just do it, please. Xxx


Brooke Farmer April 20, 2011 at 5:23 pm

I am so glad you do not live there anymore.


Jane April 20, 2011 at 4:13 pm

PS Can't believe you handled seeing him again with such composure. I would've thrown something at him, for sure. Also, I've just read some of the other comments on here – perhaps you should report him.. He shouldn't be dealing with patients and their families when he's obviously a massive tool xxx


Jane April 20, 2011 at 4:10 pm



Hear Mum Roar April 20, 2011 at 3:20 pm

You're a better person than I am, with how you handled it ((HUG))


Annie April 20, 2011 at 1:37 pm

I'm sorry you had to deal with an unprofessional, burnt-out ICU nurse. I am an ICU nurse, and his actions and behaviour make me feel ashamed. I hope that, when the time is right, you'll write a letter to the hospital to alert them to this maggot's actions.


thelexhex April 20, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Being as asshole is one thing, but being an asshole when you work in a hospital is fucking horrible. I hope somebody will gag and poke him for the hell of it.


Watercolor April 20, 2011 at 12:20 pm

Hugs! It isn't too late to report him. Seriously.


Glowless @ Where’s My Glow April 20, 2011 at 11:59 am

For every 99 brilliant nurses there is one fuckwit who craps all over everyone.

If you feel like you can, report him.


Being Me April 20, 2011 at 11:52 am

Instant headache. What an unwelcome, unsteadying stress to relive. It's when it happens doing the mundane that knocks the wind out of you, I know. There may just come a day where you can unemotively address the head of that ICU – families do not need that sort of self-serving crud around them, no matter if he's the best nurse they've ever seen. What an absolutely clueless individual. He didn't have to be so obvious and cold with his narcissism and need to be right.

My love. xx


Cate April 20, 2011 at 10:52 am

a) Report him and
b) Should he walk past you again, still out your foot (accidentally of course) and trip him up!


Good Golly Miss Holly! April 20, 2011 at 8:41 pm

I simply don't understand why a person like that chooses to work in a profession where they are required to provide care and support? Fuckers.


Suz April 20, 2011 at 10:16 am

So sorry this happened to you. The flashbacks are so hard. much love Lori as always xx


Wanderlust April 20, 2011 at 10:13 am

Love, sweetie. Just love. xoxo


JourneyBeyondSurvival April 20, 2011 at 9:25 am

That happened to me once after I survived psychosis. My family and I were out eating and a family diner. A woman kept looking at me. And looking at me. I remembered her from somewhere.

I almost said hi. That's the awful part. Then I realized who she was-the nurse intern that tormented me in the hospital-and I almost bit off my tongue. When I finally connected the dots about what she was doing I hid in my semi private room and fought off amped up social anxiety.

She never said one nice thing about me. Or did anything for me. She treated me like trash. I almost said hi.

It gets to be less invasive Lori. It really does.


Dazee Dreamer April 20, 2011 at 9:11 am

I am so sorry. Too bad you couldn't just ream him a new one. what an asswipe.


Penny April 20, 2011 at 9:06 am

I feel like I was there with you, I want to shake him, hit him and show him what he is doing to people. You are so strong.


Janet NZ April 20, 2011 at 8:59 am

I too have heard of health 'professionals' behaving like this in case of a suicide. I can't even imagine what good they think they are doing… that man is an arsewipe. As is everyone else who kicks someone when they are down. I agree with Kellogsville – what goes around, comes around. It would just be nice to be there when it does…


Kristie April 20, 2011 at 8:37 am

Oh Lori… I've been there before. Not with the gravity of your situation – but facing someone who caused so much pain, and wanting to hurt them, but frozen in time and fear, remembering.

Much Love to you…


Kelloggsville April 20, 2011 at 8:36 am

What you didn't do was give him the satisfaction if knowing he'd upset you again. Well done. What a sad man, I wonder how well he sleeps. What goes around comes around and all that. Xxx


flask April 20, 2011 at 8:30 am

yeah, you know. there's a well-known phenomenon among health care professionals in which otherwise compassionate people make a point of making things miserable for suicide attemptors and their families.



Sarah April 20, 2011 at 8:30 am

OMG why is a person like that working in an ICU where people need love & support the very most. What a disgrace, though in saying that I'm not surprised by that hospital having dodgy people considering their other departments.

And this darling girl is why living in Paradise is best for you. It's just safer, there is noone there that you can just bump into like this, to force you back to those horrible minutes of the ICU.


Karen April 20, 2011 at 8:28 am

What the hell would a man of his ilk be doing in a job like that? OMG! That made me shudder too, as if he were pure evil, an angel of death amongst all those other giving, compassionate souls working to nurse patients back to health!

God, I'm so shocked he came into your life in this manner again.


Kate April 20, 2011 at 8:07 am

What an asshole. I hope you reported him (and if you didn't it's not too late to do it now).


Mrs Woog April 20, 2011 at 9:59 am



Lara April 20, 2011 at 9:02 am

Girl, I do not know how you held off on slapping that horrible, sadistic man.
I don't know if I could have. He needs to be removed from icu. Big hugs to you, as ever


Ames April 20, 2011 at 8:17 am

What a horrible man. Your strength is amazing. I don't think I could have been so calm around him, something narky and pointless would have escaped my throat. More proof of your strength.


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