Thursday, July 05, 2007

holy cow

Well, then, I seem to have been able to sign into my own stinking account for two days consecutively. Can you feel the excitement? Next on my list: mailing the water bill on time ( it is only due quarterly, and I never seem to get that sort of thing right).

Spent the day first at work, where I had a lovely, lovely interaction with a patient. His wife was on my last nerve, as yesterday when I came to do a procedure on him that needed a consent signed, she told me she would be unable to sign it until she had prayed over it. Ma'am? Your husband is in the ICU, on a vent, with a feeding tube and a whole bunch of IV access, and you need to pray over wet her I start another line? Now? do you need to pray now? Because I'm not allowed to get overtime for this, and It's two o'clock, and so, uhm, could you check in with Jesus in a sort of rapid fashion? Because you have already traveled down the critical care, maximum medicine road, and I think it would be really helpful if now that you have called us in in force, you let us do our thing.

This morning he was on his "sedation vacation" which is a cheery little phrase that means letting ventilated people, thus people with a big old tube down their throat, wake up some so we can see if they are strong enough to breathe on their own yet and if they are still in there. (Gross oversimplification. Probabaly also a really gross sensation.) SO he writes on his clipboard " I want the blood drawing line. Do it now." I say ok and say well, sir this is what I'm gonna do and I'll tell you what I'm going to do each step and if I talk to much, well, I DO talk to much, but if you were my dad I'd want the nurse to tell you everything. I did my thing and when it was over he squeezed my hand and wrote "thanks for listening.

I was floored. I was grateful. I was touched. I was thankful.

1 comment:

AlisonH said...

You were there for him. And he knew it. I've been there, as a patient--where the caring and empathy of the doctors and nurses helped keep me here on this planet: there is an indescribable transfer of physical strength in that to the patient on the most personal level. Love does that.

You are someone who makes that kind of a difference, and he got a chance to thank you. That is so very, very wonderful.

(And his wife's putting you off was simply her voicing fear, not faith. This is why the doctors and nurses' part in taking care of the ill is so necessary. Their love is less complicated and the part they need to play is clearer in those situations, while the family flounders around.)