Thursday, August 20, 2009


I sit here in front of the computer and I think maybe this weekend I can write. I will write and purge my soul for the past two weeks have been so full of saddness and joy, tears and laughter. I have so many thoughts from events experienced these past weeks that my mind simply races. Two days into my current work week and I'm exhausted. My patient so critically ill I hardly left the bedside. A coworker frequently asked "what can I do to help you?" as I ran back and forth, titrating medications, calling doctors, assisting with procedures. At least the docs know me well enough that when I say "I need you now" they drop everything and come at a full sprint.

Before I began my shift today I sat in my car in the parking lot and prayed. I asked for strength and compassion because, believe me, when I'm tired and sad, compassion is hard to find. I asked the Lord in some way to encourage me in my day. An hour later my boss handed me a card. It was from the wife of a former patient, he had been transferred to a facility closer to their home and I had said my goodbyes many weeks ago. This card made me cry. His wife had taken time to write a beautiful letter, telling me how much my care of both her husband and her meant. She told me I was one of the family's favorites. I placed that card near my computer terminal so every time I charted I could see it and be reminded why I do what I do. It was affirmation when I needed it most that I do make a difference.

1 comment:

Don said...

I'd like to think that this kind of courtesy is so rare because the people you deal with are utterly overwhelmed by trauma. Chances are that there are a few people who may not actually be dickheads but who do drive in the dickhead lane more often than not. You know, the self-centered ones who can't see the world except when it jumps up in their face and becomes a personal affront. I expect in your job you see people at their worst so you get a lot more complaints than pats on the back but for the most part, you're a piece of furniture to them. Then someone takes the time to say "I noticed you doing a wonderful job. Thank you." and this small courtesy makes up for dozens of slights and putdowns by others. It's something that we all should do more often.