Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Where were you when....

So, don't you always remember exactly where you were when historic events happened? I do. I'm usually at work. I usually miss the historic events because I'm taking care of patients...

The millennium? I was at work, trying to save a patient who was having a heart attack...I had taken care of this gentleman the Thanksgiving and Christmas before the millennium, and he'd had a heart attack each night. No kidding. He finally ended up having a bypass surgery that he had less than 20 percent chance of surviving....and he did survive! I got to take care of him after it, and sent him to a rehab hospital with his lovely wife who had rheumatoid arthritis of her hands, so she was unable to help him transfer from the bed to the wheelchair...Oh! I think I forgot to mention he was a brittle diabetic with end stage kidney disease and he had both legs amputated. I wasn't actually too thrilled with him having surgery, but he survived, went to rehab, and as far as I know lived a healthier life, at least cardiac wise. Anyway, the night of the millennium I took care of him I seem to remember he stabilized long enough for me to watch the fireworks in downtown Fort Worth and drink sparkling apple cider with my coworkers from a comatose patient's room... Aren't nurses morbid?

The tornado through downtown Fort Worth? I was at work, and I COULD have watched it out a window if I hadn't been frantically moving my patients into the hallway, and then sitting at the bedside of a ventilator dependent patient who was coherent and scared to death. I would have been too, but I was too busy worrying about the patients to really absorb what was happening.

The inauguration of President Obama? I was at work...Only this time I was stuck in the cave known as the radiology department assisting a radiologist do a biopsy on a mass in a man's neck. The poor man has been living with pain in his left neck and arm for months. The man had previously had renal cancer, and it looks like on our CT scant that it has metastasized to the bone. The mass on his neck is eating into his ribs and causing his pain. Of course, I couldn't tell him this, that is up to his doctor....But I could pray with him, and I did. It was sad.

So, I have a new LIFE resolution...I don't want to be at work when anything historic happens...It seems to lead to stressful, and sad situations.

Boy, was that post depressing or what?

Want to know what's worse? Being sad makes me want TexMex...and it's hard to find good TexMex around here...So I'm stuck grilling fish instead. Bummer. I think I'll drown my sorrows in a can of chocolate covered potato chips.

*After reading what I just blogged, I feel compelled to say, yes, I still love being a nurse. But some days I hate it. Some days I wonder why I love this job. I think it's because I CAN make a difference in a patient's life when they are scared, sad, and unsure what is coming for them. They often don't have a diagnosis yet. Or, they may be looking into treatment for the diagnosis that they do have. But either way it's scary and uncertain. I have the privilege to care for them in this time. I get to pray with them, joke with them, and hopefully make them feel better if only in that moment that they are in my care. I get to remind them, and myself, that we have a God who loves us, who has a plan for all of us, and that He works everything for the good of those who love Him and are called to His purpose. I often pray those very words over them. I pray for his peace that transcends our human understanding. I pray for a quick diagnosis, a successful procedure, and healing. That is the privilege I have in being a Christian and having a God who listens to me, and allows me to take part in his work. That is why I love my job...Even though today I hated it.

I also love when I find a giant stack of Watchtower magazines in our waiting area and get the pleasure of SLAMMING them into the recycle bin. Shhhh....Don't tell anyone!

3 comments:

Dawn said...

I'm sure you are being Christlike when you dispose of the Watchtower mags--isn't that righteous anger? That's an awesome post! Thanks for sharing--perhaps I should do that--pray over the students I'm about to.....

Becky said...

I wish there were more nurses like you. God bless you for all the hard work and prayers. I bet each one of your patients feel your peace and it calms them in some way.

And thank you for taking care of those watch towers. That is exactly where they belong. :-)

Marilyn said...

I know that you are right where you need to be. I know that God puts you where He wants you to be and that He gives you the words of wisdom. God loves you and so do I.