I had a good weekend at work.
Not only because there was a time change that meant my 12 hour shift was actually only 11, and not only because I had a great book that I thoroughly enjoyed, and not even only because I met some great new friends… because I also had the pleasure of meeting some amazing patients.
I scanned a patient this weekend that was sweet as could be, looked to be probably 42 or 43, and enjoyed talking. I spent probably more time than I should have out in the hallway with her, talking about life and how we perceive it. We talked about not knowing the true trials other people are going through, and only being concerned with our own. I told her about Layla Grace, and how it opened my eyes to the difficulties that other people face, and how they can touch our lives if we let them in. She told me about her children, and her grand children, and her work. She also told me she was 58, and it blew me away. She looked AMAZING. Our conversation really got me thinking. I really enjoyed meeting her.
I scanned another lady that had had multiple previous exams, and made another snap judgement. She was overweight, covered in tattoos and I figured she was probably a drug seeker. Then we started talking. She asked me about the picture of Ronan on my badge, and we talked about kids. She told me that she was told she would never be able to have kids, and her little boy is her miracle babe. We talked about the love of parenting, and how it’s the truest, purest form of love. We talked about people who don’t want kids, and how we wished we could fully show them how amazing it is to be a parent. We talked about family size, and infertility, and the joys of pregnancy. We talked for much longer than the elapsed time of the exam and when she left to go back to the Emergency Department, I was a little sad to see her go. I told her it was really great to have met her, and I had enjoyed talking to her. She said the same, and to take good care of my sweet little boy. I smiled for quite a while after the exchange.
I scanned a sweet old lady that was deaf as a post. She couldn’t have been more than 60 pounds, and I all but lifted her from the wheelchair to the bed. She would ask me questions loudly, and, unable to hear the answer, just assume I had said what she wanted. “How longs it gonna be?” “ABOUT 15 MINUTES,” I told her. “Oh okay.” “Help me burp,” she asked me. So I stood there, patting her back while she curled up, trying to burp. Her ribs protruded out so far, I felt like I was abusing her. “I just can’t get it out!” Later on, she’d ask me, “Are we about done?” every two or three minutes during the exam. When she was all finished, I sat her up and told her we were going to move back to her wheelchair. She said, “Just let me sit a minute! They’re going to take me back up right away, right?…” She paused for a moment, then held her arms wide open. “…Give me a hug.” I gave her a hug, and she squeezed me tighter than her frail frame suggested was possible. She patted me on the back, and said “You’re sweet. Ok, lets go.” She was confused and suffering from dementia, but she was sweet as could be. Her hug made my day.
I also had caffeine. It really made a huge difference in my night shift. For the first time, I had just as much energy at 4am as I did at 8pm. I even danced around when a good song came on. I don’t know how I’ve lived without it for so long. I know so many people who have multiple, several caffeinated drinks a night… I was flying off of half a Coke.
Last, but not least, I read an amazing book this weekend. The whole thing. I couldn’t put it down. I’d love to write a review on it, so I’m not going to get into too much depth here. But it was Tales from the Trips, by John Cave Osborne. Fantastic read. One of the best parts of my whole weekend. More on this later.
So nice to write a positive post about work.