Thursday, April 27, 2017

Gratitude: Nurses

Sometimes, the past not being done with you is a good thing in ways you never imagined. 

I wrote the below several months after my last stint in ICU in appreciation for the amazing people who helped make some of the worst days of my life bearable with their warmth and compassion.

Today, I found out that the piece has been published in a book [and my personal copy is on its way to me now *squee!*]  It's not my first time being published, but it's always exciting when it happens.  This piece was so deeply meaningful and had an urgency that I couldn't ignore.  That it's being included in a collection of so many other stories of incredible compassion is both humbling and uplifting.

I don't know how you do it! [Understand that when I say "YOU" below it is in collective sense]

YOU wiped my brow as I came to out of a simple turned major surgery and recovery into my room, shivery and reacting poorly to morphine.

YOU, a couple years later, after getting hit by a car, held my hand and murmured to me as seizures ravaged my body repeatedly for hours, then days, leaving me stupid, scared, and confused.

YOU remembered me each time I was readmitted because the seizures were out of control and the side effects debilitating. I was a failing patient.

YOU stayed by my bed as long as you were able after my heart stopped and restarted from having gone tachycardic.

YOU wiped my bum, changed my sheets as I murmured in shame and didn't make me feel terrible. Just clean, dry, and safe.

YOU held me carefully as I wretched again and again. You even adapted by leaving a little container on my stand so I could wretch [sort of] accurately if you weren't close by. Yeah, you changed a LOT of bedding and I got to watch many folks clean up my messes.

YOU called me 'mija', 'darlin', and 'gooseberry'.

YOU were patient when I couldn't remember my words and simply wept in frustration, feeling weary and beaten.

YOU came and talked to me when you could and laughed at my crazy attempts at explanations of my pain med induced nightmares that made me scream in my sleep. And I loved the sound of your laughter. It was a small gift I could give to you in the crazy microcosm of the ICU.

YOU stroked my brow with calm care until I fell asleep again and kept my door open so I wasn't so alone.

YOU snuck me oranges sections because you knew I hated canned applesauce and jello.

YOU lined up all the nurses and clapped for me the last time I was discharged and told me you would miss me but that you never wanted to meet again in the hospital.

YOU cared, preserved my dignity, and gave me a lot of faith when I felt hopeless and helpless.

YOU are someone that I hope to see in the park or at a baseball game or at the grocer and to YOU, I will deliver an enormous "better than ever" hug.

YOU are part of why I can thrive today. For everyone who hasn't articulated it or doesn't understand, there are those of us who do.


And though they have never had to take care of me to this extent, this collective YOU are part of the community that my sweet nurse friends Kristin and Steve are proud members of.


Saturday, April 08, 2017

Adjectivally Speaking

MMJ:  Game changer

Apothecarium:  Transformative

SSD:  A lesson in choosing battles

UI:  Surprisingly helpful

Life:  Wow

Dignity: Yes!

Health:  Yes, yes, and YES!

Kindness:  Essential

Compassion:  Elemental

Quality of Life:  Ever improving