Tuesday, January 21, 2014

When patients save nurses.

I can't stop smiling when I read my last post. I am not bipolar! I just have moments of being sick and tired, I write about it, talk about it, think about it, pull myself together and go on.
It would sure be easier to have someone to help me come to my senses right here all the time, a slap in the face, a kick on the butt or just a hug and some kind words. But since that is not the case I have to count on Facebook chat or a telephone call to my best friends in the world -that would be my sisters-, and hug myself and over think and write my thoughts so I can see them out of my head. I recover quite fast.

"The memory of a worm?" Gee I was really frustrated and tired. I still am! I have just taken my dad's advice and tried not to be so sentimental. Not that easy since I have this romantic approach to life, and I am not talking "roses are red, violets are blue" kind of romantic, I'm talking 19th century Sturm und Drang romantic.

The thing with work is solved, I must have best bosses and colleagues ever. The tests for the drivers licence are moved forward. The kids know that Olivia is coming to their parties, my hair is washed and clean and all straightened. The girls got real food with a lot of veggies and I got to work and survived...

It was a whole story before work, as soon as the girls left to their dad's I sat down in the kitchen, put on some music and just burst into tears. I hate it when I cry before work because I have to show up with my eyes all swollen and red and it doesn't matter how much make up I wear, you can tell I've cried! I tried to smile as big as possible and was very ready to say I had an allergy if anybody asked (no nurse in the world would mistake a crying attack for an allergy!)

Anyway... I came in the ward feeling sad, down, blue and tired and all of those things, although not as much as in the morning. I went to say "hi" and "good night" to the patients and met one of my first patients ever. She took my hand so warmly and hard as she looked at me and said "I am so happy it's you today, Sister Lorena! You are just so, so nice! Do you remember me?" Of course I did! She made me smile so big! Her sincere appreciation and the fact she remembered me by my name made me feel so good.

When you work with people sometimes you get all of their anger and frustration, they treat you bad, they scream at you, the threaten you, they pee on you, cough on you... but they also trust you, lean on you, rely on you, depend on you, need you, love you and hate you. And they remember you!

Nurses are said to save lives, and we do, sometimes... But today I want to think about all those times when patients save us, they save us from becoming cold and seeing them as numbers, they save us from focusing on their diagnosis, they save us from losing our tempers, they save us from falling into routines, they save us from ignoring the individuality and the good in each of them, they save us from sadness, boredom, apathy... Patients like the one I met yesterday remind us that ours is a job that requires love and caring. Just as my little Olivia once said to me before I left for work, "mommy, don't forget the feelings", patients like this one come to help us not to forget their hearts.

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