Don't Curse the Nurse!

Sharing support with stories & humor


on December 2, 2013

“Sometimes I forget to breathe. “She says it matter of fact.
I look at the oximetry reading of the silver haired octogenerian. It is 94% on room air. “Are you in any pain?”
“No.” There is the sound of surprise at the end of this monosyllable, as if my question is odd.
Hearing no stress in her voice, I watch her chest rise and fall. Deep breathes with no exertion.
There is no history of chronic respiratory disease on her chart. She goes in for her five minute procedure.
At the three minute mark under local monitored anesthesia and supplemental oxygen, she forgets to breathe.
We fix that.
I take her out to the recovery room.
She is fully alert in twenty-seven minutes
I note her frail skin and thin bones when bending to help her with her shoes. I accidently bump her knee. “Sorry ‘bout that.”
She pats me on the head. No one has ever patted me on the head.
Then she says, “You need to relax, Sweetie. Just breathe.”

4 responses to “Breathing

  1. christy braman says:


  2. mikah257 says:

    Maybe it’s just a matter of everything looking like a nail to a hammer, but this feels like a visit from a spiritual guide to me. If it was my experience, I would want to honor it. Kundalini yoga class? Snorkeling adventure? Or maybe a visit to a rose garden… Of course, best of all, I would take my guide’s advice and remember to breathe.

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