Don't Curse the Nurse!

Sharing support with stories & humor

Trying to Detach

on March 4, 2014

Image“Hey, slow down.”

Whoops, I was going a little fast there with the wheelchair—had only one wheel on the tile.

“Sorry ‘bout that — wanted to get you back in time for lunch. You can eat now that your test is done.”

The truth is …he was a big guy. I had to keep my momentum going.

“The food taste like crap here. Everything’s crap here. Crap. Crap. Crap.”

His comment didn’t bother me. Patients like that help me detach a little — keep me from getting too sentimental about my job. I have been told my skin is paper thin !

“Well, I can have dietary come up and talk to you. They might have alternatives more pleasing to your palate.” I don’t know why I said “palate” — his grammar was grade school, and, in the department, he kept saying “just cuz” until sedation kicked in.

Now we’re back in his room, and he impresses me with his ability to get back in bed despite the residual effects of sedation. The hospital gown looks threadbare on his bulky frame, the bed looks inadequate. His sheets are the only disheveled thing in the room. There are no signs that anyone has visited him.

I’ve called his nurse via the intercom to report him back on the floor and am almost out the door when he mumbles, “Nurse”.

“Yes.” I am looking at him but thinking about what’s left to do before I can go home.

“Thank you.”

 I notice that his eyes are turned down at the corners and he’s biting his lower lip nervously. He’s also stroking the call bell like it’s some kind of life line. Now I can’t leave until his nurse actually comes in to see him, maybe talks to him for a few minutes.

Crap – my sensitivity is going to get the best of me again.

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