Thursday, September 13, 2007

Missing Patient

I had come to work early, eager to start the day after 7 days off. I was still in report, trying to get information on my patients when the charge nurse came in to tell me that I had an admission rolling in. Grrrrrr! Deciding to settle my admit, I took to the floor to meld with the chaotic activity going on. I hadn't even gotten a transfer report from the outgoing nurse or the nurse that had her previously, my patient was in the bed, and I was going in blind.

"Hello! My name is Vixen and I'm your fabulous nurse for the evening" I said in a voice that didn't betray my irritation or anxiety. I settled her in, and dealt with her main issues, then went back to get report. As the shift progressed, she and I became closer, our patient/nurse relationship extending to something more. She had been in the hospital longer than I'd been working in the hospital. Every time she had a ray of hope of getting out, another complication would send her into a careening tailspin. I felt her pain and depression, understanding the futility of even trying to remain hopeful of getting better.

"I hope you'll be my nurse tomorrow," she said as I said goodnight. The next day, I brought her a deck of cards to while away the hours with---as well as 2 bottles of chocolate milk that she had been craving for weeks. She seemed in better spirits on Day 2 and on Day 3 was stronger---even getting out of bed for close to 30 minutes.

Today is Day 4...it's my day off, and I miss her. How can I miss someone that I barely know? I can't wait to get back to work to find out if she's getting better, to find something else to please her or just to see her laugh. Her inner strength amazes me and I see so much of myself in her. I miss my patient.

1 comment:

A Sista said...

aawwwwwwwwww! I hear you on this one, gurl! i SO hear you. I just quit one of my jobs cuz i couldnt stand the staff there but i tell ya, i miss some of my clients there SOOO much! theres one thats just like me. If i were to be her age, i'd be just like her.She gets in trouble all the time for her outspoken attitude. If she doesnt like something, you'd know because she couldnt keep such a thing in. Everytime i go to work on fridays, wearing jeans, she looks at me and it doesnt matter how loose-fitting i think my pants are, she'll scream "OH MY GOODNESS! DID YOUR MOTHER LET YOU GET OUT OF THE HOUSE LIKE THAT?" "HOW DID YOU GET THOSE PANTS ON???". She has early alzheimers and wont remember that she asks me that every week. BUT when she sees me mouthing the words as she says them, she remembers and laughs. And to those questions of hers, i always reply "no, my mom didnt see me leave like this. Shes just like you so i had to sneak out. and it took about four people, a gallon of oil and a whole lot of heaving and hoing to get these pants on"
we always have a good laugh.
God bless her heart, i miss her.
shes my missing patient.