Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas day in the ER

two simple words that we take for granted on a daily basis are the words thank you. but today, as i took care of patients, i heard these words more often. patients in the Christmas spirit were upset that they were away from loved one's and parties and presents but found themselves surrounded by others who'd given up a day with family to work instead. and it's funny how people are, something like Christmas making them a bit softer, the spirit and joy of one man's birth who means so much can change a day from being nothing to everything. "Merry Christmas" and "happy holidays" being exchanged at the end of the visit, people smiling through their illnesses, today was different than most.
"thank you for working on Christmas" is what i was told by not one but two patients today. it could have been more. the first time i heard it i almost cried. people were grateful to have someone there to take care of them.
i may not have saved a life today but i shared a smile with many. the one who stands out the most is the lady in room 1. she was in her 70's and her blood pressure was really high (like 230/120 high). i gave her medicines and extra special care since she was by herself. we chit chatted a lot, she said i looked like her granddaughter and we gossiped about the ER tech working with me. i took a liking to her and when i finally took her upstairs and we got to her room she went to use the restroom. i gave the floor nurse her info since she was doing her business i started to leave. just then as i was about to turn the corner i heard her come out of the restroom and ask where i was and the nurse said i was on my way back down to the ER. i could feel the dissappointment in the air so i walked back in the room, wished her a Merry Christmas and gave her a hug.
maybe it's not allowed, maybe it's frowned upon. but i think the hug was both what she and i needed for Christmas.

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