Monday, April 30, 2012

A Simple "Thank You"

I had 5 very difficult male patients today: A. was a mildly confused ETOHer with acute pulmonary edema who desatted and got dizzy...and bradied down to the 30s...every time he tried to walk...which was often. B. was a vigorous 50something year old man whose little toes we had amputated...on both feet. He could manage to carry a cup of coffee AND a bottle of water in his bathrobe pockets without spilling anything. He's married to a nurse, you see, and wouldn't want to bother US for things "he can manage himself"...even at the risk of coffee burns C. was a man who was just...needy. His feet itched. a lot. he wanted them rubbed. Then massaged with lotion. then benedryl. then more lotion. Heaven forbid he should do these things...himself! nono! the NURSE should do these things for him! D. was the delightful 90 year old with soft blood pressures and a penchant for telling world war 2 tales...i could have listened to him ALL day...except that i had to somehow figure out how to get his massive seroma drained without tanking his vitals...which would be he is so damn NICE! E...ah E...he didn't seem to like us much, me and my Lovely Assistant K...he grumbled, complained, didn't like us much. And then he surpassed all our expectations. He passed his PT eval, swallow study...everything. And then on his way out the door he grabbed my hand. "I want to tell you, before I forget". He said, like an old movie star- "I've been HORRIBLE to you all- short tempered, cranky, unkind...but I want you to know- you've been WONDERFUL to me!!! You treated me like you expected nothing LESS than my full recovery, and that made me work harder. You never took it out on me when i was mean to you. I wanted you to know, I am so very grateful to ALL of you- nurses and aides who took care of me. Please tell them for me" And then he left. But...that's why I do my job...for people like him...and for the people who never manage to tell me that what i do matters...but really? People like him make my day... Even though two hours later I got puked on and yelled at :-p

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