11.24.2005

Thinking Thankful Thoughts.

Tonight I'm working with a nurse who emanates a smell uncannily similar to mentholated vaginal lube mixed with musty cat urine.
Tonight I've emptied no less than 6 full liters of bright green bile being suctioned out of my patient's stomach.
Tonight I've had to wake up two doctors who were, shall we say, less than pleased that I would dare disturb their precious slumber.
Tonight I've called the pharmacists, pharmacy techs and all of their collective mothers many bad names in my head, because saying them out loud would be highly unprofessional (although it would feel OH SO RIGHT).
Tonight I've disposed of two full 8oz cups of expectorated chewing tobacco which, except for the color, was in no other way significantly different from the aforementioned bile.
Tonight I learned that the very affectionate and attentive husband of my favorite patient is also ill. He has pancreatic cancer and is enduring double doses of weekly chemotherapy. They traveled from Alabama for him to be treated at a very highly esteemed cancer clinic down the road. Median survival time for this devastating form of cancer is 4-17 months. He told me that his wife is his "angel", describing himself as her "official feet warmer for the past 40 years". Since her surgery, he has been here to care for her every need, day and night. He massages her neck and spoon feeds her ice chips. He sleeps in a tiny chair next to her bed, but I use the term "sleep" very loosely because he actually remains awake most of the time, just in case his wife might need something in the middle of the night.
Tonight I watched them pray together, and I watched them genuinely smile and laugh with one another. I watched the exchange between two people who truly need one another while simultaneously giving all of themselves to the other. Perfect symbiosis.
Tonight I have a better understanding of the meaning of the word H O P E and I've realized, maybe for the first time, just how much I have to be thankful for.

Here's to learning important life lessons at the most unsuspecting moments, from the most spectacular persons, in the most unusual ways. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Comments:
Wow, that gave me goosebumps. Good ones, sad and happy and thankful ones. Happy Thanksgiving, Spoonie.
 
Oh, man ...

You know, most people would look at your patient and her husband and what they are enduring and what they have to look forward to and think "What have they got to be thankful for?" But you know.

Thank you for this, Spoonie. Have a lovely Thanksgiving.
 
A wonderful, wonderful story. Very heartwarming. I'm always envious of old folks who are so in love.

Oh...and is there really such a thing as mentholated vaginal lube? Ouch!
 
very nice post. even brought a tear to my glass eye. happy thanksgiving.
 
Lovely story, but I could've done without the image of bile.

Happy Thanksgiving!
 
I don't know what to say! Some folks live their whole lives without the perspective you have. It's their loss.
Happy Thanksgiving!
 
i went from a tear to out - and - out crying.
Here's a hug for all those folks suffering on...
Happy Thanksgiving, thanks for sgaring that wonderful story with us.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
Dammit Spoonie, you made me CRY.

*sniffle*

Happy Thanksgiving.
 
Moments like that are what being a nurse are ALL ABOUT. Thanks for the reminder!
 
happy thanksgiving to you too spoonie and double thanks for sharing that story.
 
Happy Thanksgiving SweetPea!
 
A little sniffle from me too. That is once I got over the bile part. What a bittersweet story.
 
They're lucky to have a caring, big hearted nurse like you. And, I'm sure the hooters don't hurt, either.
 
We tend to forget those things that we all have and consider acquired.

Thanks for that story.

I wish them well and I hope that their love lives on.

How kind is that man.

8-)
 
That's beautifully written. It sums up thankfulness well. As my family has recently discovered, you just don't know how much time you have, so acknowledging your love and thankfulness is important.
 
That's the kind of love I told Jason was required before we got married.

I wasnt to be just like my grandparents. When one of them would walk into the room, the other one's face would light up...even when the other one was just gone to pee.
 
Happy Turkey Day, BTW!!
 
There's beauty everywhere. Good thing you were able to see it (after the bile and all that other stuff).
 
Wonderful post.

I laughed, I gagged. And I gagged again. Then I cried a little, and finally I smiled.

Love you, spooniebreath.
 
HOOKER! You better have been harvesting ass for cash yesterday or studying your patootie off because I never got the call, yo! PEACE.
 
You are a sweetheart! Happy Thanksgiving a little late!
 
Wonderfully written.
 
That was beautiful. It totally made my eyes well up. They are *just* contained, though. *ahem* Excuse me. *sniffle*
 
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