Monday, April 06, 2009

North, northwest, the stones of Faroe*

Some days do not suck.

Those are the days when, against all odds, everything goes right. The meds you need are there on time, without you having to call the pharmacy four times. The equipment you need somehow magically appears on the shelf in the clean utility room, despite nobody having needed that particular machine in four months.

And those are the days when your demented patient, who has advanced Alzheimer's, remembers only one person, and remembers them well: the man she's been married to for sixty years.

For a few hours, as long as he's at her bedside, she's completely oriented and alert. She understands that she's in the hospital, that she's not well at the moment and that she needs the antibiotics you're putting into her PICC line, that she's not to pull out whatever lines and leads you have attached to her. She doesn't fight you, she doesn't try to get out of bed. She just stays in bed or up in the chair, talking to her husband, perfectly happy.

You see a lot of things as a nurse. I've seen people die, and seen people born, and seen people end up trapped somewhere between the two states, with no way of resolving the issue. I've seen people forget everything they were, and people come back from what we all thought were insurmountable injuries. The best thing ever? Was watching my confused, distressed, combative patient become the person she was before she was admitted--all due to the man she'd spent two-thirds of her life with.

Would to God we should all have somebody like that.


woolywoman said...

Sweet indeed. What a gift.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the HUGE smile today. Love kinda rocks that way, huh?

Anonymous said...

I'm an atheist, but whatever: You are god's gift to nursing and to the blogosphere.

pelican said...

Yes, that's one thing that's lovely about working with the very old ... you see what the endgame is really about, and that the choices we make at 20, 30, 40, 50, etc., determine who we are at 92.

How lovely for your patient and her husband.

And, my word verification is "meadmic" ... medieval karaoke night?

Lioness said...

Love does make the world go round, love is the axis, everything else is commentary, yes.

Woodhouse said...

What a beautiful story. "Love is the Seventh Wave".