Residents and med students go door to door, gently stirring patients awake. “Good morning, Ms. ____. How are you feeling today?”
I start walking anyway.
On each go-round, the nurses greet me with witty, supportive comments. They joke about decorating the NG tube with ribbons and beads. "Looking good!" they call -- no matter how I really look.
But they're sympathetic, too. I’m here YET AGAIN. A frequent flyer.
|A drug-induced smile|
in the ER
Nurse Christine appears like a guardian angel in the ER. Nadia shows unending patience as she suctions my stubborn NG tube all night long!
The team on 7 Center welcomes me back like an old friend.
Drs. J, M, and W drop in magically, just when I need them.
Each shift feels as secure and safe as my own family.
This post might well be called What I Did Over My Summer Vacation. (And it truly is my mom's vacation -- coincidentally, she'd taken this week off from work.)
|I can't leave the unit,|
so my "messenger"
meets him in person!
On the morning of Day 4, Prosthetist Tim shows up at my door. Surprise! Down the hall, his wife Chris has just given birth to their fourth child! I get to see Timothy Leo's very first baby picture!
They're Clowns for Medicine -- future doctors, I think. Giggling, they tell jokes and write out prescriptions: Take one SMILE before breakfast, two HUGS after lunch, one KISS at bedtime.
I even get my own clown name: Bozo the Bionic (or Bozonic, for short!).
This staff has pulled me through a lot.
"They have to do their jobs," I say during one of our walks. "But they don't have to CARE."
They don't have to hold my hand when that dreaded NG tube is inserted. They don't have to cover me with heated blankets. And they don't have to ask me about the book I'm reading.
But they do it anyway.
And they do it for others, too. I see it on my travels. Everywhere I turn.
This hospital has a heartbeat all its own.