God tapped me lightly on the shoulder the other day, and I listened to what He said... Let me tell you a story.
I am a nurse, and I work in Interventional Radiology. Basically, I sedate patient for certain tests, like port insertions for chemo and dialysis. However, we also do procedures in the Radiology department that don't usually require sedation. This includes CT scan and Ultrasound.
There is a particular patient who requires sedation for a procedure that normally requires me to be there to watch, but no sedation. Most patients do just fine- in and out, fast. Amongst ourselves we grumbled "Why is A special? Why does A need sedation. Really ?!?" Oh, so easy for me to be judgemental.
A was coming in, and I didn't want to take care of her. Didn't want a princess. But, it was my turn. SIGH.
A comes in, we chat. She's actually pretty funny. But, I wonder, where is her driver? Oh, it's her teenaged son. In the waiting room. She is alone. I get her IV started.
She compliments me on my hair. She is bald, wearing a hat because her head gets cold. She told me that she wished the procedure, just this once, would do X and Y for her. Suddenly she began to cry.
I think the enormity of three long years of fighting, having no hair at the moment, of feeling crappy and short of breath, had gotten to her. I asked her if I could hug her. She said yes.
I leaned over the stretcher, moved my hair back, and hugged her. For some reason, I was very aware that our skin touched- our cheeks and necks touched. We shared a real, hard girlfriend hug. In that moment, the tap came and I got it. Really truly got it. My heart broke a little for her. My eyes teared up. I felt the depth of her loneliness, the unending exhaustion. The thought went through my head "When was the last time anyone had touched her?" Skin to skin. Soul to soul? She needed a hug, but she needed to be cared about at that moment too. I have the feeling that she is very alone in this fight.
I wondered- where are her girlfriends? Who is taking care of her, lifting her burden for a short time so she can breathe? I hoped that in the 45 seconds that we hugged that I gave her just a little of my energy. A little bit of soul. A little bit of heart. I pray for her almost every day. There are quite a few patients that I keep in my prayers.
I realized that I am in no position to be snarky about A's need for sedation. If she wants it, who cares? It make no difference to me. The comfort of my patients is my top priority, aside from safety. I want her to be safe and sound and taken care of during her time with me, and if that's what it takes, so be it. She needs it. She deserves it, as do all of my patients. That day, I needed her too. I needed the reminder that is it really easy to be judgemental, when underneath, everyone needs love and attention.
So, lesson learned. In a BIG way. Thanks, God, I needed that.
Oh my heavens, the mail I received this week!! I am a member of Paper Digital Arts- you know, where I did the altered book pages... Anyhow, my latest group over there is based on the alphabet. Fearless moderator Shannon (from Tin Roof Studio) hosted a giveaway to kick the group off. And I won!!
So, I expected to get some alpha themed supplies:
UNDERSTATEMENT!! The woman is nuts!! I have more cool things to play with than I can imagine! I won't have to buy any letters anytime soon... and you all know my fetish with letters...
Stickers, stencils, a journal, brads, ribbons... all kinds of stuff.
I also hosted a supply swap on my blog a few weeks agao. I just matched up whoever was interested. I received a wonderful package from Jean over at Lilac Lane Livery, and she's not even my partner! Jean is also a member over at Paper Digital Arts.
I am a lucky woman! Thanks to both of these generous friends!
I'd be lying to you to say that I didn't wince at that number. I see the changes in my body, my skin, my fitness (dang, gained back the 5 pounds I'd lost!). Oh the gray hair! UGH.
Part of me doesn't care. I'm happy, healthy, have a great husband and two great kids. I have good family and friends. I have a job and a house.
That being said, I was one big grouch this morning. Part fatique, part PMS, part sick-of-doing-dishes syndrome. I warned hubby early on. He rubbed my back and gave me a kiss. I have a cool husband that way.
I went off to run some errands, one of which consists fighting a debit card charge that the fraud unit caught, but somehow got through. From Amsterdam. Right. Anyway, got home to find two lovely packages waiting for me. One was from my BFF Tammy, and the other from my blogging friend Shannon. Tammy sent me a b-day gift, and Shannon sent me an alphabet-themed giveaway box of treasures (I'll blog about that later).
Tammy made me a red and white themed birthday box.
She decorated a woooden box, then filled with with tart tins full of stuff. Have a look!!
The lid was stuffed with tags and stickers, and the most beautiful old postcard.
There was also a handmade bag, with a gorgeous fabric cuff inside.
I can tell you that this almost made me cry. Tammy knows what I love, and the timing couldn't have been better. She put a smile on my face today, and that's the best gift of all.