Some days I come home from work feeling not only exhausted from working 12 hours through the night but also frustrated by working so hard for what seems like so little and for ungrateful [ie asshole] patients on top of that. But then there are other days, like today, when my patients are so amazing that they literally make me want to cry...happy tears. Last night I had five awesome patients who just made me feel so great and proud of what I do and remind me that I actually DO do something meaningful...despite the rest of my days when I wonder why the hell I spent an additional shit-ton of money to be a friggin' registered nurse.
Pt 1: A little lady who is already going on her 13th day in the hospital and today found out she has to go back to surgery yet again. Every time I went into her room she would grab my hand and thank me endlessly for caring so much for her. When I left this morning she held my hand and asked me to pray for her today and told me that she wished I was coming back tonight to take "such great care of her again."
Pt 2: Very depressed patient on countless anti-depressants and anti-psych meds, thanked me for making him laugh today, saying "I haven't done that for a while."
Pt 3: Another depressed patient, on the verge of being under suicide watch, who lost her daughter last year, and is sick with no know cause. I had some time to sit with her and chat for a while and then she was finally able to get a full night of sleep. When the day nurse came back in she said, "what the hell did you do!? you cured her, she's a different person!" She was finally smiling and the darkness you saw when you looked at her was brightening.
Pt 4: A 50 yr old man who looked at least 70, recently found out that he has metastasized cancer and changed his code status to Do Not Resuscitate because of his poor prognosis. He was such a happy man despite all of the sadness in his life and thanked me for taking "such good care of him" and said "really, I want you to know that you are one of the good ones, I mean that." That's when I almost teared up and lost it.
Pt 5: Sweetest and healthiest mid-50's man, came in for a fever and unknown to him his preliminary ultrasound showed signs of possible liver cancer. He, his wife, and I had similar senses of humor so we really had some great conversations and laughs and it really broke my heart to know that unbeknownst to him and his wife, he may soon be diagnosed with liver cancer.
Long post, I know. And I'm not bragging...trust me, if you knew all about my bad days you'd get it. But I just felt like sharing a little bit about these great people I got to take care of today.
It's a deep down good feeling when you are reminded that you really are making a difference in other people's lives, especially during some of their worst times.
I hope everyone had a great weekend...I'm starting mine right now!