The Last One

“I don’t know why I can’t sleep,” he sighed.

Exhausted, he looked worn out from a tough fight. A glisten of perspiration shone upon his forehead, highlighting the furrow in his brows.  He sat in a chair;  he had given up trying to sleep on the bed. A thin cotton blanket draped his shoulders. His chin rested in the palm of his hands, his body leaned forward in a tripod position, and his elbows planted on his knees.

After being a nurse a few years, I began to anticipate what that look meant.  The drowsiness hanging on his face. How general malaise sedates your senses and nullifies your responses.  Where the heat creeps up, and suddenly you feel incredibly cold, or strangely hot. Where I could see it, before I even feel it.

I swiped his forehead with a temporal artery thermometer. 102.4 degrees.  That probably explained his elevated heart rate.  But the rest of his vital signs being off? 

Restless, he stood up, tossing the blanket upon the chair. He paced the room. “I just can’t sleep.. I don’t know…” His hands shook, ever so slightly.

It finally dawned on me… 

“When was your last drink?”

~ ~ ~

To accompany this post, here’s a powerful video that shows an outward transformation from a homeless veteran to a man with a hope and a future.
Watch and see.

 
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7 thoughts on “The Last One

  1. cool video! kind of like our conversation last night.. i like how by the end it makes people relate to him better. it’s sad that a lot of times we dismiss homeless people and think “oh, they’re just homeless people” just like people in the philippines “oh it’s just the philippines and they always have problems like that.

    i guess the problem is.. the real work is staying alongside him and keeping him accountable.. and never giving up on the person till the end… no matter how hard it gets. it’s not as glamorous as a one time transformation bc it’s too easy to slip back into old habits. i don’t remember if i ever told you about this.. but my friend who works with sex trafficking victims in atlanta told me how she offered everything to this one girl.. shelter, food, opportunities to work.. and one day the girl went back to her old life and wouldn’t even acknowledge her again. she told me how frustrating it would get.. and how angry that made her, and then god reminded her that we do that to him all the time. he offers us everything, and we just go back to our old ways. isn’t that so true.

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