“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.