“So what do you want to be when you grow up?” I asked, my eyes focused on the vaccine and supplies in my hands.
“An R.N.” he replied, without hesitation.
I paused and looked up.
The 14 year old stared back at me, just waiting.
“An RN?” I asked (as if I needed clarification). I felt guilty for expecting him to answer a football player. Usually when I asked teen boys what their plans were after high school, they almost always said they wanted to play football.
Because they assume it’s their only ticket out of poverty. Living in the ghetto and attending failing schools, no one else has told them otherwise. Continue reading
In the clinic…
“Take your shoes off please, I need to get your weight,” the medical assistant instructed.
“What?” The patient asked. “Am I about to board a plane or something?”
All my nights here are really depressing… I’ve completed 4 shifts so far orienting at my new job. And so far, it’s pretty sad.
Night #1: My patient was really sick. As it turns out, he didn’t have any family so we didn’t even know who to notify that he probably didn’t have much time left.
Night #2: Family feud… felt like a soap opera.
Night #3: “Till death do us part.” My patient was hospitalized on their wedding day. =(
Night #4. A young patient who met tragedy all too soon…
But he did much better than anyone expected. I stayed at his bedside all night, and watched him go from “tragedy” to “tremendous.” Originally he was on a breathing machine, then he started to breathe on his own without the machine. By morning, he started to wake up and communicated with me by writing.
Imagine a square hospital room with a bed in the middle, and two nurses standing on either side of it.
It looked something like this:
(me on left side) patient in bed (preceptor on right side)
Patient hands us a piece of paper and it reads:
(in shaky letters since his wrists were filled with IV’s, tubing, and soft restraints)
~ ~ ~
Reading this article, “A Patient’s Eye View of Nurses,” reminded me of my ICU experience, inspiring this repost.
what’s the name of that store on the corner?
Aug. 16, 2011
~ ~ ~
Exasperated, she raised her voice because I hadn’t heard her the first time. “How come no one understands me when I speak?”
“Mmmm… I don’t think it’s you, it’s me. I’m not from here, so sometimes I’m not used to hearing the way people talk here.”
“Oh you mean…. my ACCENT.” Continue reading
He was late.
I walked into the room and started speaking.
I cannot hear you, he signed, his hands dancing in the air.
“OH.” Continue reading
Relationships are like a cup of lai cha: “The Sentimental Flavor Lasts Forever” (toronto 2011)
A few days ago. A reunion.
I pushed the door open.
“Oh heeeey! How are you!” I greeted my patient warmly. Like we were old friends.
“Hi Soapie.. I’m good…” he beamed.
“It’s been a long time since I last saw you,” I said, placing a syringe, alcohol pad, and bandaid on the counter. I couldn’t even remember the last time.
“Trust me, I don’t want to see you,” Continue reading
one of my fav autumn walks. 2008
Plucked off by the wind,
yellow leaves flutter,
twirl in circles upon descent,
speckle across the street
I walk towards Thoreau path Continue reading
My feet were hurting like crazy, but I dragged myself downstairs anyway.
Most night nurses eat around midnight or so, but my patients were pretty sick and kept me hustlin’. When I finally had a free moment to take my ‘lunch’ break, it was already 5 a.m.
The cashier bagged my bagel and began to rang my order up.
I handed him my card.
But it didn’t work.
“Your hospital dining card was deactivated,” he said, shaking his head.
Uhhh… Continue reading
She sat quietly, waiting. Her big eyes watching my every move.
I unsheathed the needle.
“It will only hurt a little bit, okay?” Continue reading
Cherry Blossoms in April
It is the little things that remind me of God’s goodness and His never ending kindness. Although the past few weeks have been rough (evident in my last 4 posts that were tagged “death” and “tragedy”), I am forcing myself to stop and recognize the many blessings in my daily life.
I’m thankful for…. Continue reading