I cringed yesterday as I sat in a hospital recovery room with Erly. She is in her late 60’s and has lived with me for almost 20 years. I cringed because I saw the nurses pull a tube from Erly’s leg and then work tirelessly for almost 30 minutes trying to get her bleeding to stop. I’m a little bit of a wuss when it comes to hospitals, and the idea of watching the nurse remove a tube that looked to be at least two feet long from Erly’s groin was not my idea of fun. And let’s not even talk about the idea of blood! The only reason I saw this was because I had accidentally moved my hand from my face! I am indeed a wuss!
For the last week-and-a-half Erly has been in the hospital three times. She’s been struggling with her heart. I was on my way home after three weeks of being on the road when I received a call from the paramedics. They said Erly had blacked out at work.
That day was the beginning of a series of ups and downs with Erly’s heart. The doctors soon determined that her heart rate was the problem. Because I’m not very familiar with what is a good heart rate and what isn’t, the little reporter in me went to the web to check it out on www.MayoClinic.com. It says for an adult, a normal resting heart rate ranges from 60 to 100 beats a minute. While in the emergency room, Erly’s had plummeted to 30.
We thought all was well after a couple of days when Erly was released to go home. She was told that her heart rate was now regulated and that some of her medicines had been the problem. She had a triple bypass heart surgery seven years ago and has been on medication ever since then.
Erly’s good news didn’t last for long. Her heart raced up into the 130s the next day. When her cardiologist saw her in his office and realized the immensity of this problem, he sent us to the emergency room again. This time to a different hospital.
Erly stayed for a couple of days and was finally released with the intention that she would come back in a few days to have an ablation procedure done to regulate her heart, hopefully, once and for all. She had it yesterday. That’s when I found myself cringing, watching the tube being pulled from her leg. And that brings me to today.
As I reflect on these past few weeks, I am in deep gratitude for the care Erly received. As I mentioned above, when this little adventure started for her, I had been on the road for three weeks. I was so tired and, if I’m really honest, felt a lot of resistance to the situation. Memories of Erly’s open-heart surgery seven years ago haunted me. She had a very difficult recovery. I didn’t know if I was up for this again. Thankfully, my fears were allayed by Erly’s nurses.
Over these last eleven days, Erly and I interacted with a LOT of nurses, in two different hospitals. And I found myself becoming an observer. I watched the nurses tirelessly come back and forth to take care of Erly. Whether it was bringing a bedpan, changing IVs, monitoring her progress, stopping her from bleeding, or answering my endless questions, it didn’t matter; they ALWAYS had smiles on their faces and were fully “there” and present.
As Erly was being released yesterday evening to finally go home, I mentioned my gratitude to the nurse. Her response was, “We just want to make your stay nice so you can get better.” That said it all!
So, I’m writing this blog to say a HUGE THANK YOU to all of you nurses in the world. It takes true courage to do the work you do. It takes a great heart. And a STRONG stomach! You are amazing! You are “healers” in the truest sense. I know the doctors are, too, but you are the ones who truly make a difference. THANK YOU!