Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Good Nurse

What a week! I've been playing nurse at home, with all three kids having colds since last Thursday. Todd has been working as a nurse, saving the lives of not one but two patients. Of course, he DOES work in the Critical Care unit of the hospital but he doesn't usually have two nights in a row with such hang-in-the-balance patients. One was a 17 y.o. who partied too much on alcohol and an over-the-counter drug - stupid, stupid, stupid! Why, oh, why do kids do this? It has sparked much discussion in our home, since my homeschooled kids do not usually hear about this kind of thing. Fortunately, we later heard that this kid has since recovered and is going into drug/alcohol rehab. Considering what bad shape the patient was in when Todd's shift ended (couldn't breath on their own), it is a miracle that this patient survived. Had Todd not been as quick thinking and skillful as he is, this patient would have died. God is good. When Todd goes to work, I pray several times during the evening for him and his patients. Praise the Lord for answered prayers. It's a shame that all of this could have been prevented if this young person hadn't abused their body and mind like that. So senseless.

The other critical patient Todd had on the following night was an older person who's blood pressure wouldn't stabilize, among other issues. Todd worked hard for hours, trying to keep this patient alive. They were ultimately flown by helicopter to a larger hospital 100 miles away but 20 minutes by air. Our local hospital can't handle the very serious patients - we are thankful for the helicopter service that makes it possible to receive care sooner than a 2-hour drive by ambulance. It's worth the membership fee. Poor Todd worked 2 hours overtime, making his last shift 14 hours.

It makes me so proud of my husband when I hear how he helps the people in our community. He (and I) feel that he is right where he's suppose to be. I am happy to pray for these people, I like to pray for others and I somehow feel that I'm supposed to give this kind of support - some of these people may not have anyone praying for them. When the 17 y.o. came in, all that was known about them was their first name. I cried when Todd told me about the situation. I prayed that there was family nearby that cared about this young person. Around here you never know. There is so much need, everywhere ... I tend to get overwhelmed. Todd and I were discussing how nurses can't be empathetic - they can only be sympathetic. I know I could never be a nurse. I feel others pain intensely. It's really awful, sometimes. But it's just me. I squirm when Todd talks about his night shifts but as a wife, I want to be available for him to discuss his work. Sometimes I cry. I am, however, learning how to let it go and not dwell on what I've heard. I'm just so glad when his work week ends - and I get to have him home for 3-4 days, straight. That's the payoff!


Cate said...

Wow, I take my hat off to Todd. Especially after the hospital experiences my family has endured over the past few years. Nurses really make all the difference in patient care, and from what we found, good ones like Todd are few and far between.

You guys make a great team!

appleleaf said...

Yes, good on Todd! Reading between the lines here, it's not hard to figure out that he's the sort of nurse patients just feel secure having around. And I agree with Cate, they make such a lot of difference.
Thanks for your wise comment on my post. It's very true and I really appreciate it.
Now, I don't know how you're managing but I'm feeling a bit stressed having a 15 yo boy in the house, just trying to help him figure out which course of study will suit him most. To us, it seems as if this time has come too soon, and he should still be little.
The life changes sure do creep up on you.

jugglingpaynes said...

Kudos to Todd for the hard work he does. I'm little like you. It would be hard for me to avoid empathizing with the patients. I would either end up a complete mess or totally distance myself from everyone. Nurses do incredible work!

Peace and Laughter,

Mama Self said...

Way to go Todd! It's amazing that people can do that kind of work. (I would be a useless basketcase!) Lee's work as a Navy corpsman had the potential of being in all kinds of life and death situations, especially when he was deployed to Iraq with the Marines, but he has never had to deal with the horrors of war that we've read about...thank God!

Our family is so thankful for the good nurses like Todd. May God continue to bless his work! And yours, too, as a nurse to your family and a support and encouragement to your husband! =)