Healing Wounds and Souls
(author's note: This article was printed on our College Newspaper in Bulacan, Philippines. My school is Bulacan State University Collge of Nursing.)
February 8, 2007. This is the first time I saw him. At a first glance, there seemed to be nothing significant nor stunning in him, but still he melted my heart away by his innocent stares.
There he was, just staring at me in his most vulnerable state, making me want to wrap my arms around him and save him from all the misery of the world. In our world, no one can hurt him, finally. But he was in deep pain. He was J (not his real name), a three year old boy who had a hip dislocation. And, our world was in the orthopedic ward in one of the hospitals where I conduct my clinical duty. And yes, he was in deep pain. He was casted from his hip down to his toes. There was a small window in his perineal area where his urine and stool came out. He was in that orthopedic ward for a whole month now. He was also thin; I can almost circle his arms with my thumb and pointing finger. His skin was dry and peeling from prolonged immobilization. And, there was one more twist...We do not understand each other.
He does not speak Tagalog (our native language). Yet, I understand every feeling he wants me to feel. At first he was distant to me; afraid of the white dressed-stranger that was so drawn to him. Unlike the other kids in the hospital who are cheerful when we attend to their needs, J sulks and even cries when we approach. His mother said maybe he was traumatized because before, whenever a person clad in white approaches J, it is to inject some drug into him or draw blood from the young boy's fragile veins. My heart wept for the traumatic events this young soul has to endure.
One afternoon, while I was writing my SOAPIE in the chart, I heard J cry in his room. The Nurse On Duty said J was always that way, and made no move to console the kid. So, I went to his room and saw him crying with a coin bank with Pooh designs in his hands. I asked him, "Kilala mo ba tong kulay pink na baboy, si Piglet yan"! (Do you know this pink colored pig, it's Piglet!"). For some reason, I still do not know up to now, it made him smile. And, between sniffs, he managed to tell me something, but obviously I cannot understand him since he doesn't speak Tagalog.
His father said, "He wants you to open the coin bank for him". Hearing, this, I removed the lid of the coin bank and I found out it was full of coins. J smiled once more and showed me his coins. I closed the lid again and one by one, J began to drop the coins in the coin bank. Seeing this, I cried. I still do not know how a little act of appreciation from this boy could make me cry. Tears started to stream on my face, but before anyone can see it, I immediately wiped them. We are not allowed to cry in front of our patients.
J looked at me once again and smiled. I realized that somehow, beyond the language barrier, the leg cast, the IV tubings and pain that separates us, J knew how much I cared for him. And, his young eyes showed his gratitude for me. To us, nurses or future nurses, a patient's gratitude for the small things we do for them means the world to us.
This is the pain and the pleasure of nursing. I will never forget J for he made me realize how lucky I am to have the chance to heal wounds and souls.Last edit by sirI on Dec 30, '07 : Reason: i want to fix the format.. but i cant. hehe
From 'bulacan, philippines.'; 28 Years Old; Joined Dec '07; Posts: 27; Likes: 12.Jan 1, '08I wonder if the child has that genetic hip condition where the blood vessel is pinched off. I have had patients with that condition. Very painful, you feel so bad for them. I believe there was a was a good friend of Tiger Woods who was a very promising golfer but he suffered from it till it and it eventually ended his career. His name escapes me at the moment but he is the one that sued the PGA to be allowed to use a cart.(at least I think it was thePGA he sued)Jan 2, '08no, it was not genetic, it was from an accident. the kid's brother was swinging the kid while they were playing and the kid accidentally fell off. too bad, really. the kid also acquired AGN..Jan 4, '08We sometimes get so overwhelmed by the magnitude of our jobs and the number of sick and hurting people, but to each individual, we do make a difference, and that is all we can be expected to do.
Thanks for sharing.
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