It was one of those shifts we call "toxic", for the nurse's lingo, it means busy and crazy, most specially when you work the night shift and it is about to finish. You are tired, drowsy and burnt out either from patient care, paper works or simply thinking about your family you left at home. It is one of those moments when the 3rd cup of coffee couldn't even help you stay awake.
As I do my final rounds, i passed by a patient's room, alert, oriented but terminally ill, dying of cancer, she had a big abdominal wound from surgery, at her left side was a feeding pump, she had a gastric drain attached to an already filled colostomy bag, and even if the apple scented air freshener filled the whole entire room, it still couldn't mask the overwhelming odor of the drain as i attempted to change the bag. I tried not to breathe, but in the corners of my eye, I saw disappointment and embarrassment in her face.
She uttered with a big sigh..." I am a total mess..." I was caught in a moment, i felt the pain in her words...I tried to recollect my thoughts on therapeutic communication skill, but my mouth uttered..." Do you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ?" "Yes I do believe.." she uttered in a powerful voice. " Do you believe that He came down to save you from your sins?" I asked her again " Yes I do, I know He has been with me all this time, " she said. " Then you are not a mess,..you know where you are going because you believe in the Lord.." I finally told her. My tears were about to fall as I finished taking care of her, mixed feelings of maybe pity, but maybe NOT, it could also be tears of joy from knowing that my dying patient knows the Lord. Im not sure. Being a nurse is a challenge, as I walk further in my chosen profession, it is getting clearer why God has planned me to be where I am right now.
To God be the glory.