In this place....

  1. I wrote this the last day of my Med Surg clinicals. It was one of my best experiences. Not in a 'whoo hoo' kind of way....but in a very profound I-will-never-forget-this kind of way. I know this is a student nursing experience and there are times that I fear that due to patient loads, I won't be able to be the nurse I have wished to be. But at the same time, I have a confidence that I will find a way and that the right place will be found, where I can indeed practice the art of nursing.

    Thank you for sharing this experience with me.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    He wasn't even my patient. I was actually in there to see this wound they thought I ought to see. And I saw a wound alright. Only not like you would imagine. My patient was dying. AIDS was stealing his life... And very slowly at that. He was in the room where palliative care is given. Palliative care is for end of life. Where you are made comfortable before you pass. It is also designed so that your family can spend time with you. Sleep over. Have dinner at a table. Watch fish. It is incredible. Inside this room there were tons, just tons of beautiful flowers. Usually we don't see flowers too much, especially on an oncology (cancer) floor. They cause problems for people with lowered immunities. But it was lush and beautiful inside, those flowers were almost art, they were so beautifully arranged. This man was adored by someone.....maybe many. But when I walked in....despite the fact that there were many people there....it felt sort of empty inside.

    Dad was sitting stoically on the couch. Mom and sisters were weeping over "Mr. Man". Directly over him. And he had two people who identified themselves as "friends", close friends. There was a language barrier. The mom and the dad were from Puerto Rico. Sisters from New Jersey. They had travelled a long way to see what was left. To pick up the pieces. To love him until he could not be loved anymore. Until that love would transcend to the heavens with their loved one. Somehow I kind of felt he was already there. But there was business to be done here.....that is what it felt like to me. An outsider.

    The two friends sat at the table. They had this look. They looked like they belonged. And yet it felt as though they did not feel they belonged and they did not know their place and how they fit into this time. They were his family when his family could not be there. I don't know the relationship. It wasn't important. But these were the guys who took Mr. Man to clinics, appointment, where ever it was that he needed to be. But now the family was here. And now it seemed that they felt that the family that they created was eroding away before their eyes.....just like Mr. Man. They would go in the room and step out repeatedly.

    There was certainly a wound I was meant to see. And it wasn't on my patient.

    The mama....she was softly weeping. She, too, looked lost and out of place. And in these situations....what do you say? I had been thinking this since Sunday when I met them briefly in the elevator. I slept on it. And I knew that I was meant to be here. How else did I get here? The only student assigned to the oncology ward. For the 3rd time.

    I knew what to say to her. What I had to say was not in English. It was not in Spanish. I took a chance. And really truly.....this was kind of out of line but there were no instructors around. I took her hand into mine. And said nothing. And she held on to my arm for dear life. And I held on to her for what felt like maybe 10 minutes....but it was only like 2 or 3.

    And Jennifer (my fellow student nurse), I want you to know. I was strong. Maybe that was a message thru God thru you to me. I don't really know why you kept telling me that. Well until then. So I was strong for her. And though the situation did not change, though the end will still be the same. She looked like a weight was off. And I felt lighter too. Because I didn't have the words in Spanish. I did not even have the words in English. But I had words that I had no need to speak. And we understood each other perfectly.

    From there the sister came to me and opened up. She tells me of her brother. She tells me who he was. Who he is. Who he will always be. She is not crying on top of him now. She is telling me of his life. And there we are. And in the corner of my eye I see.....the friends. They are leaning. Without saying words I know deep in my heart they want to have a part of this. They want to know more of the man they love. They are suffering too....but in a way that I could never imagine. As if they were outside of the snowglobe looking in. As if they were part of the construction of it but now could only look lovingly upon the gift that they were once a part.

    So again, God told my heart here is another opportunity. I don't know how it happened exactly. I know it could not have been anything I did because that was only God. The sister was telling me that these were his friends. That they had helped him when he was sick. And I found the words. And I said what wonderful friends. You know a true friend because when it is too hard to ask for help for yourself...your friends are here for you. No matter how sick you are. No matter what the situation. The sister gets a look in her eye. As if she was seeing this for the first time. She says yes, yes. Mr. Friend is here all the time. They bring these beautiful flowers to my brother. They took good care of him when he was sick and needed help. Yes. Yes. They are like brothers for us. They loved our brother and we love them. Guess who was hugging next. And telling stories. Sharing what Mr. Man meant to them. How he had enriched their lives. Getting to know one another again but in a greater detail. But yet for the first time. Sister translated to the mama and and back to the friends.

    The room that was somber had come alive again. And finally before I leave I see the papa.....who is all the way in the corner of the room. Mr. Strong and Stoic. Not really a part of this all. So I go to meet with him. To give him my greetings and he hold my hand stong and tightly.....and warmly. He who said nothing tells me.....that his son is a treasure. That he is not his father by blood but by the heart. I tell him he looks very father to me. And he thanks me for being nice with the family. And I tell him thank you too much for allowing me to be with the family in this night. That.....el gusto es mio. (the pleasure is mine.)

    Then I left the room. Not the way I came but when I left... there was more blossoming inside than the flowers.
    •  
  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   MIM_RN
    Quote from toastymoth
    i wrote this the last day of my med surg clinicals. it was one of my best experiences. not in a 'whoo hoo' kind of way....but in a very profound i-will-never-forget-this kind of way. i know this is a student nursing experience and there are times that i fear that due to patient loads, i won't be able to be the nurse i have wished to be. but at the same time, i have a confidence that i will find a way and that the right place will be found, where i can indeed practice the art of nursing.

    thank you for sharing this experience with me.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    he wasn't even my patient. i was actually in there to see this wound they thought i ought to see. and i saw a wound alright. only not like you would imagine. my patient was dying. aids was stealing his life... and very slowly at that. he was in the room where palliative care is given. palliative care is for end of life. where you are made comfortable before you pass. it is also designed so that your family can spend time with you. sleep over. have dinner at a table. watch fish. it is incredible. inside this room there were tons, just tons of beautiful flowers. usually we don't see flowers too much, especially on an oncology (cancer) floor. they cause problems for people with lowered immunities. but it was lush and beautiful inside, those flowers were almost art, they were so beautifully arranged. this man was adored by someone.....maybe many. but when i walked in....despite the fact that there were many people there....it felt sort of empty inside.

    dad was sitting stoically on the couch. mom and sisters were weeping over "mr. man". directly over him. and he had two people who identified themselves as "friends", close friends. there was a language barrier. the mom and the dad were from puerto rico. sisters from new jersey. they had travelled a long way to see what was left. to pick up the pieces. to love him until he could not be loved anymore. until that love would transcend to the heavens with their loved one. somehow i kind of felt he was already there. but there was business to be done here.....that is what it felt like to me. an outsider.

    the two friends sat at the table. they had this look. they looked like they belonged. and yet it felt as though they did not feel they belonged and they did not know their place and how they fit into this time. they were his family when his family could not be there. i don't know the relationship. it wasn't important. but these were the guys who took mr. man to clinics, appointment, where ever it was that he needed to be. but now the family was here. and now it seemed that they felt that the family that they created was eroding away before their eyes.....just like mr. man. they would go in the room and step out repeatedly.

    there was certainly a wound i was meant to see. and it wasn't on my patient.

    the mama....she was softly weeping. she, too, looked lost and out of place. and in these situations....what do you say? i had been thinking this since sunday when i met them briefly in the elevator. i slept on it. and i knew that i was meant to be here. how else did i get here? the only student assigned to the oncology ward. for the 3rd time.

    i knew what to say to her. what i had to say was not in english. it was not in spanish. i took a chance. and really truly.....this was kind of out of line but there were no instructors around. i took her hand into mine. and said nothing. and she held on to my arm for dear life. and i held on to her for what felt like maybe 10 minutes....but it was only like 2 or 3.

    and jennifer (my fellow student nurse), i want you to know. i was strong. maybe that was a message thru god thru you to me. i don't really know why you kept telling me that. well until then. so i was strong for her. and though the situation did not change, though the end will still be the same. she looked like a weight was off. and i felt lighter too. because i didn't have the words in spanish. i did not even have the words in english. but i had words that i had no need to speak. and we understood each other perfectly.

    from there the sister came to me and opened up. she tells me of her brother. she tells me who he was. who he is. who he will always be. she is not crying on top of him now. she is telling me of his life. and there we are. and in the corner of my eye i see.....the friends. they are leaning. without saying words i know deep in my heart they want to have a part of this. they want to know more of the man they love. they are suffering too....but in a way that i could never imagine. as if they were outside of the snowglobe looking in. as if they were part of the construction of it but now could only look lovingly upon the gift that they were once a part.

    so again, god told my heart here is another opportunity. i don't know how it happened exactly. i know it could not have been anything i did because that was only god. the sister was telling me that these were his friends. that they had helped him when he was sick. and i found the words. and i said what wonderful friends. you know a true friend because when it is too hard to ask for help for yourself...your friends are here for you. no matter how sick you are. no matter what the situation. the sister gets a look in her eye. as if she was seeing this for the first time. she says yes, yes. mr. friend is here all the time. they bring these beautiful flowers to my brother. they took good care of him when he was sick and needed help. yes. yes. they are like brothers for us. they loved our brother and we love them. guess who was hugging next. and telling stories. sharing what mr. man meant to them. how he had enriched their lives. getting to know one another again but in a greater detail. but yet for the first time. sister translated to the mama and and back to the friends.

    the room that was somber had come alive again. and finally before i leave i see the papa.....who is all the way in the corner of the room. mr. strong and stoic. not really a part of this all. so i go to meet with him. to give him my greetings and he hold my hand stong and tightly.....and warmly. he who said nothing tells me.....that his son is a treasure. that he is not his father by blood but by the heart. i tell him he looks very father to me. and he thanks me for being nice with the family. and i tell him thank you too much for allowing me to be with the family in this night. that.....el gusto es mio. (the pleasure is mine.)

    then i left the room. not the way i came but when i left... there was more blossoming inside than the flowers.


    wow. that was intense. as i was reading it, i felt as if i was there, watching the whole thing. (i must let you know that since i became a member of allnurses, i have never posted a message on this forum until today.) as a fellow student nurse, i have found myself in situations where there is no doubt in my mind that god had purposed for me to be there to either be a blessing to someone or to be blessed. it's so cool how he does that!
  4. by   Nazarite
    That is a beautiful story...I can tell you are going to be an excellent nurse...God Bless you for your insight into God and humanity....You were exactly where you were supposed to be where God put you, and you did exactly what you were supposed to do......His will........I hope you don't mind if I reference to this link and post this elsewhere....Let me know if you do, ok?
    :icon_hug: Nazarite
  5. by   jesskalpn
    That was absolutely beautiful...brought tears to my eyes.
  6. by   amyk_ncsu
    Wow, I am almost crying. Absolutely beautiful story. I hope that I can be even half as compassionate a nurse as you will be. Amazing...
  7. by   SANDRA RN
    An absolutely beautiful story. God puts us where we need to be, when we need to be there-even if we don't "think" we can handle it.
    Thank God for you and for what God allowed you to do for this family.
  8. by   bagladyrn
    This is beautifully written! In addition to compassion you have a true gift for expression.
    You should ask the moderators if there is a way they can copy this into the nusing articles section of the forum as well as being posted here. Your story should be shared as widely as possible!
  9. by   la bellota
    Thank you everybody. It makes me feel good that others feel the same way. I have been very lucky. I have found things I had never imagined I would find in each clinical experience. I actually have a lot more stories, but I was a little shy to share them. I have been writing since I started nursing school.

    Nazarite. It is fine with me if you want to do that.

    Thanks again everyone!
  10. by   SICU Queen
    What a fabulous story! Thanks for sharing.
  11. by   RNAnnjeh
    Beautiful.

    Keep this story in the back of your mind and in a safe place. On those days (and you will have them) when you wonder why you ever got into nursing read that story. THAT is the reason you (and we) became a nurse.
  12. by   MNmom3boys
    Quote from RNAnnjeh
    Beautiful.

    Keep this story in the back of your mind and in a safe place. On those days (and you will have them) when you wonder why you ever got into nursing read that story. THAT is the reason you (and we) became a nurse.
    Exactly! I couldn't verbalize what I was thinking last night when I read the essay, but this covers it very well. You will do well with this amount of compassion and sensitivity!

close