Today while at work I went into one of the patient's rooms to help him with something. He had a roommate who I easily recognized. I will call him GR. GR's wife passed away within the past year and towards the end of her life she was in the hospital almost constantly. The dear woman had had a stroke some years ago and was left bedridden and barely able to communicate. Even in her fragile state you could see that she was once a very beautiful woman. GR had private caregivers at home who took fantastic care of her and GR doted on her. GR would come onto the unit every day with a big smile on his face. He liked joking with the nurses and bragging about how great his wife's caregivers were. Although he used a walker he was still in pretty good shape.
Tonight GR was sitting up in his chair for dinner. He barely touched it. He was hunched forward; he had spit dripping off his lower lip and snot running out of his nose. He was staring at the floor. I felt as though someone had punched me in my heart. He looked so lost, so sad and dejected. I almost started crying right there on the spot. I sat beside him, rubbed his back and asked him how he was doing. In a barely audible whisper he replied "I'm tired. I'm so tired." I asked him how he was doing and he told me how rough it has been for him since his wife died. I sat there with him for a few minutes then helped him into bed.
Every now and then I have a patient or an experience like this that just zings me. The look on his face is burned into my mind. I really don't have any purpose in posting this. I just wanted to share my experience with some anonymous people who won't think I'm being silly or overly emotional.
Nurses are such special people. Thanks for reading.