Sometimes a patient comes along who gives you inspiration and hope

  1. I just wanted to share with you all. I've gotten so frustrated in the past with drug and alcohol abusers who made me despair about human beings, made me cynical about nursing, made me feel like there is no hope.

    Yesterday I had a patient who was in his 50s. He had been a drug and alcohol abuser/addict since his teen years. 2 years ago he was told by a doctor that if he didn't quit he would die. So, with the help of Jesus and Narcotics Anonymous, he totally changed his life. He has been clean and sober for 2 years now. Since he didn't require much else, I had a chance to just sit and talk and hear his inspiring story.

    He told me of how manipulative of the system he used to be, of how he was once in a hospital and had a dealer come to his room and he bought heroin and put it in his IV right there in the hospital. He told me that he used to go the emergency room just to get needles and syringes out of the room when the nurses stepped out. He talked about his addiction in depth with me, he was so forthright it was utterly refreshing. He told me that when you are an addict that you are totally self-involved and don't care about anyone else, and that one part of recovery is learning to help other people.

    He even was able to quit smoking cigarettes last month in his effort to improve his health. He has some liver problems and avoids anything that will stress his liver and is on a health regimen. He avoids even driving through old neighborhoods where he knows people, he goes to NA regularly, reads the Bible daily and is involved with a church.

    When it was time for his discharge, which was taking quite a while because the desk was backed up with charts, he told me that he would just hang out and wait. He said that leaving without his paperwork was something that an addict would do.

    I just wanted to share, since we encounter so many seemingly hopeless cases, that people CAN overcome a lifetime of addiction and undergo a spiritual transformation!
  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   Smitty08
    Thanks for sharing that story. Its easy to become cynical working in some environments where we see so much addiction. If I helped even one person down the road to a better life, it was worth all the effort. Otherwise, I guess I would be in the wrong profession!
  4. by   NurseyBaby'05
    I'm' happy your paths crossed. You seem to have had a gamut of those folks from the opposite end of the spectrum lately.
  5. by   FireStarterRN
    I'm glad I met this patient as well. It was soooo good to see a success story! I got tired of seeing all the failures. It also gave me a renewed faith in the power of God to transform.
  6. by   nightshiftnut
    What a refreshing experience. When you have faith, God can move mountains! Thanks to your inspiring patient, we can know that there is hope for other addicts in out society. It all starts with the desire to want to change yourself. My prayers are there for this patient to remain strong!
  7. by   Vito Andolini
    That is so good to hear, very encouraging. We should not give up on folks or become too cynical, should we?

    You know who really inspires me? Phyllis Ellis. She's in the TV ad for Cancer Treatment Centers or someplace like that. She is so warm, so sincere, I don't care if she is just an actress, not a real cancer survivor. She makes me want to just meet her and get to know her and soak up her lovingkindness. She nurtures me, she moves me, I tell you, the woman is FINE. Her heart, her love, her genuine warmth just move me. Yes! Thank God for people like her.
  8. by   DeepFriedRN
    cool story..thanks for sharing!