The Sweet Old Man in Room 724...

by mother/babyRN 1,276 Views | 0 Comments

  1. 2
    Many years ago, when a student, I encountered an elderly gentleman with a CVA. He inspired me to write, in my own way, the depth of compassion and empathy, felt and practiced by nurses everywhere...

    One can forever discuss the unmistakable magnificance of mountains or sunsets, or millions of other unforgettable miraculous occurrences...So many moments we take for granted, assuming other such moments will follow with scarcely a thought as to how fleeting they really are...Life is not a promise, but a gift...Not everyone can "see" the subtle nuances we are so fortunate to experience as time carries on. Vast sky, awash in color in early gray dawn; vivid palettes of rich oranges and pinks seeping silently toward the city like perfectly tinted paint on some ghostly artists' easel...This is what I see as the days old night retreats...
    Today I was humbled...I'm not certain why the feeling occurred today as it was, until then, a day not unlike any other. I wanted so badly to reach out and stroke your forehead, all the while imagining if I were you I would need to know that someone cared. Odd, you can't see or hear me, cannot comprehend...those tired eyes, which are absolutely the most beautiful shade of light powder blue, just like my gramma's, tell me as much...Or do they?
    I never knew you. Then, suddenly, you were my newest patient-Mr. A, the CVA in 724. Massive stroke with little hope of recovery. Until then, that is exactly how I thought of you...Until today...Until this very moment....
    You must have been a grand gentleman. Stories regaled by the fire in the cool briskness of late autumn. I suspect bold gregarious yarns accompanied by rounds of barreling laughter and peals of delight from scads of grandchildren gathered gleefully at your feet, mesmerized in rapt attention as grampa spun tales by the fire under a dark blue velvet, flawless star flecked sky....Sparkling, dancing eyes and work roughened gentle hands, wisps of white hair ruffled in the face of a breeze on the open sea. I think you must have sung songs too..I can't explain but somehow I'm sure of it.
    Sad that you may never again know anything of the world, at least as YOU knew it...I don't know you, but somehow I already miss you. I grieve for you, your life and what might have been but can now most probably never be. I remember my own grampa and the way he smelled-pipe smoke and rootbeer....I memorized every little wrinkle when he laughed...You remind me of him......
    Can it be that you are no longer even aware of your own existence? I pray not. I think not, for somehow you have connected with me and touched my heart..
    Your tortuous, labored breathing makes my own drawn and painful, and as I caress your weathered face, I see no tears in your eyes but in my heart I know that they are there. Mine have joined them...I wonder, God, what if the man inside can hear me? What if everything is understood? How frustrating, no, how absolutely terrifying not to be able to reach out, but to merely exist. To move, to be alive, yet not...
    So, I will touch and comfort you, feed and bathe you, keep you warm and manintain your dignity, and even if you never again stir, we will know, you and I, that we are somehow responsible for each other, for you have touched my heart without uttering a single word...You have made me a better nurse and are an unforgettable immortal lesson on my journey to the future....
    Go on dreaming Mr. Al:heartbeat, for I am here for you...
    I will always care...

    Written by : Martha RN
    Last edit by mother/babyRN on Feb 26, '08
  2. Read more articles from mother/babyRN

  3. About mother/babyRN

    mother/babyRN joined Feb '02 - from 'East Coast'. Age: 57 mother/babyRN has '27' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'cardiac, diabetes, OB/GYN'. Posts: 1,959 Likes: 400; Learn more about mother/babyRN by visiting their allnursesPage


    Find Similar Topics



Top