I'm almost finished with my LPN program, and it's been an exhausting, all-consuming experience. I see my classmates more than my family, I consistently forget that non-nursing students aren't particularly interested in the finer points of c.diff (especially while eating), and oftentimes my clinical experiences are an exercise in how to grit my teeth and put up with nine hours of work I'm PAYING to do. Between two jobs, full-time class and all the stress in my life, sometimes I fantasize about hitting the snooze button in a manner that borders on sexual.
Today, after working a shift at one job, and then running to the second job (that I actually got through my LPN program) as a sitter/companion at a nursing home, I plopped by the bedside, totally drained, and oriented my patient (again). He's suffering from parkisonian dementia, and on the cusp of complete blindness and deafness. Although I have spent every weekday feeding him dinner, pushing his wheelchair around, devising a hundred different ways to coax him to eat, and singing into his one (semi) good ear, he has never spoken my name and always suspiciously questioned why I come. Even in his moments of clarity, when the fog seems to dim and he can string several thoughts together coherently, he simply can't remember my damned name.
Before I left for the evening, after giving him his last sip of apple juice, we had a brief exchange. It went as such:
Patient: Who are you?
Me: I'm Faith. I'm your dinner date.
Me: No, Faith.
Patient: I can't remember names.
Me: That's alright, don't worry about it.
Patient: Your name isn't in my brain, but that's okay, because it's in my heart.
It only takes a moment to validate your choice in pursuing a nursing career. Hang in there, so you can have some beautifully clarifying moments of your own.