Latest Comments by kayakrn7

Latest Comments by kayakrn7

kayakrn7 3,403 Views

Joined Dec 27, '06 - from 'Ohio'. kayakrn7 is a Currently Program Liaison Joint and Spine Program, Program Liaison Fracture Program, DMAT OH-5 Member. He has '10' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'Periop and Ortho'. Posts: 8 (75% Liked) Likes: 74

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  • 5

    Frequently a close friend of mine, a young physician in Haiti, posts comments on a Web and Facebook page associated with a volunteer medical organization I co-founded to improve access to Child and Maternal Health Care in rural Haiti through the creation of sustainable Haitian run health care and of which he is the Medical Director. Here is a recent post he wrote after a weeklong rural medical mission sponsored by donations from our organization:

    "You know what is important in humanitarian actions. I find it's great: One hour of time you give. One dollar you give. A charitable gesture you make. An act of generosity you make. One support you give. sometimes these are things that are not important to you. things that does not detract from you, your personality, your wealth. Can change or save the life of a person. someone you know or not. in your area or not. in your country or not. what a beautiful love .... we read in the Bible Jesus said in Matthew 25:40 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of these brothers, you did for me.' Participate with us in this great love."

    Now one may percieve this as poorly written, lacking the professionalism one would expect from a physician. However once you realize my young physician friend is a native Haitian; Haitian Kreole and French his languages of birth and choice- English a distant third, would your opinion be different? Each time he posts his comments, I always worry the message he is posting may be poorly understood or simply get lost in translation by our English speaking/reading audience. Even I find when I read his notes my American education sometimes blinds me to the actual message as I struggle to reconstruct the words into grammatically correct sentence structure, paragraph form, punctuation etc... blah, blah, blah! (My apologies to all my former amazing English teachers, current friends who are English teachers, and of course my amazing "word-smith" wife.)

    But what I have learned is not to read with my brain. This time try reading the same message- but this time, read with your breathe in... breathe out...and read on...

    "You know what is important in humanitarian actions. I find it's great: One hour of time you give. One dollar you give. A charitable gesture you make. An act of generosity you make. One support you give. sometimes these are things that are not important to you. things that does not detract from you, your personality, your wealth. Can change or save the life of a person. someone you know or not. in your area or not. in your country or not. what a beautiful love .... we read in the Bible Jesus said in Matthew 25:40 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of these brothers, you did for me.' Participate with us in this great love."

    When I read it with my educated academic mind it was a very nice, sincere message...when I read it with my heart, it brought tears to my eyes...

    Lesson learned "Always read with your heart"

    Thank you my young physician friend- not only are you a great healer and a great man, but also a great teacher...

  • 0

    Thanks for taking the time to read my article!

  • 22

    Recently, while rounding on one of my patients, I noticed she seemed quieter than usual, so I sat down beside her and began not with a traditional physical exam but with the simple question "What are you thinking about this morning?"

    She began to tell me about how she was physically feeling- I interrupted her, "we'll get to that in a few minutes, tell me, 'What are you thinking about this morning'?"

    "Why?", she replied.
    "Because", I replied.
    "Because why?", she replied. "Because I'm quiet and not smiling?"
    "Maybe", said I.
    "I don't feel myself this morning...I feel disorganized and out of sorts", said she.

    And the doors opened.... "I don't feel like I'm in control like when I'm home. I miss my coffee and paper, I miss reading my Bible, I miss writing in my journal...I know God wouldn't give me more than I can handle, and I hate to whine..."
    "Is this what you do every morning?", said I.
    "Yes", said she.
    "Hold those thoughts", said I.

    I quickly found her assigned nurse and asked her to get our friend a cup of coffee and a newspaper and to see if she could find a Bible. While she did this I walked down to the Gift Shop and explained what I needed to the sales associate who told me she had the perfect journal and proceeded to take me over to a bin with various journals. She reached in, moved a couple around, then selected one and said "This is perfect". And she was right. For printed on the cover was the poem "Footprints". It was perfect.

    As I paid for the journal, another associate, having heard my story, walked up to me with a nice ink pen and asked if she could buy it for my could I refuse.
    When I went back up to the floor I handed the journal and pen to her nurse and told her after I have left the patient take the journal and pen in and tell her someone had overheard her story and had dropped off a gift.

    I went back to check on my patient and she was sitting up, sipping coffee, reading her Bible and sweetly smiling...

    "Does that help?", I asked.
    "Very much", said she.
    "Well I'm so glad, I'll come by later. I've asked the staff to see if they can find some paper and a pen so you can write later", said I.
    "That's not necessary", said she.

    I left.

    Later in the day I returned to find her writing in her new journal with her new pen.

    "Wow, that's some fancy paper and pen they found for you", said I.
    "The nurses told me someone heard how I like to write in my journal and dropped this off for me, and look at the's perfect" said she.

    "It is perfect", said I.

    This would be a great story but it doesn't end here...for you see in her few days with us she had become friends with another patient and they would visit each other as they walked with physical therapists and staff.

    Later on the night of the journal arrival, the other patient found out she was going to need emergency surgery and broke down in my patient's room. My patient listened to her fears and shared her own story, ending the conversation by sharing her journal entries and reading the "Footprints" poem from the front cover.

    And does the story end there? We may never know....


    "Each smallest act of kindness reverberates across great distances and spans of time, affecting lives unknown to the one whose generous spirit was the source of this good echo, because kindness is passed on and grows each time it's passed, until a simple courtesy becomes an act of selfless courage years later and far away." Dean Koontz

  • 0

    Wishing you the best! You will find disaster nursing to be an amazing field...let me know if I can help in anyway. km

  • 5
    Brannray, Esme12, jaclibra, and 2 others like this.

    A friend asked me recently, "Why do you do it? Why do you respond to disasters?"

    Great question! Often I have struggled to share how I feel about disaster relief and my role and what draws me back, time and time again.

    The question has haunted me since returning from my first disaster response in September of 2005 to East Biloxia, Mississippi after Hurriane Katrina, and again after multiple responses to the Gulf Coast after it was ravaged by hurricanes, after my return from Haiti after the earthquake and again after working in the cholera treatment centers, and now after my latest deployment to the Pendleton County, Kentucky area this March following the devastating tornadoes in the area.

    Others, of course, have tried to answer the question for me often using the words "crazy", "insane", "heroic", "an angel" and yet I don't feel any of those apply to "why do you do it?"

    Other's just ask more questions hoping to help me define it:

    "Is it the money?" Very few responses have been paid, some cover daily expenses, a few have provided financial compensation, but as my wife will tell you, by the time I replace the items (professional and personal) that I donate before I have left the disaster area I'm usually in the hole...

    "Is it the adrenalin?" No that only lasts a few hours...then comes exhaustion...

    "Is it the attention?" No, few ever know I was gone...except my family, close friends, an understanding boss, and my dog...

    "Is it the collection of shirts, vests, jackets, uniforms, name tags?" Not really (but some of them are really cool!), and they do bring back great memories...

    "Is it the chance to travel?" Have you ever slept on the ground or a mesquito net covered cot for two or three weeks eating MRE's three times a day...

    "Is it 'a calling'?" I'm not sure, I've just always felt it was the right thing to do...

    I do know that I have never felt it was about me. I have always felt it was about those whose daily lives have been touched by the disaster. With each response
    I have cried with them, laughed with them, listened to them. I have heard their stories. And each and every time I leave to return home, I feel the people I was sent to care for have given me far more than I gave them. And yet I still struggle to answer the question.

    Then last night a friend posted the following quote on Facebook:

    "We lose ourselves in the things we love. We find ourselves there too." Kristin Martz

    And now I know why I do it...thank you my friend...

  • 22
    lovelyb26, CaitlinLiz, FLDoula, and 19 others like this.

    When I first received the invitation to speak at the Pinning Ceremony at my alma mater, I was not quite sure why they had chosen me. In fact I was pretty sure they had made a mistake. A quick email, a quick response, and I was assured they had the correct person. With that cleared up I of course accepted the offer.

    I was honored. After all how hard could it be? All I had to do according to the email was "provide them with words of wisdom and encouragement as they complete nursing school and embark on their professional career in nursing".
    Easy enough! I went straight to my computer to type out my words of wisdom and....


    So I thought back to my first days in nursing school for "words of wisdom and encouragement to share" and remembered the following:

    From the first day of class- "even as a student nurse, friends, family, and neighbors will always see you as a nurse"

    From the Nightingale Pledge- "And will devote myself to the welfare of my patients, my family, and my community"

    And most noteworthy, the unforgettable words of my preceptor- "Kevin, are you chewing gum?" and "Kevin, I would love to answer your question but I'm so distracted by the patient's dirty linen laying on the floor"

    I also remembered being asked if I would have any interest in volunteering clinical time at a local homeless shelter where yet another preceptor shared "listen not only do what the patient is telling you but what they are not telling you".

    Alright I thought, I'm on a roll...but suddenly my typing ceased and again....Nothing!

    Seeking inspiration I turned to a dusty tote bin stored on a high shelf in my closet. Now, my wife Jackie will tell you I don't save many things but in that dusty tote are some seemingly insignificant items, however each is associated with its own "words of wisdom and encouragement to share".

    The tote itself, a suggestion long ago from a mentor who said "store odds and ends from your RN career in there and when you begin to question why you are an RN, pull it down and remember...".

    And in the tote:
    The front page of the Dayton Daily News with my picture and an article about a local business man (me) who gave up his career to go to nursing school and on it the post-it-note from Dr Matre- "Kevin, I wrote a psych consult for you".

    A rather generic looking white can with the famous Anheiser-Busch logo which much to my surprise (disappointment?) actually contained water. I received it on a Red Cross deployment to the West Washington floods and remembered the words- "things are not always what they appear".

    Iron-on Red Cross nurse patches given to me by a retired RN during my first disaster deployment- "hope we haven't scared you away".

    Post cards from a resident of Biloxi, Mississippi, given to me a week after Hurricane Katrina and her words-"I wanted you to know what our Biloxi looked like before Katrina and hope you'll come back when we've fixed it up".

    Pictures of the devastation left behind by Katrina, thinking of my comment upon arrival at the Gulf "there is no beauty left here" and the words of a Buddhist monk- "look in the eyes of those around you, do you not see the beauty?".

    A sun faded Salvation Army baseball cap and the kind Army staff who said- "we'll provide you with food and sleeping arrangements just take care of those who need you".

    Cards and notes from patients and their families with the simple words "thank you".

    Nursing related pins, patches, hats, and t-shirts from around the country which say- "you belong".

    A coroner's business card reminding me of his words of advice when dealing with the families who have lost loved ones- "it never gets easier, and hope it never does".

    A gear bag from "The Flying Pig Marathon" and the memory of an exhausted runner's words "thank you for helping me finish".

    A picture of two small children we had dressed in surgical garb to surprise their grandpa who was scared and nervous before his surgery- "remembering not his words but the smile these little 'doctors' brought to him".

    A letter from the father of two small children who despite our best efforts did not make it out of the trauma room and his words of kindness- "for caring so much and for all you did".

    Brochures, magazines, and flyers from nursing presentations and speaking engagements, each with notes of encouragement from friend and mentor Dr Judy Church saying- "you can do it".

    A pin from the Dayton Folk Festival and remembering the man on our Gator who as we rushed him to Grandview ER said "thank you, no one would help me".

    A jeweler's business card from the store I purchased the engagement ring for the woman who said "go" when others said "don't" or "you must be crazy going there".

    Thinking I had now enough "words of wisdom and encouragement", I stumbled upon an old Power Point presentation from days as a Diversity Class facilitator and found the following:

    From the Bible (Mathew 25:35-40)
    "I was sick and you looked after me"

    "Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me"

    Genesis (104a)
    "When the holy One loves a man, He sends him a present in the shape of a poor man, so that he should perform some good deed to him, through the merit of which he may draw a cord of grace."

    From the Qur'an (76.8-9)
    "They feed with food the needy wretch, the orphan, and the prisoner, for love of him, saying, 'we wish for no reward nor thanks from you'."

    From the Tattvarthasutra (5.21)
    "Rendering help to another is the function of human beings."

    From the Tao (Tract of the Quiet Way)
    "Relieve people in distress as speedily as you must release a fish from a dry rill (lest he die). Deliver people from danger as quickly as you must free a sparrow from a tight noose. Be compassionate to orphans and relieve widows. Respect the old and help the poor."

    And finally I felt I had found enough to share...

    So in the search for "words of wisdom and encouragement to share" with those students gathered together for their pinning as RNs, I rediscovered why I chose nursing. The tone was set with the Nightingale Pledge, carried over in clinical at St Vincent's Shelter, reinforced through days and weeks spent with those who experienced day to day as well as traumatic disasters both locally and nationally- caring for the simplest medical needs to complicated surgeries.

    My wish for each of you is you go forth in nursing, infusing your nursing with your individuality, life skills, and experiences, and that you care for those in need whenever and wherever they may be, and that you care for each other as you would care for your patients.

    May you find your passion in nursing, love what you do, never stop learning, never stop caring, and never stop listening.

    So in these few moments we've shared, I hope each of you may have found, heard, or perhaps remembered your own "words of wisdom and encouragement".

    And as for the title of this evening's presentation "from a single candle" I leave you with this...

    "Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared." Buddha