Just To Tell You Thank You

  1. I've posted many times here and mostly it was to make a point; give pause for thought. If they caused a smile or laughter,that was a plus but,none the less,they were lessons or truths. I've been attacked,ridiculed and even accused of being just plain silly; I'm not perfect and maybe the posts I've used seem that way too many but,they worked! You responded,and whether or not you want too admit it,you also enlightened yourselves in doing so. How? You thought about what was read,you debated it and replied. Critical Thinking,prevailed! The 'older' nurses will understand this better but,it is important for allnurses to interact,exchange ideas,offer support,and share their disciplines with those of us in other disciplines. Why am I writing this? Whats the point? To Say Thank You for all you are and do.

    Think about this when you're caring for others...

    What does he want now? I wondered.

    I had been to Mr. Carter's* room 3 times already in the thirty minutes since I came on duty. His naso-gastric tube was irritating his throat and I had checked the tube to make sure it was located properly. I had offered sips of water and ice chips. I had ordered some lozenges to help with the irritation.

    Furthermore, I had just come from his room. Now his family caught me in the hall again to tell me he wanted me to come back. Doesn't he realize I have other patients to care for?

    But he is important too, I decided. I will do my best to meet his need, I just hope I can find a comfortable solution for him.

    As I entered his room, he said, "I want to thank you for helping me."

    "You're welcome, Mr. Carter," I replied. "Glad to do it. What can I do for you now?"

    "Oh, nothing right now," he responded. "I just wanted you to come back so I could tell you 'Thank you.'"

    Thank you! All night long his words rang in my ears. I was reminded of the tenth leper that came back to thank Jesus for healing him. Where are the other nine? Jesus had asked. I wondered too.

    Mr. Carter was in his eighties. Acute illness often causes confusion and combativeness in elderly patients. When I returned to work the next evening, I found Mr. Carter agitated and confused. His family was with him, but they were exasperated in dealing with him. He tugged at his naso-gastric tube, catheter, and IV. He tried to get out of bed, but he would not be able to stand if he did. He fought and threatened me as I gently tried to provide the necessary treatments. He couldn't rest.

    "You just get out of here. I don't have to put up with this!" he exclaimed as I held one hand and his son held the other to keep him from pulling at his tubes.

    What is that you are saying, Mr Carter. "Thank you!" Oh yes, I hear you now. You are very welcome Mr. Carter. I am glad I can help you.

    I reassured Mr. Carter and spoke firmly but gently with him, and he settled down. But his remission was short lived.

    We had given him sedation to help him rest, but he found no rest. His son and family stayed by his side to make sure he didn't injure himself, and I checked on him frequently as well. I called his physician to get further orders for something to help him relax, but nothing seemed to work.

    He later pulled his IV apart and blood was oozing everywhere. "See what you've done to me?" he accused as I struggled with him to put his IV put back together. "You have already cut my arm. Now just get out of here and take care of your own business!"

    I'm having trouble hearing you, Mr. Carter. Oh, I hear you now. "Thank you!" You're welcome Mr. Carter. I just hope we can find a way to help you rest. You are wearing yourself out.

    His son and I continued to wrestle with him. As I reconnected his IV tubing, he threatened "I don't want to get rough with you, but I can if I have to. Now you just go on and leave me alone!"

    Sorry Mr. Carter. I know you are trying to tell me something. But I just can't comprehend your words. Seems the only thing I can hear you saying is "Thank you!"

    After several hours of agitation, Mr. Carter finally fell asleep. He slept soundly the last two hours of my shift. As I made my final rounds that evening, I did a quick check to make sure that Mr. Carter was still ok, and I talked quietly with his family for a couple of minutes.

    I gave report and turned Mr. Carter's care over to the nurse who relieved me. Then I went back to Mr. Carter's room and stood quietly by his bedside.

    Mr. Carter, it's not often that I am called back to a patient's room so he can tell me, "Thank you!" You couldn't have known last night that you were thanking me in advance for the care you would so desperately need tonight. It's been a struggle for both of us, Mr. Carter. I hope some of my words soothed your jumbled thoughts tonight. I know your wonderful "Thank you!" has soothed the strain of tonight for me.

    I am glad you are finally able to rest now. You have made me feel needed, helpful, and appreciated. I've already made my final documentation in your chart. But I wanted to come back to your room so I could tell you "Thank you!"

    *not the real name
    Last edit by betts on Mar 6, '02
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    About betts

    Joined: Oct '01; Posts: 1,024; Likes: 20
    Nursing Mgmt.


  3. by   nursedawn67
    That was really nice...Thank You
  4. by   Traci308
    I am new to the nursing world. RN liscensed in oct 2001. I am not "young" just new to the field. Nursing was my choice after 16 years in resturants w/mother as business partner. I can relate immensely to this story, and I want to thank you for having the skill to put these, far too often unspoken feelings into words.
  5. by   newjerseynurse
    That was very nice. In all the words you made sense for both yourself, others, and the people you help. You are a Saint, but in this day and age we call that a Nurse.
  6. by   promises
    Thanks Betts. That was very inspiring! Reading some of the post in this board about how bad nursing is, gave me second thoughts about going into this field, but your post helps me remember why I wanted to go here in the first place.

    God bless!!!
  7. by   TracyB,RN
    Betts, that was really nice. Thanks
  8. by   mario_ragucci
    Having listened to folks talk about nursing all day, and many wishing they were out the door and in their cars going home, it's so great to come home and read posts by nurses like Betts. Betts is not being forced to say what she says: She wants to say it and it's authentic. I appreciate your inspiration Betts. Thank you!
  9. by   betts
    Inspiration,that's easy because,if you take the time to look,listen,taste,or smell,it's all around us.
    Ever sat in a park and listened to the children's laughter and laughed as well? Heard the tears of another and cried too? Walked in a field of wild-flowers and began to dance? Thats inspiration, it moved you; 'Why?" Not because we're emotional,sentimental beings but, because we have Heart! Contradiction in terms here, no; example: Someone you detest provokes you too tears, you're ready to fight but, you walk away stewing,enflamed with hatred. After a short while, your thoughts change to pity,sorrow for how that person is or what they are, and you still avoid them. Thats not sentiment and it certainly can't be mistaken as emotional or you would say or do something negative too the person; would you not? Didn't you think too yourself, maybe they'll change? If on the other hand you confronted this individual with a positive attitude, hoping against hope, that they would listen and make the effort; would you not be inspiring?
    Am I making any sense here? I remember a story my grandmother had told me many times as a child and yes, I'm still having a hard-time dealing with her loss but she inspired me; anyway the story was.....The Boy and the Starfish

    A man walked down the beach, noticing thousands of starfish on the shore. He came across a boy who, recognizing that the starfish would die out of the water, was one by one, throwing them back in the water.
    He asked the boy what possible difference his efforts could make, given there were so many starfish.
    The boy paused, looked at the starfish in his hand and answered, "It makes a difference to this one."

    If being a messenger with what I post inspires one, just one person, then it makes a difference to me.

    If I'm babbling, accept my apology. We all have different means in dealing with grief, this is mine.
  10. by   Andy S.
    Thanks! I had a horrible night at work the other night. This has helpled remind me of why I go to work. Thanks so much for the reminder

  11. by   mario_ragucci
    Nice picture andylane !! Red lipstick is extremely cool :-)

    Betts, i am sorry your grandma died. There's "good grief" (like charlie brown used to say) and there's bad grief. You EXPRESS good grief. I don't want to echo/repreat your thoughts, but we ARE feeling beings. And I know how our internal power devoted to our force fields against mean people can be lower when we grieve. Sometimes it can be totally gone, and our magnetic poles will absorb negative energy straight into our brains. Don't fret; The power comes back. The bad grief is when you don't express it, and then a person can become "hard boiled" like my brother. I can tell you stories about grief.

    I love the starfish story. You go ahead and grieve your thoughts across the sky !!! Colors of blue and green. The oceans are huge. The starfish keeps on living. And the waves always roll and ebb, returning the beach to look the same as it ever was.
  12. by   betts
    TY Mario,
    Be kind to unkind people - they need it the most.

    The life I live are the words above.
  13. by   micro
    Betts........keep writin and expressin.......you are very eloquent.........
    my thoughts are with you...........

    and I am in line for the book!!!!!!!!!!!!

    we are feeling living beings.........inspiration it is easy if you take time to appreciate what is here.......

    keep on writin
  14. by   mario_ragucci
    This used to be my playground
    This used to be my childhood dream
    This used to be the place I ran to
    Whenever I was in need
    Of a friend
    Why did it have to end
    And why do they always say

    Don't look back
    Keep your head held high
    Don't ask them why
    Because life is short
    And before you know
    You're feeling old
    And your heart is breaking
    Don't hold on to the past
    Well that's too much to ask

    Live and learn
    Well the years they flew
    And we never knew
    We were foolish then
    We would never tire
    And that little fire
    Is still alive in me
    It will never go away
    Can't say goodbye to yesterday

    No regrets
    But I wish that you
    Were here with me
    Well then there's hope yet
    I can see your face
    In our secret place
    You're not just a memory
    Say goodbye to yesterday [the dream]
    Those are words I'll never say

    This used to be my playground
    This used to be our pride and joy
    This used to be the place we ran to
    That NO ONE in the world could DARE DESTROY

    This used to be our playground
    This used to be our childhood dream
    This used to be the place we ran to
    I wish you were standing here with me

    This used to be our playground
    This used to be our great escape
    This used to be the place we ran to
    This used to be our secret hiding place

    This used to be our playground
    This used to be our childhood dream
    This used to be the place we ran to
    The best things in life are ALWAYS FREE
    Wishing you were here with me

    Madonna "This Used to be Our Playground"

    These are the beautiful words to her song, and always gets my limbic.sys energized.