Not in a weird way. They just melt my heart.
Like remember in "The Notebook" when older Noah starts to cry after dancing with his wife because she all of a sudden doesn't remember him? That kinda thing breaks my heart. I think it's precious - even more than if a younger man were crying.
So imagine my excitement when I got my first patient assignment yesterday. Because you have no idea what hospital I'm in or what his name is, I don't think I'm breaking any HIPAA rules by telling you he looks a little like this:
That's about the same expression he has, too. He's pretty grumpy. But I probably would be too if I'd been in the hospital for such a long time. He doesn't really like people coming in every 20 minutes to take his temperature, give him a shot, or make him move around in bed. Would you?
But here's the thing. Despite him not acting like he likes me at all, I really, really like him.
Even when he looks at me in disgust when I make him sit in the chair instead of lay in his bed (physical therapy's orders). I'm the bad guy, and he makes me feel like it.
Even when he spits out his food at me because grits just aren't his thing (the first Southern man I've known with a strong aversion to grits).
I just feel too much empathy for him to get annoyed.
He has no idea that he will always be my first patient I ever cared for.
He has no clue that I'm writing paper upon paper about him for an assignment, so every little interaction and intervention gets recorded.
And mainly, he really has no idea that I've been praying that the Lord would comfort him. He doesn't communicate easily, so I have no idea where he stands on anything, really. But I know he's uncomfortable, and I know no one else can give him the comfort he needs. Isn't that true of all of us?
I may never see him again if he gets discharged soon, but I'm so glad he goes down in the books as my first ever patient. He was sure a challenge yesterday, and I came home exhausted, but he was worth every minute. :)