A patient I love.

Friday, February 25, 2011

I've always thought old men were adorable.
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. :)


  1. Loved this! I obviously haven't seen this man, but I love the picture you chose to portray him . . . how could you not be endeared to the old man in "Up"?! Whether he knows it or not, your patient is a lucky man to have you for a nurse. :)

  2. You are the bomb! What a blessing you will be to your patients...Can't wait to hear your next experience story! :-D

  3. I have enjoyed reading your blog over the last few weeks. Even though I don't know you in "real life", I can tell that you have a sweet, caring and gentle heart. Any patient will be lucky to have you as their nurse.

  4. Whitney, I sure do hope your home as well as your family's was no where near the tornadoe's path. I've been sitting at a Brooklyn county court house for hours in order to fulfill my jury duty obligations and noticed that the muted TV is on mute with captions. I knew from the instant I read Franklin in an NBC news report that it sounded familiar but it took me a few minutes to remember where I'd heard the name. Anyway, hope your tow
    n is safe!!

  5. Hi Whitney! Wow, what a sweet, heartfelt post. My grandma is in the hospital right now, and I can only hope and pray that she has a nurse who is as loving, prayerful, and full of Jesus' love as you are. If you could be praying for her healing that would be wonderful! Thanks so much.

  6. Oh what a blessing you are to that old man with your Christlike attitude:) It must be so hard to grow old and have your body breakdown and have to be stuck in a hospital with strangers caring for you. Even though he may not appreciate your kind and patient treatment--I know someone is... Reminds me of one of my favorite scriptures 'when ye are in the service of your fellowbeings you are only in the service of your God' Thanks for an inpiring post miss Whitney:)

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