I could fill post after post with stories from my work as a nurse, but there are two issues. 1) I might risk violating privacy laws, and 2) I'd definitely risk turning your stomach. The other night, though, I had an experience I could share. Amidst the countless dark, difficult situations I encounter at work was this lighthearted moment I will carry with me.
I was caring for a dementia patient, and it was time to give her her evening medicine. This sweet lady was pleasantly confused and believed she was at her office, babbling on about deadlines and politely asking if I'd like a cup of coffee.
I tried in vain to gently reorient her to her whereabouts and to tell her it was time to take her medicine. I handed her a cup of pills while I held her water.
"Ok, it's time to take your medicine," I said.
"Wait, wait," she stopped me. "I want to give a toast."
She raised her pill cup in the air and nodded toward the cup in my hand, that I should raise it, too.
"I want to give a toast to my new best friend," she said, beaming. "You."
We clanked our paper cups together and my heart warmed all the way through.