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The Moment My Nurse Became My Hero

Dear Nurse,

The first words I think you deserve the most are “thank you.” The list of everything I am grateful for would fill a 200-page book. So I thought I should tell you some of the things that make you stand out from so many others in your field.

Hearing your voice as you walked in the room to say “hi” on your day off after a meeting brought a big smile to my tear-stained face. Not many nurses would do that for patients on days when they’re not required to be taking care of them. But you didn’t stop there. I know that Patient Controlled Analgesia (PCA) pump was a pain in the butt, but you never showed the frustration that I’m sure it brought with it. Speaking of frustrations, those veins of mine… thank you for always believing me when I say they’re going bad (I’ve yet to be wrong) and calling the IV team one to two times per shift.

I know coming in every hour to give me some type of medicine was probably tiring, but it was very much appreciated. The fact that we always both requested each other during your shifts made us a pretty great team.

I’m sorry for the person I turned into while on such a high dose of those steroids; I think we both know that’s not the normal me. But thank you for taking the time to get down to eye level and ask what you could do to help me. Thank you, once again, for advocating for me and reaching out to the doctors after I had already attempted talking to the doctors about my feeding tube being messed up. Thank you for getting the ball rolling so that I could have it replaced.

I truly loved and enjoyed hearing all the stories you had to tell me about things outside of the hospital, like your puppies and how they’re doing, because, for once, it makes me forget about “On a scale of 1-10, how’s your pain?” I can’t tell you how wonderful it was for you to take the time to actually wash my hair with real water and real shampoo and not the shower caps. Not once has any other nurse offered me that option, but you did it without even me asking. And I can’t tell you how great it felt to feel somewhat normal.

This next part is probably going to make me tear up, but it’s worth writing about. That Monday started off like any other Monday had been during the last couple Mondays in the hospital. You’re bright smile came shining in with my 8 o’clock meds, we filled each other in on the weekend, and you went to eat your second breakfast. Physical therapists came and saw how much I had declined over the weekend, and I told you after my next dose of pain meds I wanted to try again. So we did, and after getting halfway to the nurses’s station even you were surprised at how bad my balance was that day, and I mentioned being really dizzy. So back to the room we went.

That’s when you noticed the my left pupil was dilated and unresponsive. I could tell you were freaking out yet trying to keep calm, and I appreciated that because it kept me calm. You rubbing my shoulder telling me I was going to be okay really meant a lot. I remember you calling the ACT team and a bunch of doctors suddenly standing all around me doing a bunch of tests and bright lights. I was dizzy, had a bad headache and severe nausea. The next thing I know I was being sent straight to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, and you went going with me.

Thank you for coming with me so I had a familiar face, and a comforting hand. Thank you for settling me in to the PICU, and then coming again to check on me after your shift. Once again, the next day before your shift, thank you for coming into check on me.

Thank you for being a nurse, a friend, an advocate, a lifesaver, a hero and everything in one. Don’t ever doubt yourself, because I thank you, and every patient you care for though they may not say it, is thankful and grateful, and lucky to have you as a nurse.

The Mighty is asking its readers the following: Describe the moment a stranger — or someone you don’t know very well — showed you or a loved one incredible love. No gesture is too small! If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to [email protected] Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio.

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