My dearest Nora, wherever thou mayst roam,
Another day as a volunteer at Big City Hospital has come to a close, and I cannot honestly tell you that I miss being an employee. The patients and nurses, for whatever reason, seem to appreciate my assistance more now that I'm doing just about the same thing but without pay...well, at least not in terms of cold, hard currency.
It was a great day....a busy day. I really enjoyed visiting with all of the patients and their families, and it felt especially wonderful to try and go above and beyond their requests to really make them comfortable. They all seemed so incredibly appreciative, and there just isn't any beating that!
There were, however, a couple of "moments" that made me squirm in one way or another. I shall detail them below:
1) While making my way around the ward visiting patients, I entered a room on the "quiet" side, where the patients who don't require as much aid are stashed. Before me, halfway between the bed and the closet was a patient...sprawled out face-first on the floor...
Oh, no. Oh, no. OH, NO!
I instantly saw the rise and fall of his back as his lungs filled and expressed air and felt a bit of relief. At least he's not dead!
Also instantaneously, I checked for consciousness..."Are you okay!?"
"...um, NO," came the response. I felt a bit silly having asked, but hey, at least I know that he's alive and alert.
I pressed the emergency button on the bedside and let the patient know help was on its way. Within 30 seconds, his nurse arrived and I practically yelled at her to get others. A few techs and nurses came running and helped him back into the bed...he seemed to be okay!
The story of precisely what happened was never relayed to me. I (unnecessarily) apologised to the nurse I'd yelled at to get help. She laughed and wondered aloud when the world of medicine was going to knock loose some of my manners.
Ever since discovering him lying helpless on the floor, I couldn't help but be gutted at the thought over how long he may have been there. The fact that he'd fallen is enough to tug at my heartstrings, but the possibility of him having been down there for 20-30 minutes is very real and very upsetting. Wow.
2) I was given an item to return to the nurse's station on another floor, a task I've successfully carried out many a time in the past. When I got off of the elevator, I thought the scenery seemed a bit different... I hadn't been on that floor in a while and I knew that there'd been some remodeling going on throughout the hospital, so I chalked it up to that.
Yeah, as I approached the nurse's station, I had a greater fear that I'd come to the wrong place... but I was stuck. No possible way to get out of this without any embarrassment. I told the nurse that asked what she could do for me that I must've gotten off on the wrong floor...another nurse called my ward and asked where I was supposed to go before I even knew what she was doing.
Oh, God, NO!
The ward clerk that was working is one of the ones who doesn't seem to have too high an opinion of me. Fantastic. It seems like anytime she's around, I just can't make an impression of any sort of intellectual ability. UGH.
When I got back, I just didn't say anything...and went and hung out one of the friendlier patients and their family for a bit. heh. I needed something uplifting.
3) On one of my many elevator trips, the doors flung open to reveal a man and his son inside. I told him to which floor I was headed, and he remarked, "Ah, the top of the line, huh?" as it is the highest floor in the joint. "Yessir," I said with a comical tone, "if you're going to jump, that's the floor to do it from!"
He did not see the humour in it.
Shock, horror, embarrassement. I felt my face turn bright, bright red.
The man said, "Oh, no. I'm not jumping!"
I didn't say anything for a second, kind of marveling at the stupidity of what had just come from my mouth..."Oh, no, sir...I didn't mean..."
He kind of laughed a little, but it was a polite laugh, and stepped off of the elevator.
I am the king of creating awkward situations. I immediately cracked up laughing when the doors closed. Only me. This could only happen to me.
It's fine to joke with the patients and visitors, but steer clear of the morbid kind of humour! I really shouldn't have needed reminding.
Can't wait to see what foolish things I wind up doing next week!
May the grace of He keep you always,