It seemed like an ordinary morning. I came to work early as usual. I placed my bag in my locker. I stuffed my pockets with all the ammunitions I need in the warzone – stethoscope, penlight, markers, alcohol swabs.
I went on to take the morning hand-over. I quickly browsed the computer system to check what my patients would be needing for the shift, and that actually means checking what kind of life I would be having for the next 12 hours. Well, it seemed like another busy day. I started planning inside my head. The tasks started to run wild inside my brains.
I was at this state when a colleague approached me. “Hey, you got a package in the fridge!”
“I do? Okay, I’ll check that now. Thanks.” And so I quickly went to the coffeeroom where our packages and mails are placed. I usually get stuff from the mail, but most of them work-related, like memos and education packs. But hey, did I hear him say “fridge?” Why did they put my package in the fridge?
As I opened the fridge, I found this brown box with a blue card with my name on it.
I opened the box and found colorful cupcakes.
My colleague told me that the box came from a patient who dropped by with his family. He described how the patient looked like, and I started remembering who that patient was.
That patient had a tracheostomy done (a surgical opening on the throat). He couldn’t talk because of his surgery so we communicated by writing on a piece of paper. He has been discharged many days back.
And here he is trying to communicate again by writing.
And his unspoken words meant so much.
They didn’t only mean that he appreciated the kind of care he had when he was under my care. They didn’t only mean that he was happy with how his surgery went.
For me, it also meant that what I have done for him has made him go back to the community to live again. It also meant that whatever I do for my patients, his family benefit too. It meant that all my hardwork don’t go unnoticed – that even patients who are unable to verbalize their feelings, know how to appreciate. It meant that “caring” does not only mean trying to complete all the tasks I have for the day, but it meant “touching somebody else’s life.”
I have read the message beyond the words. It meant that I should be proud of what I do as a nurse.
Thank you for reminding me that.