God gets your attention when you least expect it. If you read my status yesterday evening you are aware my dogs dug their way out of the yard and were running the streets like it was Friday night.
A young patient arrived to recovery for another nurse to recover. When a patient arrives in recovery, our staff works together like a pit crew at NASCAR to connect the patient to the oxygen, the heart, Blood pressure, continuous oxygen saturation monitor. The main role of a recovery room nurse is to monitor the patient’s airway. Sometimes a patient is still entubated if they are too sleepy for it to be removed. Other patients are awake and talking. Every patient moves through the stages of recovery and is a new adventure with circumstances that often effect how they wake up and their response to anesthesia.
Patient safety and hospital policy doesnt permit visitors in Phase I recovery. Anyway this patient needed a Mom. I got to fulfill this role. The patient was restless and shivering. We placed a forced air warmer (which blows warm air on the patient’s body) I stood by this patient and provided reassurance that they were safe and we were working to manage the pain. Allergies prevented the use of a medication that is normally used to manage pain associated with the specific surgery. Constant repeated questions came from the patient. How long was my surgery? Why does it hurt so much? When can I see my mom? Why arent you helping me? So I held this patients hand. I was reminded of one of my kids, because the patient shares the same age. I started asking questions to distract the patients focus on pain. Most people will tell you about themselves so I asked about college – not attending. I asked about work – has successful business. Boom – found the thing that worked. Got a full explaination of how and why the patient does what they do. I saw passion and hope for a future as the occupation was described. The patient relaxed and the pain diminished. What was only minutes felt like hours as I interacted and distracted this creative hopeful person. Silence came as the patient relaxed and drifted to sleep from the medication. So I released their hand slowly and placed it under the covers. As soon as I began to step away, I was called back, ‘dont leave’ please pray with me for the pain to go away – I know you pray. I know you believe.
I was surprized. I had in 4 years in recovery never been asked to pray out loud. I believe in prayer. I believe in God. I know God heals and can interveine in any situation. In my mind I quickly sorted through ‘is this allowed’ and would there be consequenses for this behavior. What if I pray as I believed in Jesus name and it offends the patient?
I knew God was the author of this moment – to remind me how strong I am with Him. So I embraced this opportunity and prayed for this patient. I cant tell you what I said because I dont remember but the patient agreed with an amen. This moment was a gift to me. I dont know how this effected the patient. I can tell you I was comforted. The patient did relax and sleep some and I slipped away to come home. I cant tell you the patient outcome since I dont know. I can say I am not ashamed to pray for you if you ask. If you are my patient, please know it will be a silent prayer but I will be praying for you –
Thank you God for the people reading this note. they are a gift to me from you. I am grateful to be alive and to be me.