Sometimes, before I walk into a room with certain patients, I take a deep cleansing breath and whisper, Lord, give me strength. I just know what’s waiting for me on the other side. History repeats itself over and over. I know I will leave feeling a bit more depleted than I went in. Some people just take. Maybe they can’t help it. But it’s my job, for goodness sakes, to listen to and respond to my patients. To help them.
Sometimes, I really earn my $15 copay.
Before I walked into her room, I’ll admit, I said my little prayer.
How are you?
I was expecting an onslaught of problems. It wasn’t always like that with her, but lately it had been. There had been some complications after a procedure. Things hadn’t turned out as expected and she was struggling.
I gave her a funny look. Turned around, opened the door, stuck my head out into the hall, saying to no one in particular, “Am I in the right room? ” She laughed and laughed. She WAS doing better. Things HAD turned around. And I was grateful.
How are you doing with the loss of your mom?
That took me a little by surprise, but I answered her. Not good. The holidays are harder than I thought. I miss her. This was her favorite time of year. I told her that our office was going through struggles, we were going to be changing computer systems and everyone was stressed to the max.
She grabbed my hand, embraced me. Like my mom would.
And she started praying. For me. For my children. For my staff. I could feel the tears burning just behind my eyes. She wasn’t taking from me. She was giving back. At first, I felt a tension in the embrace. I wasn’t supposed to be the one in need. Her words created a lifeline, speaking on the behalf of my staff and myself to our maker, and I could feel myself relax and allow the magic to happen. Accept the gift. Return the embrace.
Thank you. That helped me more than you know.
“You’ve helped me more than you know,” she said.