Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Hot Topics

Every day people discuss "hot topics" as the ladies on "The View" would say. These are the topics that make the news and that people talk about. These are the Brittney Spears and Paris Hilton stories that may or may not include their underwear. Our society is seeking these hot topics when we all have our own that could use our own attention.
These are a couple of my thoughts for today that are in my brain... So I guess these are "Kelly's Hot Topics"

1. Teachers
Teachers help to mold our children into educated individuals. Do we hear about the hard work that a teacher puts into their day.... Staying late, going in on weekends to get caught up, planning extra curricular activities, meeting with parents, the list goes on and on. Or do we hear about the teacher's aid who lost it and stapled a note to a child's forehead. (True story in the Detroit area about a couple of weeks ago!) Sadly we hear about the stapled head incident while thousands of teachers are out their putting their effort into your kids. Or we hear about the bad teachers that do unthinkable things to kids. I have family and friends who are teachers and I think that we should applaud their daily efforts. This can't be an easy job in this day and age. Children know that they have been given the power over the classroom as they threaten to tell their parents if the teacher makes them do anything they don't want to do. And you have to wonder, without the teachers where would we all be today?

2. Comfort at the End of Life
Have you ever watched anyone die? I am sure that some of you have with your family members, be it grandparents or parents. This is part of my daily work life. Recently I have been caring for a very sweet man who is probably not going to survive this hospitalization. He is 70 years old and has been fighting cancer for the last year and a half. When I say fighting, I mean it. He walks for 2 hours a day on a tread mill, goes to chemo and radiation and still keeps a positive attitude. Unfortunately, he has a very serious type of pneumonia and he is requiring lots of oxygen via a mechanical ventilator. His vent settings are such that we are at the end of the line as you would say. He lies in his bed, in a sedated coma state. We turn him as often as we can but with movement he decompensates and it takes so long to recover. Sitting beside him, holding his hand is his wife of 52 years. She smiles at me through her misty eyes. She knows it is bad, but she has hope. "He is a fighter." She will reason with me. She tells me it gives her comfort to know that I am caring for him. She says she can stay at home a half hour longer to pay the bills, as she is trying to figure out the bills her husband always paid. She brings us, the nurses, daily nourishment be it cookies or a bag of nuts. She is so thankful for the care her husband is receiving. Every day she walks into the ICU she walks in with her smile. This smile breaks my heart as this smile is constant in her 4 kids. To see them going through this phase of life; watching their dad/husband dying is hard.
She asked me once "How can you be so caring and kind when you see patients not getting better. Isn't it hard for you to be surrounded by this?"
I told her simply "No. I love my job."
She probed a little further "Well, I guess most of your patients get better right?"
I smiled at her, held her hand "When it is some one's time to go, even the miracles of medicine can't stop them."
She smiled at me through her weepy eyes and shook her head. She understands what I am saying.

1 comment:

Claire said...

Thanks for your thoughts Kelly! I really needed some kind words of inspiration today :).