Angels in Scrubs
It is 7:00 a.m. and I am awake early for a change. I am watching a magnificent sunrise. I cannot remember the last time I actually saw the sun rise. The view is incredible from here on the fourth floor. I can see a range of purple and blue mountains stretching across the horizon. I luxuriate in the varying shades of vibrant green trees that blanket the Earth and flow all the way to the horizon.
The wind has picked up since earlier today. I can see our American flag waving proudly about a block away. I can see so many extraordinary facets of nature from this window. Although I have not seen one single bird!
I can also see the stirrings of people - cars crawling along the main street headed toward work or finally returning home from work. These are people going about their day, meeting goals, making plans; some operating on autopilot, some all too aware of each moment passing.
Such beautiful things exist in our world. It is in this quiet moment that I become completely aware.
- For every sunrise, I crave a thousand more.
It is 7:00 p.m. and I remain awake. It’s been a busy day. I turn my head gently to the right and watch a beautiful sunset. I cannot remember the last time I watched the sun set. The view is stunning. It is different than this morning. The sky is dark and punctured with pin holes of brilliant light from stars that died thousands of years ago. The brilliant lights of the city replace the trees as the sun slowly sinks behind the mountains and beneath the horizon.
I am watching the sunset from my hospital room.
I arrived here three days ago via the emergency room. I honestly thought this visit would follow along the lines of so many before this: Check in, Triage, EKG, Wait, Lay on a Gurney, Wait, I.V., Fluids, Medication Review, Financial Arrangements, Blood Draw, Wait, Doctor Visit, maybe an MRI, Morphine, Doctor Visit, Wait, Morphine, Wait, and then blessed DISCHARGE!
It did not go as I had imagined.
I am housed in a private room in the Progressive Care Unit for stroke survivors and other neurological patients. I am afraid, but not lost.
- For every sunset, I pray for another day.
A Patient's Reality
There are so many others here hurting more than me. There are so many others more afraid, more confused, filled with more despair, helplessness and feeling lost.
My fellow patients are amazing, strong people brought here by unfortunate, tragic and traumatic circumstances for them, as well as those who love them. As they are wheeled by my door on their way to one test or another, I turn my head toward them hoping they will look into my room. If they do, I give them a small smile and a quick wave. I hope this gives them some comfort; even just a tiny bit.
I know it helps me in ways I cannot explain with simple words.
There are others here I would describe as extraordinary, compassionate, energetic, tireless heroes. These are the people who care for us. They support us when we feel most vulnerable, when we feel most frightened and when we feel so very alone. They are driven, strong people who stand beside us, laugh with us, cry with us, hold our hands, clean us, help us stand, help us walk and do everything within their power to heal us.
I will leave here one day. Some of us will not.
These amazing caregivers will stay; not because they have to, but because they want to.
They watch the same sun rise and fall from this window but cannot feel the breeze. Even on a beautiful day like today, when life outside these hospital walls calls to them; a day full of sun and bright blue skies or a cool night filled with star-shine, peace and many times the Starbucks beckoning from across the street - they will turn away from that window.
They turn away without hesitation.
They turn to gaze at their patients and save us, to save me - one gesture, one kind word, one simple wink, one gentle touch, one encouraging smile and one precious moment at a time.
Thank you Banner Thunderbird Hospital: Glendale, Arizona, 4 South, My Sweet Angels in Scrubs.
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