Thank you...

I'm so excited to be sitting down and writing! I haven't done it in quite awhile and it's helping me reconnect to a piece of my roots down deep in my soul. Right now, it's 3:40 in the morning, I had the night off work and I'm thrilled to be chilling in my comfy bed. Candles lit. Diet coke by my side. Just polished off some homemade chocolate cookies I made. Brooke Fraser playing. Perfect.

I've worked the last five nights in a row. Now, I know you regular work day people are probably laughing at me, but five 12-14 hour shifts at the a row...oh my word! It about killed me. But, I survived. And, brought in a little weekend pay as well as holiday pay! So, my bank account will think it was worth it. Now that it's all over with, and I have a bit of a break before my next shift, I'm thankful for the time I was there. I mean, I spent 60+ hours with the same patients all weekend. I got to know them. I knew their exact needs. I knew their preferences. Recently, I've been praying for Father to give me the opportunity to just slow down at work, and have actual time to have a conversation with my patients, or even just one patient for that matter. And this long weekend, I had just that opportunity...and then some. :)

What Father taught me the past five days is just wanting to leap out of my soul, so I must share! He taught me the importance of thanking people. The importance of being kind. The importance of respecting people no matter what. And, the importance of selflessness, no matter what you may be going through. You may feel as if you are in the worst situation possible, but you have no idea what others may be going through...and they may be right next to you.

The long workathon started off with a total of five patients. Not too shabby when we can have up to seven (which randomly happened over the weekend, but we'll stick with these original five I started out with so we're not confused). We'll start with the story of the butt hole. Yes, I said butt hole because that's what he was...except I used the other word for butt a few times when I was referring to him. So, we'll refer to him as BH.

BH was admitted to our unit the first night of my workathon. He had already been all over the hospital for weeks...trauma, ICU, etc, etc...then to us. BH was in a motorcycle accident. BH was driving this motorcycle drunk and high. They thought he'd be paralyzed. But, BH was not paralyzed. That's good. However, BH liked to pretend like he was paralyzed. BH was a middle aged mama's boy. His mama was there the whole weekend, acting all spastic, writing down everything I said, every med I gave...etc, etc. I mean, I can respect that to some extent, but really. Woman was gettin' on my nerves! BH also liked his pain and anxiety meds and knew the exact time everything was due. So, since BH was new to our floor, I did not know this about him. So, let's just say I was about 10 minutes late with BH's morphine and I got cussed out. And not just with his hateful words, but his hateful eyes. Plenty of times he told me I was worthless. He was a very broken man. I just blew it off and did as he asked. I gave him water to drink, fed him, put medicine in his mouth, held the dang hand held urinal for him while he peed, and moved him any time he was uncomfortable. I even knew that this man liked to have the end of a washcloth rolled in between his pinky fingers. I eventually learned what everything meant when he asked for it. "Fix my arms"=grab his hand and lift the elbow at the same time and pull the arm down while not overextending the shoulder. I did all those things. I did all those things while being cussed out. I did all those things while being told I was worthless. I did all those things and never once, in the five days I was with him, was I told thank you. Not once. I eventually learned that when I asked, "Is everything settled and okay now...anything you need before I leave?" and he answered, with an attitude, "Good God, whatever...I guess."......I knew that that meant, "Yes I'm fine. Thanks, Katie." BH had me in his room just about every hour, which would have been fine but I had four other people to care for.

While I held my tongue and gave BH the best care I could provide, I wish he knew that he wasn't the only one with problems. I wish he knew that the patient on one side of him had just had a liver transplant after being sick for years and this man talked to me about the love of Christ and thanked me for EVERY thing! I wish he knew that on the other side of him, was a young man with autuism who's parents abandoned him when he was born and all he had was this older lady that stayed with him 24/7. I wish BH knew that the autistic boy said nothing but "Thaaaaanks sweeeethaaaaurt" every time I left his room. I wish BH knew that two doors down from him I was consulting a woman who was admitted because her right hand was shaky and she just didn't feel like herself...only to found out that she has a frontal brain tumor. This lady was admitted Friday night and had the brain surgery yesterday (Tuesday) morning to have the mass removed. I wish BH knew that three doors down from him was an 80+ year old lady that had had a stroke and could no longer speak. She was all alone. I had to crush her meds, feed them to her in applesauce. As BH's strength was increasing in his arms and legs, this lady's was not. She couldn't speak or move. I fed her. Gave her water. Combed her hair. Changed her diapers. I wish BH knew those things. But, he didn't.

My heart hurt for him. He had family with him. He had a nurse taking care of him, learning his needs. And not once did he ever say thank you. Just about every morning on my way home from work, I'd cry. At first, I'd cry because he was mean to me and hurt my feelings. Then, I began to cry out to Father for him. My heart hurt for him. It hurt for his ungratefulness. I prayed for Father to lay that warm blanket of His sovereignty over him allowing him to recognize that things are out of our control and that no matter how angry he'd get, it didn't change things. It can't change his motorcycle accident. It can't change the fact that he was drunk and high while driving the motorcycle. It can't change his past actions. But that blanket can change the root of his issue: being separated from the Almighty. God is in control. He is sovereign, He is the Almighty. Oh my heart hurts knowing he doesn't know Him. And, I plead that all he saw in me was Christ. That was my goal. It wasn't to act all high and mighty, like I'm better than him. It wasn't even to get a "thank you". It was to show him even a glimpse of light. I want him to wonder what's inside of me. I want him to want the same thing for himself. To know Father. To treat His children with kindness. To be grateful.

And I knew, there was no need to cause resistance. Father specifically told me to keep my mouth shut and care for this man. He told me there was no need to confront and argue with him because that's already been won on the cross. BH's sin towards me has already been paid for.

So, from all this. I've learned that the words "thank you", could change a person's entire day. Use them, no matter what you're going through. And on the flip side, continue to treat people with kindness and loyalty, even if they are a total BH. :)

Proverbs 3:3 "Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart."

One Response to “Thank you...”
  1. Casey says:

    Katie you are awesome! We are doing a "Thank you" board where I work this year and it has boosted morale so much! Anytime we thank someone we pin it on the board. At the end of the month, our principal puts all the thank you notes in a bucket and pulls one out. Whoever sends and receives the note gets a gift card! Maybe you could suggest this on your floor!

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