Among Angels

This last week tested me. No, I take that back. Tested is a grouse understatement.

My ex ended up in an emergency surgery that did not go well and his condition progressively worsened as the days went. I am by no means dramatizing this for the sake of creative impact.

I thought he was going to die.

I sat next to his bed unable to do anything. Unable to soothe his pain. Unable to hold him. Unable to reassure him. Unable even to keep myself together.

I was terrified and unable to hide it.

Fear seeped out of my pores and infected the room. Every delirious moment he was awake I was memorizing the sound of his voice. Every drug induced moment I counted his breaths and every second I prayed.

I prayed desperately. I begged for his life. And I would do it again. Without question.

When his fever spiked I felt dread reach up and choke me. When his pain became agonizing I felt terror bursting from my finger tips. When he doubled over and looked at me through  bloodshot eyes I trembled.

My heart knew we were losing.

Days and days of the same. It got worse.

Infection tightened its noose and I could do nothing but lay at the foot of his bed and let my tears soak his sheets.

Through it all we were surrounded by angels. We call them nurses. They attended him gently, spoke to him with dignity and patience. They were endless sources of empathy and compassion. Their daily optimism and competency kept me from screaming.

The nurses moved with energy and light followed wherever they went.

The entire time we were there I may have seen the surgeon 4 times at 5 minute intervals, but the nurses were available round the clock. They cleaned blood, and wiped sweat, they held buckets of vomit, chased doctors and always spoke kindly to us regardless of all the irrational questions on my part.

There are no words to describe how grateful I am for having them care for him the way that they did. I credit his recovery to their diligence and commitment.

Angels keep our hospitals running. Angels keep our fathers, brothers, mothers and sisters alive and well. They are the eyes and ears of the corridors. They are the voice for those too weak to speak. They are the warriors of the wards.

I believe nursing is a calling. They are individuals sent to do a job so impossible only an extraordinary few can manage. A burden so great only a soul of an angel could endure.

I will never forget the moment an angel rested her hand upon my shoulder and reassured me that everything would be okay, and it was.

To nurses all over the world, you have a permanent place in my prayers.

Bless you.


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