Nurses amaze me…

We were in the office today for Chris’ labs, weekly doctor followup, and Bleo treatment.  It’s a “short day” by all standards, only taking about 90 minutes in the chair, maybe 30 minutes for the labs and doctor’s chat.  Wednesdays are ridiculously busy every week we have been there, with every chair full. So luckily sitting in the hard back guest seats isn’t so bad on short days.

We had a bit of a wait in the lobby before being admitted, however, which means I got some quality PUZZLE TIME!  There is a puzzle table which resides smack in the middle of the waiting room, where you can pass the time before visits, or even during if you want.  I enjoy puzzles very much, always have, but it is an extra treat when sweet little old ladies who are in for their treatments sit down next to me and we chat about this and that as we work. Sometimes it is just strictly puzzle-talk and the weather. Other times I hear about their treatments and tell them about Chris’.  I rarely have more than maybe 15 to 20 minutes at the table on a regular day, but today I got almost 45 minutes at the table, got to lay down over 35 puzzle pieces (yes I count, some days it is none–the puzzle they have down now is HARD and it’s been there a whole month!), and chat up a sweet old lady who is having to come in every single weekday for six weeks. Yowsa.

I also got a good long chat with one of the receptionists/schedulers at the front desk, who I overheard chatting with a coworker about a scarf that was confounding her. So I approached her and asked her about her issue and talked it through with her, and then suggested she check out Ravelry to see if there were any clues to be had there. She has been knitting for 15 years and have never heard of it!  So once we got into the treatment room, going off details of her project which I had picked up from our conversation–a “wave” scarf pattern, from a book, size 7 needle, and she had offhandedly mentioned 45 stitches across–I found it on Ravelry in seconds. Man that site just rules.  Anyway, found out there was extensive errata for the book, and I was able to direct her to it in hopes that it would solve her issues. I hope so, because it was a really fascinating scarf pattern!

I have been knitting a lot lately. It’s a good way to pass the time, not only in the hours keeping Chris company at the clinic, but at home when he doesn’t have the energy to do much but watch TV and I need a little something more to stay occupied.  Besides, his blad pate is an excellent excuse to burn through some new men’s hat patterns I wanted to try. I am hoping to put together a blog post soon with him modeling all the hats he has been gifted, both from me and from friends.  He has a hat for more than every day of the week, and I think he rather enjoys changing them a few times a day just for fun. So stay tuned for that post.

But on to the reason I really wanted to come and blog this evening:  Nurses. Rule.  Seriously. I mean, I knew this in the abstract, but I am even more convinced now having seen them “in the trenches” with all these various surgeries and hospital visits and of course in the treatment clinic.

Our nurse today was Susan. We have had her before and I think I would say my first impression of her was “iron lady”–not because she seems particularly cold, but she definitely seems to have a more gruff exterior when you first meet her.  But once you get to joking with her and chatting her up, you learn how many layers she has, and I enjoy getting to know them with each visit.

Today I noticed she had on a Mickey Mouse watch; which lead to me learning she has a soft spot for Disney in general, but Mickey specifically. She has a mug at home with “all the characters” on it which she got when she was 16 and she doesn’t use because she doesn’t want to damage it. She keeps it with her special treasures, she says. I think I know what kind of thank you gift I will be looking for for her…

I also asked her about what brought her to this line of work. “It found me,” she said with a soft smile.  She started in dialysis work, and went on to do home-dialysis which she still does as an additional job.  Then came to work in medical oncology where of course we find her today. I told her I am always amazed at people who are called to serve others in this way, that it takes such courage and strength of spirit to work with people who are ill or suffering. She says she feels it is an honor to “walk a path” with people in this line of work, and that she is convinced she gets even more out of it than the patients do from her because it feeds her so much to be able to do this for them. I tried not to do my usual sappy tearing up as I listened to her testimony, and just told her, “Well I personally think you and all these wonderful nurses here are amazing.” She smiled and thanked me and wished us a fantastic week.

Which, by the way, began looking up today. Chris woke up with much better energy, less nausea, and ready to take on some basic errands and even play some Diablo with me.  So today has been a Good Day all-in-all.

Thanks for your continued positive energy and support everyone!