Friday, February 6, 2009

A pleasant but odd evening

I was having a pleasant evening at work when half way through my shift, the charge nurse asked if I would like to go home on-call as a “low-census day.” I didn’t really want to, because all my patients were nice, not too many, and not too sick. However, I am just a girl who can’t say “no,” about some things anyway. And the thought of reading my book or knitting was too tempting. So I gave report on my patients and was about to leave when the dreaded call from Staffing came. A nurse on another unit lost her purse and was frantic and had to go home, so one of us would have to go there for the last four hours. Well, it wasn’t my turn, but it would have been too disruptive if I had insisted that the person go whose turn it was go, so I went. It was my friend Paula who had lost her purse. She gave me report on her patients and I started in. She said that if she found her purse she would stay, so I was hopeful that she would find it. I said, “You pray to St. Anthony right now, and I will too, and then you look again in the locker room.” We prayed, and as she was putting her coat on, her cell phone rang in the locker next to hers. She had put her purse in the wrong locker. (No one could ever mistake my junky locker for theirs!) So she very happily came back to take over her patients again. I heard her saying to other nurses, “Joanna said…….. pray to St. Anthony…….. locker room …… St. Anthony….. a miracle…..” Everyone was astonished except me because I know the ways of St. Anthony.
During the short time I was there, I was fiddling with the IV’s 0f a man who had been in the hospital since November. Paula told me he had a very flat affect, and didn’t interact much. I could see that that was so. He seemed depressed and would hardly make eye contact, let alone converse. He was watching some sort of informational true life show, and I couldn’t grasp what it was really about, so I asked him. He didn’t know, he didn’t care, he couldn’t follow them anyway. I asked him if he liked classical music and told him that channel 75 had constant classical music and one didn’t have to pay attention or follow it. He switched that channel, and what looked like a black and white film from the fifties of some fellow singing show tunes was on. He was first singing, “The Girl that I Marry,” and I told my patient I had seen the film of Annie Get Your Gun when I was young, and I had always liked that song. Then the fifties fellow sang “Ole Man River.” My patient told me that that was his favorite song from his favorite Broadway play. He and his wife had seen it in Victoria, BC. They loved to go to shows and went frequently. We talked about how it was so great to see live performances and he said that when one came out of the theater after a performance, one just felt great. ( It’s true!) His face lit up and he smiled! That smile made my whole evening light up.


FugueStateKnits said...

Good old St. Anthony - he prayed for your friend and you and he prayed for your patient - your friend found her purse, you found some additional hours doing what you like and your patient found a few moments of joy:)
totally cool!

Laritza said...

He never fails. Sweet picture you have of him. Glad you had a nice day.