A Nurse with a Gun

Friday, May 05, 2006

A Rainy Day

I drove through a deluge today to see Miss Alvera, who cares for her elderly husband, Calvin. I called ahead to tell her I would be there in about twenty minutes, and she said "Come ahead, I been a waitin' on ya!" I could hardly see through the downpour as I drove down the interstate to her house. It took me thirty-five minutes instead of the twenty I had predicted.

I had to run through six inches of water rushing across her yard, splashing mud all over myself. I could see Miss Alvera struggling with her walker to get to the door. She had no porch. I reached through the torrent of rain washing off her roof to knock on her door, and stood in the slightly less voluminous downpour to watch her through the bay window. Finally, I could take it no longer and I ran back to my car. I watched in dismay as she turned to return to her easy chair. I blew my horn in frustration. I tried to call her on my cell phone, but her phone was busy. I finally got back in the rain and ran back through the river coursing across her yard to her door and reached through the cascade of rain to knock again.

This time I waited, soaked to the skin for her to slowly maneuver her walker to the door. My shoes gushed water out as I stepped into her foyer. "They took Calvin to the hospital last night" she said "You reckon he's gonna be all right?".

My mind screamed with the frustration of a thousand soaked nurses. The patient I had come through this gullywasher to see was not present, and his wife had known it when I called her prior to coming. I asked why he went, and Miss Alvera told me he was having "pains". I called the ER and discovered he had been admitted and I had the operator connect me to his room for Miss Alvera. After she had talked to Calvin for a few minutes she handed me the phone and thanked me. I said my goodbyes, ran through the river to my car and drove back through the deluge on the interstate for another thirty minutes. In an hour and a half, I had accomplished nothing more than a telephone call for a lady who would not make it herself. In fact I had to come home to change my wet muddy clothing before I could go to another patient's home. Then the rain stopped.

Is it worth it? Maybe to some, but I'm not a martyr for those who will not take care of themselves. I will not miss days like today.



Blogger Tim said...

Hang in the Xavier...and just wait.
Someday, when you stand at the gates of Heaven and He asks you what you did to better the world he created, a film strip will show of this day, and He will simply smile as he opens the gate!

1:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

martyr for those who will not help themselves?

I work in EMS. You just described by life with that one statement.

4:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Xavier, no matter what work you do in the future, please remember Tim's comment. -- Robert

4:40 PM  
Blogger rbshaw said...

Life=1% - things that happen to you. 99% - how you react to them.

I like this quote and it helps me get perspective on the feelings of
frustration and discontent that I often have had in my life.

5:33 PM  
Blogger DirtCrashr said...

Always good to have a set of dry clothes and a towel in the trunk, in case you ever need to go swimming too!

7:15 PM  
Anonymous texascarl said...

Good on ya, Xavier.

7:26 PM  
Blogger KanabDDS said...

Tell us how you really feel!

7:57 PM  

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