Holding A Hand

There is a whole other side to my life that I really don’t talk about much here. But it is a very important part of my life. You see, before I was a Mommy, I was and am a Registered Nurse. I love being an RN and to me it is much more than a job or career. I get to do some amazing things, some big and some small, to help people. I have decided that I want to share some of these stories.

As the bed turned the corner, I saw him. A frail little man that looked like the giant hospital bed was going to swallow him whole. He had his eyes to squeezed tightly closed, every muscle is his body was shaking.

People were buzzing around him in a frenzy of activity. Talking over him, shouting orders, trying to calm him. But every time someone tried to touch him his body would tense up and he would thrash in the bed and pull against the restraints that held him safely in the bed.

The restraints were there to keep him safe, to keep him in bed, to keep him from failing, to keep him from removing medical equipment that he needed to save his life. But to him, they were just one more thing that he didn’t understand, just one more that was scary and confusing about this new environment.

We pushed his bed into the his new room and lined the old bed up with the new bed. The restraints were untied and as soon as he felt the slack, he began to swing and swat at anyone that came close. We were trying to help but our efforts were lost on him.

And he immediately reached for his feeding tube, a tube that was giving him life saving nutrients. But to him is was not a life saving device, to him it was foreign, cold and strange.

Staff member reached for the ties and began to shot at him, “Mr G, you can’t do that. You can’t hit people. Stop it right now!”

The words only caused him to react more violently. He fought harder and with strength that you would have thought a dying man did not posses.

Then I began to see the reason for his fear. I got an idea. It was a small idea. I wondered if it was going to work. I thought it was a long shot but I had to try.

I made my way over to his bed, I slid my hand into his. Immediately, he took it and squeezed it tightly.

“Its all right, Mr G. You’re alright. Its going to be fine. We just need to move you to a new bed. You’re all right.” I quietly said in his ear.

He held my hand is if it was his only life line to the familiar life he once knew. He squeezed my hand multiple times and with each squeeze, I could sense his fear and desperation.

After each squeeze he gave my hand, I would squeeze back. I could fell the calm spread over his body.

After a few seconds of hand squeezing, we were able to transfer him to the other bed and hook up our equipment to him. I could see his body relax and become more and more calm. The fear and desperation were now a thing of the past.

“You’re going to be just fine, Mr G. Just fine. I am going to tie your hand back down, its just to remind you not to pull at your feeding tube.”

I expected him to fight me. I expected him to begin to pull and thrash around again. But to my surprise he did not. He gave my hand one more big squeeze and then let go. It was as if he was saying, “I know, I am going to be alright.”

There are many reasons that I became a nurse. But helping people and easing their pain and suffering is one of the big ones. Sometimes is take powerful medications, machines and tubes but other times all it takes it holding a hand.

Photo courtesy of Google Images
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