I haven't told the story of the stranger who changed my life. I don't know her name, I don't know where she is, I don't know if she is even alive.
What she did for me is having a domino effect on me, my family, and the people I care for as a nurse.
As quickly as a drop of water becomes lost in the puddle, this stranger changed the path of my life.
My son had been out of the NICU from his 6 week fight for life for exactly one month, and we were back in the hospital. I was running on no sleep, and saw in front of me and my boy a future of hospital stays, diagnosis, therapy, and sickness. No doctors had answers, and I didn't even know what questions I had.
The stranger, she walked in on her rounds. Her patient, my son. Six weeks old with aspiration pneumonia. She checked his respirations, his SPO2, blood pressure, and pulse. The room was dark, and quiet. I was bedside, crying, hard with no sound. I felt absolutely alone, and defeated. I was desperately tired, and nothing was how it was supposed to be. She assessed her patient, and left the room. I'm guessing she charted her assessment, monitored her other patients.
It was the middle of the night. She probably hadn't been to the bathroom in hours, she was likely hungry, her feet hurt, and she was ready to get home to sleep. She could have taken a break, she could have sent her friend a text, she could have sat down to rest her feet, and finish her charting, but she didn't..........
I heard the wheels rolling down the hall before I saw her hand reach out in front of me. I looked up, and that stranger, in her scrubs, my sons nurse reached for my hand, and stood me up. She unfolded the small cot, put on the sheet, and put the pillow down. She guided me to the bed, and helped me lay down. That stranger covered me up, and our eyes locked. We spoke no words, and she left. I fell to sleep immediately. She ended her shift, and I have never seen her again.
Now here I am in my late thirties a nurse, working my way up. Now I get to be the stranger, everyday I go to work, I get to be the stranger. No words spoken, like a drop of water lost in the puddle creating a ripple effect, and an instant transformation.