The 2N wing is a truly “home away from home” place of healing, compassion, skilled staff, men and women who go the extra mile on a consistent basis. From the sitters who laughed with me, shed a tear with me, comforted me, to the people who kept it so fresh and sanitary. The techs who relentlessly answered a bell that was placed in my room have the patience of Job and the speed of athletes. I am on oxygen, walk with a walker and am at high risk for falling. Until the miracle of clarity came back, the loving staff of 2N literally waited on me hand and foot. May god bless each and every one of them collectively as well as individually. So when I tell you about the truly extraordinary wonderful nurse that I was blessed to meet believe me, she was chosen from the “Best of the Best.”
It had been a long, long night. My first night in the hospital without a sitter. By then I was very functional. The small self-care needs that I once took for granted, I was able to easily accomplish. Believe me it is a very humbling experience to have to ask someone to please walk to the bathroom with you, not only because of the fear of tripping over an O2 cord, but mostly out of the fear that someone was yelling at you and might be in the bathroom waiting to get you.
Amy Bright has a gift. I sat here for quite more than a couple minutes trying to find the words to describe it. I am also fighting back a tear or two. How do you thank someone who almost wordlessly got you through the next step in your recovery? Somehow just to mutter “thanks” seemed a little shallow. I chose to pray for her and her loved ones daily and if I can ever get back to the story, I would love to tell you why Amy should be the recipient of this prestigious award of recognition.
I was not depressed, I was not being haunted by voices- no longer afraid of my own shadow, I was simply here. Wide awake. It was somewhere between 1:00 and 3:00am. Something was missing- but what? Amy floated into the room surrounded by a glow of light - well maybe she kind of quickly bounced into the room with the most beautiful happy face smile that I could remember. She had on a screaming hot pink long-sleeved shirt underneath her uniform. It was so bright and she was so bubbly that I couldn’t help but to smile back… in fact, I found myself overflowing with joy. I mentioned that I was an early bird and usually got up at home around 4:00am. She quickly mentioned an early morning TV show that she had noticed me watching. She said that when she was at home, she watched it too. She gave me a quick hug- we gave each other a nod of acknowledgement and a smile, and she left the room. But her smile, her words, the hug, lingered on.
The show that we watch is a show of hope and encouragement. It teaches life skills: coping tools, making decisions, trying not to compromise your integrity in a busy stressful world. There are so many lessons that it teaches of not giving up. I needed that bubbly smile that said “it’s going to be ok!” I needed that hug that said “there are still caring people in the world” I needed that nod that said “don’t forget what she’s taught you!” Sounds simple, right? Guess what? It put me back on track.
Now this is not to negate the countless times I laid in bed feeling sorry for myself. Please can I have 2 Tylenol- my back hurts? My head hurts. My stomach hurts. I just don’t feel good. Please can I have a hot pack? Please can I have a hot blanket? I mean, is all that whining really necessary? If you laid bed for 30 minutes telling yourself you were sick, you would be sick too! Drama queen? Spoiled little girl in a woman’s body? I suspect both! In retrospect, my childhood was so happy that I simply refused to grow up.
There are so many other nurses that I’ve been blessed with. Sandra not to be shorted. Emily who patiently listened. The kitchen; my appetite is back. Love to see you all again, maybe at Walmart or Burger King!