It was Wednesday...
My husband, M, work up not feeling well. Throughout the morning he felt weak, but suddenly lost strength and became uncoordinated and almost unable to walk. We rushed to a neurologist who confirmed our fear - Guillain Barre' Syndrome - an autoimmune illness that causes progressive weakening from the feet up. He was immediately admitted directly into the ICU at Delray Medical Center. The place where had had performed hundreds of surgeries, the place where he was recognized and respected...
The day was packed with tests, assessments, consults, procedures, a lot of questions, and some answers. When night came, it was quieter which was both a blessing and a curse. We stayed together, reading each others' minds, chaotically filling in the blanks of what the coming hours and days would bring. We were terrified of the "what ifs?"
When Christine Lindblad, RN, came in that night, there was an immediate connection. It was as if a dear friend had walked in. She had cared for numerous surgical patients of my husband's. She had been his eyes and ears on the other end of the phone for years. And the irony...years prior, my husband operated on Christine to repair a back injury. Tonight the tables had turned and she was here to take care of him. She spoke softly and calmly in medical language so that he felt comfortable. Then she would turn to me and translate every point so that I understood.
The next few days gave us hope. M was responding to the treatments and the progression of his weakness had stopped. We were actually talking about going home soon.
It was Sunday when the crippling headache came, a stat MRI, diagnosis Meningitis. Christine stayed past the end of her shift to accompany M to his procedure. The paid was unbearable. Cristing offered to pick up shifts so that she could still take care of him. Her warmth and outpouring of genuine concern was comforting to us as we were so vulnerable.
The next two days brought more improvement. The headache subsided, M walked in the hall, he took a shower, he smiled. Each night that Christine was his nurse, peace calm and hope were prevalent.
And now again it was Wednesday. Discharge orders, we were going home. We had not been home since the previous Wednesday. What an experience; the whirlwind of fear, doubt, depression, and pain were endured by memories of the most caring nurses. Christine impacted our lives. She was the RN who made it her mission to care for one broken body and two frightened souls, healing us with her hands and her heart.
I am happy to say that my husband has returned to the work that defines him, without deficits. However, now he is a surgeon who has seen the other side of healthcare and has been forever changed by the gentle, hones, and caring ways of a nurse.
Christine Lindblad, RN
It was Wednesday...