I walked into the ER in tears. I had just had a baby 5 days before and I work here; in my mind, this was the last place I should have been, but the headache that brought me in was still there, and it was the worst one of my entire life. In pain, ashamed, and exhausted I checked in, my blood pressure was incredibly elevated, so they took me right back. I was placed in a room, and the chaos of labs, IVs, triage, and tests began. I couldn't stop crying, feeling sorry for myself and especially feeling guilty for having left my newborn son at home; then along came Max.
Max and I have known each other for a while. We were partners in the ambulance for a few years and have worked together in various settings. However, today was different, I was a patient and he was a nurse. One very willing to take time to check on me, assist my assigned nurse with duties, and comfort me in any way he could. I've seen in his exceptional bedside manner, and time and time again had a calming effect on my anxiety. He continuously checked on me while we waited for updates in tests and plans.
Along came the word I was pre-eclamptic and I was being admitted. Immediately my anxiety returned; I had a newborn and 4 other kids who needed me at home. My husband was stressed and most importantly, my son is exclusively breastfed. I, fortunately, had already started saving some extra milk at home, but my husband was already using it while I was in the ED. There was no way it was going to last him the night. The other kids were asleep and there was zero formula in the house; I had already pumped once while waiting for results in the ED.
Max and J encouraged me to pump again, as much as I could, before Max's shift was up. This wonderful man offered to take my pumped milk to my home after his shift! a) Max lives in the opposite direction from my home; b) It's well into the early am by now, and I'm sure he's exhausted; c) he heard me say my baby was out of milk and jumped to make sure he'd have enough till the am, when my husband could bring him to me to nursing; d) he never once hesitated, asked for compensation or named an exception or a condition. To Max, it was just the right thing to do, so that's what he was going to do. It was every bit his idea.
J and Max literally eased my stress and anxiety, kept me calm, and encouraged me to feel like I really could just focus on me and getting well, so I could go home to my 5 kids. What's even better is I have absolutely no doubt that even if Max and I had not known each other personally, he still would have done the exact same thing. He would have checked on me, assisted J and me, and jumped at the chance to drive the milk to my baby just the same. I know this because I've seen it, time and time again, this wonderful person taking wonderful care of every patient he meets. His strength, dedication, and compassion are unmatched, to say the least. WellStar is lucky to have him. Thank You, Max!