Good morning! We do hope our newsletter finds you well on this beautiful Friday.
My nurse, Holly, kindly lets me know the vitals on our patients prior to entering the room.
Our first few this Tuesday were 6 month follow-ups.
“128/74; 64, 16 (respiratory rate), down #17”
“Mr. Smith, wow. Nice work – we’re proud of you. How’d you lose the weight?”
The Mrs. jumps in, “David, he’s a huge Illinois fan and they’re having a horrible season. He hasn’t been himself.”
2nd patient – Holly raises her eyebrows. “Down #21.”
“Wish I did David! We had been planning on following Marilyn Manson
for the month of November. We’re big fans and it’s been a rough 4 weeks since his injury. Haven’t felt like eating but now I can get up the stairs without being short of breath – that’s good right?”
3rd room – “Mr. Barnes – you have lost 33 pounds since October!”
Mrs. Barnes, “He would start every morning at the comic book store down the street; he LOVES Batman.”
That explained his mask, utility belt, and cape in the office today.
“In August, the owners turned it into a Chipotle and he’s been down ever since.”
Hold on just…a…sec-ond…
How could I have been so blind?! It’s been right in front of me all along!
We turn the corner to walk into our next patient’s room,
“136/84, 76, 18, and up #12 since we saw him May 5th.”
Mr. Brickstaff is feeling no pain. He’s wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with a stick figure, both arms up saying, “I Pooped Today!”. He’s smiling ear to ear and slams his open palm onto my back. “You still walking buddy?”
I sit down and stare at my feet. I’m digging into my memory banks to remember when my dog died.
“Hey, hey DAV-OOOO what’s up? Why the long face?”
“I don’t know Mr. B – it’s just – it’s just that life can be so hard at times.”
I continue to avoid eye contact.
As I stand to go listen to his lungs, I dig deep for when my sixth grade girlfriend and I broke up.
I reach for my phone and start playing “Cats in the Cradle”.
“Well, Mr. B, it’s just between Illinois, and Batman, and Marilyn Manson’s injury…”
I let my voice tremble (not bragging, but I made the travel Thesbian cast in 9th and 11th grade).
“It’s just..it’s just…sometimes I wish I could crawl into a hole and…be depressed for 6 months!”
Holly jumps up from her chair, smiles at Mr. B and lets him know, “We’ll be right back!”
She drags me by the ear into the hallway where I’m promptly slapped across the face (it’s okay).
“I know exactly what you’re doing!
You know that walking and controlling portions is the right way to do this.
You don’t want our patients to be depressed. You get right back in there and apologize!”
Thank you Holly. I needed that.
(“What does this have to do with anything? Lisa, did you get this morning’s newsletter? I don’t get it”)