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As a nurse…I have had many patients…some I remember…and many I don’t…there was one home health patient several years ago who will forever stick out in my mind…even though…I don’t recall her name…
She was elderly and disoriented…she was confused most of the time…which made teaching her about her breathing treatments…and diabetic diets…challenging at best…
The interesting thing is…she knew that she was confused…she knew things weren’t right…she struggled to make some sense of it…
One day when I arrived…she brought out some memorabilia for me to examine…as best I can recall…she had her driver’s license…expired…I hope…a picture of her with her twin sister when they graduated from high school…some 60 years earlier…and a cookbook from her home town…that included pictures of businesses, Churches, and schools…
Now…all of this was very distracting…I had a schedule to keep…I had tasks to perform…but…she was very insistent…that we look at each item…and let her tell me about them…and we did…
It may seem strange…that I would recall such a seemingly unimportant event…all these years later…well…it wasn’t what she did that made me remember…it was what she said…
She said that she wanted me to look at these things…because…she wanted somebody to really know her before she died…
Yeah…that’ll make you forget about your tasks and schedules…when nothing else will…as I recall…we took a while to discuss each of her life pieces…
In looking back at that day…I’m not so sure if it was me…or herself…that she wanted to really know who she was…I think it was her…I think she wanted to remember who she was…and why she mattered…I think I was just there to help her do that…
Bertha says that truly knowing who we are…is what all of us really want…and I think she’s right…I know that the more I get in touch with myself…and live my truth…the more satisfied I am with my life…
Not a small lesson…taught by one the world saw as confused…
Jane