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Another Life Lesson Learned | Love Your Nursing Life | Bobbi McCarthy

Bobby McCarthy
Author, Bobbi McCarthy

Sitting in the waiting room I watched the others as we passed the time…were they waiting for a loved one, like I was? Or were they just the driver waiting to pick up the patient post- test? The elderly woman sitting by the large fern in the corner sat staring straight ahead, no expression, just staring. She had on a clever little outfit; navy blue track suit with red trim, white slip on sneakers and a Vera Bradley bag (pink and light blue…didn’t really match her outfit) and she was alone. The elderly man sitting a few seats over was watching Judge Judy on the TV (Why is Judge Judy so popular anyway? The little woman annoys the crap out of me…) and biting his fingernails…he had on faded jeans, old Nike sneakers and a hoodie (just in case you were wondering). And then, there was me. I sat in the corner, near the bathroom away from the others. I was situated so I could watch the door of the exam room in order to see the nurse come out to fetch me. (I had on jeans, a new navy and tan stripped short sleeve shirt and my red nursing clogs…and a Tommy bag that was black…lol.)

I sat in that waiting room, waiting on my husband who was having a procedure, (can you imagine that I had to wait in the waiting room and not in the procedure room…whatever!) and I prayed. I won’t get into particulars here but it’s been a few months of ongoing symptoms that finally were being checked out and I (we) am NOT used to being on this end of things!! As I sat there I refused to give into the scary thoughts that kept trying to take hold in my mind…you know, cancer…tumor…metastasis….etc. Instead I focused on the positive…the nurses I knew, so I was thankful for the wonderful treatment and care for my husband…his normal good health and our wonderful relationship. I thanked God for all of our blessings and for the test being performed today to “relieve our minds of anything bad being found” and for his full recovery.

As I sat there I also thought back an hour, to me sitting in the exam room with him and watching him answer questions. Then with him in the procedure room while waiting on the doc, as we laughed at the name of the equipment in the room and avoided talking about fearful things…I realized that I was nervous and felt so out of my element. I wanted to take my husband’s place, and do the procedure for him. I wanted to sooth his nervousness, so I just joked and acted normal, or so I thought. (I guess I didn’t hide my nervousness very well as he pointed out I was chewing my gum a hundred miles an hour and right leg was jumping up and down as my foot wiggled.) Seeing my strong, usually so in control husband lying on the stretcher in a Johnny, and with an IV in his arm was a moment I didn’t really care for. I honestly did not like being on this end of things…

Praise Jesus that the test revealed NOTHING wrong!  So the big fear of cancer is gone…Amen!! I again thank God today for taking care of us and for giving us this moment in time…it does make things clearer…it does shift our thinking to what is important and what isn’t…and for me it does; once again, give me a perspective from the patient’s point of view. We had a very good experience yesterday and I want that for all of my patients and their families. The little things ARE important…like, I really appreciate how the nurse explained EVERYTHING to my husband and that she took her time and answered his questions…the area was clean and tidy…I wasn’t left alone long, and updates were quick. I am thankful for the reminder of how all of this is important to the patient and the family as they wait for answers…

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