>Oh, the things you see…

>So, I spent last night in the ER with the FPK. It was not so bad for the kid, as he peacefully snored away on the wings of exhaustion and prescription drugs, stretched out on the gurney. Mom, on the other hand, sat and paced and stood and sat some more. We were there to see about getting some help in his ongoing battle with bipolar depression. The docs agreed about 10pm to find some inpatient therapy in light of his being in a crisis. It was 4am before the ambulance arrived to transport him across town. Yep, that means it was 6am before I finally found my bed. On the plus side, I was able to read through the whole 2nd Helvitic Confession for class…

But this isn’t meant to be a “poor me” post about my kid or lack of sleep. I actually was amazed at what I observed as I spent the night awake in the ER. First, there was the team of doctors and nurses, the EMT crews and the techs from the hospital. It was clear that working with the same crew of people night after night creates an opportunity to build a community. They were supportive of one another, and they could express much about their needs and the needs of their patience with just a look. They used codes and such, as all hospitals do. But there was much more code in the body language they used unconsciously, almost in the same way that an infield that has been together for several seasons makes turning even those most complex double-play look like ballet.

The nurse that cared for us, David, was a great example of what it looks like when gifts, skills and vocation are all in sync. I listened as he treated several patients around us, disclosing his humor, knowledge, patience, and compassion. He was as comfortable with the family/visitors as with the patients. He assured that all were comfortable physically, but was also mindful of those who appeared stressed, fearful or confused. The beautiful thing was that it was not just his job to do those things. Unless he was also an incredible actor, he was just being David.

I could tell some stories about the crazy sorts of things that people were saying or doing while recovering from overdoses, drunken stupors or other self-inflicted haziness. And I could give you sad statistics of how many folks were there because they were homeless and had been beaten or just exposed to the elements for too long. But I think the ones that will stay with me were the 3-4 elderly patients who were obviously approaching the end of their years and in acute crisis. The dignity and respect with which they and their loved ones were treated was striking.

As we left the house on our little adventure, I prayed that God would lead us to the right caregivers. That was more than answered. And for a bonus, God was there with us as I saw the hands of Christ reaching out to love those in need of comfort. Thank you, Lord!

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