I learned something today. Maybe this is something that I've always known, but taken for granted. Or perhaps it is something that I push out of my mind because it's not completely relevant in my life right now.
My day started with taking care of an incredible cute, but incredibly feisty toddler with an acute upper respiratory infection. She definitely did not need the PICU, but because the general floor was full, she was hanging out with me for the day. This did NOT make her happy!! All day she cried "I'm done, I'm done!!" and "I wanna go hooooome...." And I don't blame her. When I get sick, the last thing I want is people putting a mask on my face to deliver a neb, or taking my temperature every one to two hours, or pouring nasty medicine down my mouth! But literally ALL day long "I'm done, I'm done" was what she cried....screamed....begged.
So finally, at the very end of my shift, I was able to discharge her home. I walked them down to their car about 4 blocks away and still she cried "I'm done, I'm done!" As I closed the door to the car and they drove off, I smiled thinking "I'm done! I wanna go hooome!!" And so I did!
But here is the lesson that I learned today. This patient's mom sat with her ALL day long, wearing an isolation gown and mask. She barely ate (even though I brought tons of snacks and water/juice for her)....and "held it" for so long by the time she told me she was going to the bathroom I wasn't sure she'd even make it! And despite all of the patient's protests....all the cries...all the screams....this mom sat there and consoled her little one. She was SO patient. So gentle. When most people (myself included!) would say "Seriously?? You're fine! They're not hurting you! Be quiet!" This mom just did just the opposite! And when I closed the car door to the screaming child, I was able to say "I'm done"....and I was. I could get in my car and go home....to my comfy bed (and this blog!).
But a mother's work is never done. No matter what kind of day this mom was having, it was all put aside for her child. And the patience that it takes to be a mom is something I can only dream of having in quantities enough that my child doesn't despise me! Because truly the job of a mom is tireless, patient, loving, compassionate. So thank you mom.....and to all mom's out there....who do what you do with such dedication, such finesse. You have taught me a lesson today.