Thursday, January 10, 2013

Day 10: Dying + Sleep

Today I learned...
...that when a person is dying, his or her background does not matter very much. All that matters is that when he is in pain, empathy takes hold. A patient came into hospice today - he had a past laced with negative information and poor choices. I saw a nurse judge him. He wasn't a criminal or an evil person, but he had had a hard life and some consequences ensued. Before he arrived, she mentioned not wanting to touch him, because she found him too gross. As a social worker, I was taken aback by this comment. Hours after he arrived, she came from his bedside and I asked her how he was. She had sadness in her eyes and said she felt sorry for him, because he was in so much pain. After meeting him - and watching his painful state - she had tirelessly ensured his comfort was the number one priority so he could die in peace, and no longer held the notion he was gross. The change in her mindset happened in a matter of hours and I witnessed it.

Today I am thankful for...
...the opportunity to go to sleep early. Many of my days are so long, filled with work and commitments. I have progressively gotten more and more tired as this week wore on, and last night I believe I had less than 5 hours of sleep. So tonight, after a long and tiring day during which I was already running on empty, I am happy that I do not have a 3 hour class. I am happy I do not have to lead a group. I am happy that I do not have to make a video. I am happy that I do not have to write a paper. I am happy that I can go to sleep earlier than usual!

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