I was lying in bed one morning in the hospital and my morning pills came. The way that it worked was everyday there would be a series of bags all connected together with my name on it: the medicine, the pills in the bag, the whole nine yards. The nurse brings the pills in in the packets and then opens the packets and makes sure everything is good. On this particular day, she’s going through the pile of pills and I hear her mutter under her breath, “Stupid robots.”
I asked her exactly what happened and she said one of the pill bags that was supposed to have two pills in it had three. I had the same nurse for pretty much every one of my inpatient stays and She went through this process every single morning. She would go through all of my medicines – every single one, every single day… just like they do with every patient that they deal with.
I have always appreciated someone who looks after the details and it’s unbelievable the amount of details an oncology nurse has to look after. So more than you can imagine, oncology nurses and all the other people that support you while you’re in treatment, inpatient, outpatient, however you’re being treated, keep you out of trouble. It’s really unbelievable the number of things they have to manage to get you back to health.
So why should we talk about this? I think it’s important if you’re sick that you take a minute and really think about all the things people are doing on your behalf and every time you see someone or interact with someone that’s looking after you in some way– whether it’s the person that registers you at the front desk or the nurse or the doctor or the PCA or the person that brings you your food or wheels you around in your wheelchair– tell them THANK YOU. It’s important to them and it’s important to you as a patient to take note of how many people are trying to help you get better. It’s an important thing to have gratitude even when you’re maybe at the lowest you’ve ever been in your entire life.