Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Conversation (face to face) (10/07/10)
- TITLE: It was just another day in room 108B
By Tiara Huffman
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“Hello Shelia, my name is Marilynn and I’ll be your nurse. And, it’s time to redress your wounds.” She took a raspy breath than, knowing it would hurt.
“Okay, just as long as I don’t have to see myself.” She laughed lightly.
“Sounds like a deal.” I started to prepare all the things need to clean, and redress the burns that had covered a good part of her body. “Okay, you ready? Here we go.”
I began to slowly pull back the dressing. It was the first time the dressing would be removed from the skin graft that was on her legs so I had to be careful. The woman hissed and grimaced at the air hitting the exposed wound. She wiggled a little.
“Now Shelia I am going to need you to lie still why I finish taking the banged off.”
“I know I’m sorry. It’s my fault.” I didn’t realize what she meant at first.
“Oh it’s okay.” I said placing the dressing into the waste bin. “And the skin grafts are taking and healing beautiful.” She nodded.
There was silence and then she spoke again.
“No it’s not. I fell asleep with a lit cigarette. I should’ve even been smoking.”
“Hmm, why’s that?”
She paused before answering; taking a moment to think of how much she was going to share.
“I picked up the bad habit about three years ago. I had a patient that died.”
“A patient, are you a nurse or doctor?”
“No therapist. The patient was alone and depressed. I told him he should go out, meet someone and that the feeling of being alone would stop. But he decided just to stop his life. I couldn’t get through the day. One of my patients early on in the day was a heavy smoker and offered me a cigarette, seeing how shaken up I was. I took it and managed to get through the next session. But by the next one I had a break down. At lunch I went out and bought a pack. Been smoking ever since. I should’ve taken a leave.”
I was drawn into this woman and her story, it made me think back to the first day I had a patient die. Ariel had been there to help me. I was scared and hurt over the shock of losing a patient and people told me to go drink it off, however Ariel told me things like this were hard, but there was something I could do to help. She told me to pray, that God help more than anything found in anything else I could turn too. She had shared with me more on this God that I hadn’t hear much of, that day and I accepted him into my life. I carry him with me now on every job and with every patient. If it weren’t for Ariel I would have gone off drinking with everyone else that night…and who knows where I would be now.
“You know I am not use to being the one doing all the talking and sharing, being a therapist and all.”
I had removed all dressings and had cleaned up the burns and was beginning to cover the wounds again.
“Shelia, I remember the first time I lost a patient and I had a friend tell me a way that would help. So I wanna share the same with you. Prayer. Prayer helps me, and leaning on someone stronger and more powerful then me or anything I could turn to for help or relief.”
I finished dressing her wounds, but I had stayed that day and had a conversation about my Lord and savior, which over a series of conversations in a weeks time span, became her Lord and savior too.
It was just another day, but the dialogue with sweet Shelia and I that day was something that touched my heart deeply and I can tell you that my dear friend hasn’t had a smoke since the day she received Jesus Christ. And though it’s been more than twelve years since that day, Shelia and I still talk about that ordinary day, when I was making my rounds and we had first met in room 108B.
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