If there is any piece of knowledge I can pass a long to my kids, it is and always will be you never know what someone is going through, so try not to judge their actions or behaviors. I have learned this in the past 6 years from having to deal with so many different personalities, in every situation imaginable.
I can think of so many examples to share, but a few that stick in my mind are below.
Several times at the hospital I have witnessed where parents are taken away from their children by security, administration and CPS. I have heard and seen the melt downs, the screaming, the handcuffs, and eventually the haul off. One time it was because the mom left for work and left her six month old son in the hospital room alone with the nurses to care for him. Truthfully, it scared me. I heard the nursing staff tell her it was fine to go to work, and hours later when she returned she was denied access to her son, and was taken away. It wasn’t nice, it wasn’t an easy scene, she was screaming profanities, and yelling at anyone who looked at her. People who were just passing by had no idea what was going down. It looked like she had abused him from any outsiders view. He was actually there being treated for pneumonia. Since then, I have never left Emrie alone, no matter how often I was encouraged to leave.
Many times to get Emrie to be able to go home we had to walk, walk, walk, and walk to get her asthma under control which was usually a side effect of being so sick and unable to move. When you’re only able to walk around a circle on the same floor, you get to know all the staff, and sometimes even know what is going on with their patients. Don’t get me wrong, I think nursing is one of the hardest jobs you have because you have to have compassion for complete strangers, work extended hours, give up on some sleep, and even do things you never thought your body could handle. One night, a nurse comes out of a room, slams down her papers, gloves, and medicines. She picks up the phone, dials, and screams “GET THIS PATIENT OFF THIS FLOOR NOW!!! I CAN NOT HANDLE HER!” I almost laughed because I know some of the nurses have said something similar about me. It would probably be “I can’t handle this mom.” It wasn’t that the nurse couldn’t handle her, I think her words came out wrong. The patient was in critical pain that the nurses on this particular floor could do nothing for. She needed a transfer to an ICU bed to help, but after hours of screaming at each other, the nurse couldn’t take it anymore.
At the age of 3 Emrie had what was supposed to be a minor surgery, but the surgeon made a mistake and let an anemic child loose too much blood in the procedure, which was pretty awful on us. After two days her stats dropped, she was having labored breathing, didn’t want to move, etc. Just to paint a picture for you, Emrie had curly blonde hair when she went into the procedure, when she came out she had bright red hair. Blood and blood clots were everywhere. The surgical team had met with me, made plans, and then moved on to the next patient. I was fine with what they offered. The nurse that day, was not fine. She was a nurse that usually ran the ICU patients, but was covering for someone else. Just my luck…. after about ten minutes a code RED was called to our room with out my knowledge (that means every department comes flying into your room with all their equipment because there is something seriously wrong). This was not what E needed. She about hit the wall and crawled up it screaming at these people. My anger came out full force. I denied all of them access, pushed their machines out and I screamed at them to call the surgical team back. They had NO right to enter this room. The head nurse turned to me and said she had any right she needed to be there. That was the number one wrong thing to say to me, so just imagine what words spilled out of my mouth. The surgeon came running with his team. He said “WHAT HAPPENED???? I JUST LEFT!” I told him the nurse didn’t like his decision and called everyone to the room to prove it. He looked around, escorted them out, calmed me down, got the nurse out of the room, and explained his plan to everyone. It worked. We were out the next day.
My point with that was the nurse never asked me what was going on, she never bothered to hear what was happening. She only knew what she saw in front of her. In her defense, it looked like a deathly child sitting in front of her. The rest of us knew this was Emrie at the time, this is what we had come to accept her to look like and act like. She had no idea of the suffering we were all already going through. I didn’t forgive her that day, but I did a year later we ran into her in the ER. She asked me why I looked familiar. I painted the scene for her, and said now do you remember me? She backed away with wide eyes, and said “I am so sorry.” I forgave her, and had to forgive her many times because she kept apologizing. That one day, she was out of her element, but she thought she was doing her job. I know we both learned something from each other.
So try to remember what you see on the outside, isn’t always what’s happening on the inside.