In honor of Nurse Appreciation Week, this Flashback Friday is a re-post of a blog from January. James had just left the ICU after almost three weeks, and I wrote this to thank the amazing nurses and RT’s that took care of him and us during such a difficult time. During every hospitalization, and James has had many, I am always so impressed with the wonderful care he receives from his nurses. They always go above and beyond to be sure not only he has everything he needs, but we do as well. Thank you all for everything you do. I’m so grateful for the love and kindness we’ve been shown.
01-03-13 What do you say to the people who have taken care of that which is most important to you for the past 3 weeks? Not only have they helped to restore his health, which alone we are forever grateful for, but they’ve done it with so much love and gentleness, you would think they were caring for their own child. Countless times I watched nurses and respiratory therapists talk so sweetly to James, even when he was completely sedated. They rubbed his forehead and assured him that everything was ok. They held his hand and stroked his arm as they talked with us. Their kindness and compassion were completely genuine and were so beautiful to witness.
I’m so grateful to the nurses who became his advocates. They spent time getting to know James, learned what worked best for him, and went to bat for him when they needed to. They got to know us and showed us great kindness. They put up with an abundance of questions and opinions, a few melt-downs, the sharing of stories and photos from our NICU days, some anxiety attacks, and a few moments of boiled over frustration. And they did it with grace, with respect, and with some much-needed humor. I’m especially thankful to the nurse who was there when James was admitted to ICU, and then took care of him many times during his stay, even Christmas day. You gave us hope and encouragement when we needed it, and you laughed with us, too. You helped make everything ok for James and for us, and that was huge. Thank you.
I’m grateful to all the respiratory therapists who cared for James and helped prepare him to breathe on his own again. They, too, put up with questions and tears, a few setbacks, and a little frustration. And they, too, showed us kindness and respect far beyond our expectations. I’m especially grateful to the RT who cared for James every shift he worked during our stay, and who spent a lot of time on a very busy Friday night in the ICU, making sure James was ready for extubation. We were confident that James was in the best hands possible the nights you took care of him. You were so sweet to James and so kind to us…you brought us warm blankets our first night in ICU, and you always asked if we needed anything. Thank you.
Although we aren’t home yet, we’ve left our ICU “family” and feel a little lost and vulnerable a few floors down without them. There are no words to express the gratitude I feel for all the people who helped get James, and us, through these past few weeks. You have made a profound impact on me. Thank you is the best I can do for now, but, in the weeks and months to come I will strive to pay it forward. I will try to touch others with the kindness, love, and compassion you all have touched me with. It is a new year after all, and this seems like the kind of resolution I can stick with. I am forever grateful for each of you. Thank you.