Today I thought I would write a blog about swimming and how I may have gotten a *weeee bit* out of swim shape the past 2 weeks (oops) and how I have a swim race coming up, or perhaps give an update on my wayward mouth or even tell you about how we need a new roof despite the fact that we put on a new roof when we moved into our house 7 years ago (ie: WE SHOULD NOT NEED A NEW ROOF AGAIN).
But instead, I think I'll blog about what's really on my mind - the last patient I saw today before I left work.
This patient was the dreaded 4 pm consult. ARGH! Why must they put in the consult JUST as I was changing my shoes and heading out the door? And of course the patient was being discharged today so I couldn't leave it until tomorrow. Oh...and the patient was on 12 South which is literally THE farthest hospital unit away from our office. It's like a 45 minute walk (okay, more like 15...but that's just one way!). Crap.
But of course like the dutiful little dietitian that I am, I put my lab coat back on and started my trek towards the dreaded 12S 4 pm consult.
When I started to read the patient's chart, a wave of humility washed over me. I was embarrassed for having grumbled about the walk over. And I said a quick prayer for the patient like I almost always do for most of the patients I see.
This man has pancreatic cancer and there isn't much the surgeons are able to do for him. He's basically going home to die. Which really is quite a normal scenario for the patient population I work with - I cover surgical oncology after all! But this man seemed so different for me. His jaundiced eyes and gaunt figure immediately told me of how advanced his disease was. He was older but still, you could tell that he once was a strong, sturdy, good looking man. He was a football coach and told me he planned on being on the field as much as possible this fall. He told me how his wife just lost her battle with liver cancer this past May. About how his son was going through a bad divorce and he was worried for him. I can't even remember now if we talked about nutrition (not much to talk about, he can't really eat). He did tell me that as long as he could keep it down, he still planned on his nightly ritual of an ounce of scotch on ice.
It's honestly a story I've heard time and time again but today the dreaded 12S 4 pm consult helped me to find new perspective, a lesson that I need to be re-taught over and over again. That patient helped me to understand that needing a new roof or swimming a little slower than I'd like or having a bit of a toothache really isn't a big deal in the grand scheme of things. It's such a simple, simple lesson. But nevertheless, I think I sometimes let the worries of life crowd me over and pen me in. I'm thankful God has put me in the position that I'm in so that it's so easy to gain new perspective, really any day I walk through those hospital doors.
Here's to finding true perspective in life and letting go of the little things!