I believe in Nurse Connie.
My blurry vision only took a second to clear up so I could make out the nurse checking the settings on the respirator. Waking up from a coma is enough of a trip all by itself. But it’s made even more so when you’re arms are strapped to the bed, your body is pierced with multiple I.V. needles, and your vocal chords are incapacitated by the respirator tube.
So there I was in my bed, feeling like a pin cushion and having no clue what was going on—and silently scared. When I turned my head, I noticed another at nearly eye level. It was Nurse Connie. Imagine her surprise when, on the seventh day of uncertainty, she looked away from the machine knobs and saw this 21 year old kid who was expected to die staring at her. Her eyes widened and she gasped with a dropped jaw, and in the second it took her shock to turn to joy, she ran away! Cut to me thinking, “Hmm, this is interesting.” The next moment, in walks Connie with her smile, leading my parents in to see that this kid they poured their lives into for a short 21 years—the kid they weren’t ready to say goodbye to—wasn’t leaving them after all. We were going to get to stay together after all, and Connie was big part of why.
Sure, the illness is important, but I’m not going to mention it because the healers are more important. The doctors were great, without a doubt—but the nurses? They are etched into my memory forever. They brought me and my family everything, and never let me be alone—never. And Connie? Well, Connie brought me relief from fear, peace of mine, and she brought me love because she ran away and replaced herself with my family.
She doesn’t do her job just because it’s a job. Who would empty bed pans and put up with the unpleasantness of sick people just for the sake of a job? She does it because it’s who she is. She is a person who gives, believes, hopes, works, and waits. She shares tears, uncertainty, and in my case joy with the family of the patient who cannot be left alone.
I believe in Nurse Connie because she believed in me. She took care of me when I couldn’t take care of myself, she spoke to people who loved me when I couldn’t, she brought me love, faded into the background, and I never saw her again. I never got the chance to hug her and say “Thank you.” I never got the chance to look into her eyes one more time.
Not a day goes by that I don’t remember the look in her face when we first locked eyes. I see her today, 18 years later, and I’m so thankful that someone like her is helping someone like me somewhere in the world right now. Thank you, Connie. Thank you.
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