I Miss You, Too ”in-Training, the peer-reviewed online publication for medical students
I miss you too
On the evening of December 14, 2020, we (nursing staff) learned that from December 15 no visitors would be allowed to enter the hospital. As a nursing assistant, I reflect here on the experience of patients, their families and healthcare workers in the first few days after their loved ones are withdrawn from the hospital environment.
There are fewer flowers in hospital rooms now.
Those sent to room 22
have been withdrawn.
They are at the nurses’ station because Mrs L could not stand the smell
of her favorite flowers now that she can’t eat.
I doubt she’ll tell you.
She wants you to think
she is fine
she has not been able to get out of bed or sips of water, jelly and broth
like she did when you were still by her side.
I miss the photos room 26.
Not just because it allows me to imagine the life of Mr J
with your family, friends, a voice and working members, but because your voice and your photos
might be enough to bring it back.
We, the healthcare team, can talk to him,
but we can’t know
movies to replay
the teddy bear or blankets he might like
the names he knows
the memories and words potentially buried deep inside.
He can’t tell us.
When bedroom 2, Mrs. P with the trach, press on the call button, I put on my toga to read on her lips: “JIMJIMJIM.”
Jim, I miss your visits with Mrs. P too.
I miss it
the immense smile that you bring to the face of Mrs P,
the fading fear
because you make that containment room comfortable and secure.
All i can do
we put lotion on his hands,
CarMax on his lips.
“You are so brave, and I’m sorry that I couldn’t do more to help you. “
A few minutes later, she presses the call button again.
I put on my dress watching the limbs shake
gesturing wildly. I approach to read:
“What do you need help with?”
“How can I help?”
“I DONT KNOW.”
I too am lost
but the worst part is knowing that I can only help you by leaving:
leave to find someone else
who might be able to afford medication,
or something more.
I miss the reminder that when patients leave the hospital, someone …
those dear ones who came to visit us –
will be with them.
Now, as a nursing assistant, I face conversations at 4 a.m. in hospital rooms
to discuss care, quality of life, death.
I really don’t know which is the best option,
if, there is a better option.
In the past,
the family could sit together
to discuss options, roles, the future.
Now here we are, two strangers,
a new family of sorts,
left to make decisions in the dark.
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