Saturday, April 3, 2010

Compassion

One of the best things about my new job is the people I meet and get to talk to. My official title at work is surgery scheduler but it involves so much more than just scheduling them for their surgeries. I try to get to know my patients and see their needs. It's important that I am compassionate and caring. It is always my goal to help them and make the burden lighter for them, but I'm finding more and more that they are the ones that touch me.

Yesterday I met a farmer. He didn't look like your typical farmer. He was short stout and muscular. And he had red hair and red eyelashes. He had that pale skin complexion most redheads have. He wore a shirt that was unbuttoned half way and his thick chest hair was exposed and he wore big gold jewelry. Now, would you think I just described a farmer?

After we got the medical business out of the way he started talking about his farm. His eyes sparkled. He told me he bought his first farm when he was still in high school. His parents had to sign the note at the bank and they were not supportive at the time. A short time later he bought his second farm a short distance from his first farm. He went on to tell me that the farm was his life and how he's poured his heart and soul into those farms. He's up there in age now and he's worried about what the future holds for his farms. He grown children are not showing interest in keeping the farms running. Further into the conversation I asked him where is farms were. I couldn't believe it when he told me the name of the town and the road.... the exact same road I grew up on and spent 10 years of my childhood. And I had never met this man until yesterday. His farms were a few miles from our home.

I liked that short stout man and I'm still thinking about him this morning. I told him he could leave his farms to me, that I would care for them. That made him laugh. Next time I'm in that area I'm going to drive down that road and look at his farms.

I met another man yesterday. Totally different. He was confused and alone. He shuffled when he walked and talked with a slur in his voice. It was hard to understand him and he obviously didn't understand anything about his medical condition or what we needed to do. "Oh Boy" I thought, this was going to be a challenge. It took me a long time to get him scheduled and set up for his testing. I had to tell him everything over and over. I would just get done explaining something to him and he'd want me to tell him again. He had no one to take him to appointments or take him to the hospital for his surgery. He asked me to call the senior center and see if they would take him. I did but being Good Friday they were not open. I told him I would call them on Monday for him but 2 minutes later he would forget everything and we'd have to go over it all again. I was starting to get exasperated. About this point I could tell he was feeling overwhelmed. He lowered his head and in the softest voice said "You know, I don't have much education". This exact moment my heart broke for him and I wanted to cry.

At this point I told him not to worry, that Monday I would work on making some calls to get him help. There was no point in trying to get him to comprehend, it was only confusing and overwhelming him. I walked him back out to the reception area where the receptionists were going to call the public bus system that dropped him off. Being it was Good Friday the bus system had stopped running at noon that day.... so there he was, no way to get home. A Good Samaritan in the waiting area overheard the conversation and spoke up.. "I'll take him home".

I learned a little more about compassion yesterday and that there are still good people in this world. Would I have done what that Good Samaritan in the waiting area did and offered to take that man home? I hope I would have.

Last week I had a patient in my office that was recently paroled. He was still semi-incarcerated in some rehabilitation program and he was tethered. He had just been diagnosed with cancer and was facing a big surgery. I had no idea what this mans crimes were or what his circumstances were. All I know is that here sat a man across from me scared. He needed an over the counter medication as part of his prep for surgery. He told me there was no way he could get to the store to purchase this item. On my way home from work I picked up the medication and dropped it off at his facility for him. I have been criticized by my husband for this act. I simply do not have it in me to not feel compassion for everyone.

5 comments:

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

You sound like the kind of person everyone would want to see just before surgery.This can be such a difficult time and it is people like you who make it easier.May God shower His blessings on you.
Blessings,Ruth

Peanut said...

I would have picked up thats mans meds and taken them to him also. I am sorry you were criticized for it. People going through stressful times like these need all the compassion they can receive.

Diane Fay (littlealma) said...

You did the exact right thing! You were the good Samaritan!!! And you took a chance! I know once inawhile I have to give a boy a ride home from school, because he is a little "slow" and doesn't always make the bus. He also lives right near me, so on days when he can't get ahold of his Grandma I give him a ride. But I too have been looked at askance for doing this - I still think it is the right thing! WWJD

Hugs - Diane

Margaret said...

Keep doing what you do. You're the best.

Laura said...

What the world needs is more compassion like that! Good job, Jessica!