Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A CPE Prayer Candle

Oh the weather outside is frightful ...

We are under a tornado watch!  Craziness.  I am very happily tucked away on the couch and thankful I am not floating through spaghetti junction with a group of (undoubtably) unhappy commuters.

I had a wonderful 2.5 mile walk into work this morning!  It started sprinkling about a mile in and I was worried I was going to get poured on, but it never got worse than a heavy sprinkle while I was walking.  I'm not really sure what I would have done if it had started to pour?  I hadn't thought to grab my rain coat ...

In the spirit of cleaning out our cabinets, lunch was tomato soup (Progresso Tomato and Basil) and leftover thanksgiving rolls.

Super classy in a pampered chef soup microwaveable bowl :) - gotta love working in an office!

I wasn't overly impressed with the rolls we got.  They tasted ... crayony?  I don't know how to describe it.  I'm not sure what brand they are, but I think when we get up to Connecticut, I'd really like to make our own breads and rolls.

Wear a Dress Tuesday was hoppin' in our office today!  Kristin told me that she had her first legitimate "this-day-is-starting-out-terrible-so-I-needed-a-dress-to-make-it-better" WADT experience today!  I mean - I'm not happy her day started off badly, but I'm glad WADT helped.

Side Note - You can't tell from the photo, but she was wearing sparkly tights.  Now I want sparkly tights.

Side Note II - Kristin and Sherida (who took the picture) taught me how to do a "Runway Pose" with my leg pointed out.  I feel like they've opened up a whole new world for me.

Back at home and back in the spirit of cleaning out our cabinets, I prepared a gourmet feast of chicken strips and french fries.

Ha!  Real gourmet.

I also realized tonight that there is no way we're going to eat through our condiments and dressings in a week.  Anybody in Atlanta want some ketchup?

Bruce is totally thinking, "WOW my wife is quite the cook!"

(Yes, I was sitting on the floor photography my food when I took this picture.  Why do you ask?)


Okay, onto something a little bit more serious ...

I was doing a little bit of packing after I got home from work and I came across something that I literally haven't moved since June.

Let me back up.  About three weeks into CPE, I experienced probably the most traumatic on-call I had throughout the entire summer.  I really can't get into details on here, but for many reasons this hit home and I basically prayed my way through the sleepless night, counting down the hours until the other chaplains would check in the next morning.

I'm not sure how I drove home after that shift.  One second I was getting in my car and leaving the parking garage and the next minute I was walking into my apartment.  I laid down to take a quick nap before meeting a friend for lunch and ended up falling into a deep, but restless sleep, full of flashbacks of my night.  I was so tired, but every time I closed my eyes, I would literally see myself back in the SICU, watching my patient, sitting with her family and listening to the sound of machines beeping.

My supervisor told me PTSD-like-symptoms are normal after traumatic on-calls.  Normal or not - it was scary.  My heart and prayers go out to chaplains doing this as their lifetime careers.

When I finally woke up around 6 p.m. that day (yeah, I missed lunch), I opened my eyes and saw this ...

When Bruce got home, I asked him what it was ...

"It was my prayer candle for you last night.  I didn't know what else to do.  It stayed lit all night."

If I haven't said enough to convince you that I married the most amazing man in the entire world, I hope this pushed you over the top.

When I got the page that this patient was being flown in, I knew I wouldn't be getting any sleep that night.  I called Bruce sobbing in anticipation of what I was going to experience, but all he could do was assure me that I was competent and that I would be okay.

We texted a couple of times throughout the night as I was running back and forth between the Surgical Floor, SICU and ECC (Emergency Room).  Eventually Bruce went to sleep, telling me he wished he could do more for me.

That night was one of the longest nights of my life.  I don't really know what happened between the time Bruce went to sleep and the time I left the family for morning report.  It's all kind of a blur at this point.  A few weeks later, the patient's dad sent me an email thanking me for all I had done for them.  He called me their angel of mercy.

I don't think it was me.  I think whatever strength I was emitting that night came from the candle.

When I picked this up this afternoon, some of the wax started to peel off and I knew that it wouldn't make the move.  So I grabbed my camera, took these photographs and decided to preserve this memory on my blog.

It's hard to get rid of stuff like this.  But I know the memory will always be there.  The memory of that family, of their precious daughter, of all of my patients from the summer and of the support I had from my friends, family and colleagues, even when I was walking the walls of the hospital alone.

Goodnight all.  Thanks for reading.

1 comment:

  1. Awww...you really did marry a great man (and he married a great woman!).


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