Thursday, March 28, 2013

Day 285 - the leukemic and not clearly thinking

I've had some really nice patient interactions recently. I've seen a patient so delirious he was requiring a person to sit with him all the time clear up enough to tell me he really didn't like Barack, but "he's the president so there's no use complaining about it." I had an actively dying woman squeeze my hand on request after her family had given up hope of being able to hear anything else from her. I really like my job and the things I get to participate in every day. I am tremendously lucky.

I saw another delirious patient today (that is evidently my theme for the week). She was much less delirious and could have a conversation and in fact doubted that she was confused at all even though people seemed to be thinking she was. I don't usually talk about myself with patients, but I told her that I had had cancer and that when I was getting chemo and my husband told me I was not thinking well enough to drive that that was really the worst thing for me. The more I tried to prove to him that I was thinking well, the more I sounded like a person who was not thinking well. She agreed with me and I felt her soften a bit and felt like she was willing to listen to me where she had not been so much before. I told this story to her nurse whose response was "Even you with all you know had a hard time with that?" There are some things that education and knowledge do not protect us from. I think for me the fact that so much that is important to me in my life happens in my head made the whole experience of not thinking well even worse. Evidently some famous person has talked about "a million dollar experience I wouldn't pay two cents for" and that is such a good description of the leukemia. I never understood how horrible not thinking well would be and I was just subtly impaired. I cannot imagine how scary the world must be when everyone around you seems puzzled that you are talking about the basement of a concrete slab building.
This is a street in the French Quarter and don't you tell me otherwise.

Those powdered sugar deep fried beauties there are called beignet (said bin YAYs) and they are about as delicious as they look.

I loved the trees framing the old brick building and the new building under construction. Sometime I will learn to crop photos and then they'll be nicer. This was taken through a bus window in motion.
I am thankful for the beauty and interest I feel in the world. Those are qualities I have not always found in the world and I am much happier when I can see them. I am hopeful to always have that gift. For you, too.

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