Monday, December 2, 2013

Holding Hands

My job allows me to do some of the most amazing...disgusting...personal...and crazy things. Need me to sit with you, while you cry about how your children never come to see you? I'm your girl. Need me to clean out your wound, that requires me to stick. my. fingers. in. your. body? I will be gagging a wee bit inside...but I'm your girl. Need me to help you use the restroom six times in an hour? I'm glad you're hydrated...and I'm your girl.

Need me to hold your hands for an hour and a half? I'm your girl.

I have a resident that has bilateral tremors. All the time. Imagine your arms shaking, uncontrollably, all. the. time. Usually, it is just tolerated. The resident doesn't mention it much, or if they do, it's a briefly voiced frustration and they move on. The other day, that wasn't the case. The tremors didn't seem worse, to me, than normal, however they were causing some anxiety for the resident. I offered a blanket. I offered a rolled up towel for the resident to hold. No. She didn't want any of that.

"Do you want me to hold your hands?"
"Yes. I think so."

So, for the next hour and a half...we held hands.

"Holding hands is a promise...that for just a moment, the two of you don't have to face the world alone."

After about an hour, I felt like I had motion sickness. I had to have someone take over for me, for about ten minutes, just so I could have a break.  I don't know how the resident deals with this, on a daily basis. I can't imagine the feeling of being trapped in a body that won't do what I want it to, or does things that I don't want it to.

I had never really sat down and talked to this particular resident before, past asking how they were doing today and asking if they had any pain. This was an eye-opening experience for me, getting to know this resident and their past. The people I have the privilege of caring for, are amazing. Their stories, their life, their experiences. These are not your every day average people. There is something truly inspiring about every single one of them.

After pondering this for a few days, I have come to realize...we are all amazing people. Every one of us. There are no "every day average people". We all have a story and experiences to learn from, if we are given the chance. Everyone that surrounds you, has something to teach you, if you just take the time to listen.

Hold my hand.
Tell me your story.

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