Describe a memory or encounter in which you considered your faith, religion, spirituality — or lack of — for the first time.
Photographers, artists, poets: show us FAITH.
During a shift at my first job, I admitted a man to my unit that was in bad shape. I discovered his admission was at the request of his Hospice, for pain management. Being a new graduate nurse, you get crazy assignments and tough cases as learning experiences.
I completed the proper paperwork, gave the patient medications his doctor ordered, did what I could to help the family and make them comfortable. I gave the report to my charge nurse and then; started rounds on my other assigned patients.
The supervisor met me in the hallway to tell me of a status change for my new patient. When I returned to his room, I met a representative from his Hospice and he introduced me to the family gathered to say good-bye. My new patient’s diagnosis was End Stage Pancreatic Cancer and his last wishes were to be admitted to Room 434 at the Regional Hospital, where his wife passed away. She died, in 1984, in the same room where he laid dying now.
The Hospice nurse explained his wishes a little better. When his time was close, he requested to be admitted to the hospital for pain management. For about two hours, I played private-duty nurse to his family for whatever need may arise. I tenderly cared for their family member and provided pain management, as ordered, to keep him as comfortable as my capable hands could.
It did not take long for the signs that God was calling him home to show up. His respiration’s were becoming shallow and his heart rate slowing. When the end was upon us, our patient’s brother stepped forward and stated. ” I’d give anything, to see him sit up in bed and take one more breath.”
As in slow motion, my patient slowly, sat up in bed and drew in a long exacerbated breath, fell back on his pillow and was gone. Everyone just looked around the room in amazement. The Good Lord swept in and took him off to be with his wife.
As I watched the family leaving and listened to their stories of this man’s life, I imagined he and his wife walking, hand-in hand, down a beautiful street in heaven.
My faith has always been strong. When it falters just a little, I think back to the 39 years of patients I have cared for and the many unexplained things I have seen. I have no doubt in my mind, there is a God and he is with us always! This story is about my first spiritual encounter. I will never forget the feeling in that room. I left the room full of faith and longing. I get goosebumps, just thinking of that night.