National Nurses Week

Tender Care for the Hurting

Six hundred forty miles separated me from my parents. It’s hard to get an accurate picture of the real situation from that far away. The winter before, my father had been put on life support but made a miraculous recovery. Each day was a gift. I listened carefully to the description of symptoms. After the phone call with my mother ended, I immediately dialed a nurse friend. She said, “I believe you should drop what you are doing and make a trip to Illinois to be with your family.” I will always be grateful for that timely advice.

My father was immediately put on hospice. Nurse friends from the local hospital sent him a care basket. How blessed we were by the ministry of nurses who came in and out of the home to care for him. A few days after Christmas, I remember dialing a phone with trembling hands late one night. I whispered, “My father cannot breathe because of the pain. What should we do?” The nurse calmly walked us through the medicine to administer. She stayed on the phone until I was confident in what to do. His pain became manageable and his breathing steadied.

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