Thursday, December 20, 2007

Regular visitors to this blog may recall the photo of last years Christmas center-piece that I posted this past weekend. The one that I was to leave at the flower shop of our friends, Joe and Jane Basta. This I did, and when Jane said, "when do you want to pick this up rel?" I said that Wednesday the 19th would be good.

On the evening of the 19th (yesterday) when D. arrived home from her job, she asked where the center-piece was. "Oh poop," says I, " I forgot all about it!
No problem, I'll stop and get it tomorrow." Which as you can see I did and the girls a t Basta's did a superlative job of refreshing our center-piece; do you agree?

Now I want to tell you a story about something that happened at my place of employment yesterday:
If you don't already know, I'm a CRNA (certified registered nurse anesthetist) and I administer anesthesia in the local hospital. There are four other CRNAs beside myself and One anesthesiologist.

Because an operation can be a daunting experience for anyone and perhaps even more so for children, I try to add a little color along, with a smile, a kind word and always assurances that I'll take good care of you, and keep you safe while you are in my care. I'm an infamous jokester and tease, always with the intention of lightening your mood. A large number of patients who pass through my OR are either friends, parents of friends, or children of friends. And after being here for thirty+ years, I'm beginning to see patients whose mothers I gave anesthesia to when they were born. I digress, that's a story for another day.

Rarely do I wear the OR scrubs provided by the hospital. I have a large assortment of various colored scrubs in black, navy, green, maroon and salmon. In addition, I iron patches of cartoon characters and such on the front pocket as well as the yoke in the back of my scrub tops. All of this, of course, is to add to the distraction I try to provide.

Yesterday I dressed in a forest green scrub outfit with a huge yellow smiley face on the pocket. On my head I wore a bright red bikers do-rag, and under my scrub top I wore a long sleeve matching red Under-Armour shirt. Festive and seasonal, this attire attracted numerous comments as to my looking like an elf.

My assignment yesterday was to be the rover in the morning; help the CRNA in the tonsil room by starting the IV's after he had gotten the patients asleep, give breaks, and do any interviews that came up. My cases weren't scheduled to start until after lunch.

Your a five year-old, going on six, little girl being wheeled away from your parents and down a long corridor surrounded by strange looking big people who are going to put you to sleep and cut your tonsils out. Hmmm

Now you're transfered to a cold hard bed and everyone is coddling and cooing you and trying to make you think that this is going to be a piece of cake experience. You try to be accommodating and smile and answer their innocuous questions, but hey, nothing has happened yet, so why not?

Then off to your right you notice a new stranger has come into the room and he is standing by your bed all dressed in green and red looking like a giant Christmas elf.

He smiles at you and says "hi, I'm Bob the elf. I'm one of Santa's helpers. My job is to go around and visit people who can't get to the Mall to see Santa in person. He has asked me to see all the kids in the hospital and find out what they want for Christmas. What is on your list?"

You think and think, but because you've been caught off guard, you have forgotten what you were going to ask Santa for.

The big elf with the big smile says, " What is the one thing of everything on your list that you want the very most?" He continues, "I'm 606 years old and my memory isn't as good as it was when I was five, so I can only remember one thing from your list."

A big smile spreads across your face as you remember; and you say outloud very clearly, "I want a plush pony named Butter scotch!"

"Ok!" says the big elf, "let me write that down here and I'll get that request to Santa this morning."

You feel really happy that you had this chance to get your wish to Santa and you hardly notice that the other man in blue has put a plastic thingy on your face and it smells like bad, but you don't care because the big el...f is going to tel SSS

I started her IV, after she was asleep, and she didn't flinch one bit; being well anesthetized.

A few hours later, when she was leaving the ambulatory unit with her parents she spied me, and while she waved goodbye she whispered, "did you tell Santa what I wished for?"

I nodded in the affirmative and gave her the thumbs up sign.

Oh yes, unbeknown to her, I did tell her parents what it was she wanted and lo-and-behold it had already been purchased!

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Blogger PEA said...

Oh Rel, bless your heart, what a wonderful thing you did for that little girl...your story made me smile and have tears at the same time:-)I don't think she will forget Bob the elf anytime soon!! xox

11:02 PM  
Blogger Churlita said...

I wish you were around when my daughter had meningitis and needed a pick line put in. She was only five and would have loved to have met an elf.

1:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a heart-warming story! I see enough fatigue in health care to recognize the tremendous effort, service, and humanity you bring. Wonderful job!

9:09 AM  
Blogger Chipper said...

What a great elf you are!! I wish I had someone like you when I got my tosils out!! I can remember that event to this day :)

9:46 AM  
Blogger tongue in cheek said...

Ah Rel
You are the real deal! I have known for a long time that you are an angel, not just a elf in scrubs!
I got a big lump in my throat when I read this!

9:56 AM  
Blogger Artsy said...

So full of the Christmas Spirit. Nice to find your blog again. Merry Christmas!

10:39 AM  
Blogger Mélanie said...

That is such a nice post ...and you are more than an elf...Corey is right you are an angel

12:16 PM  
Anonymous S-I-L P said...


2:25 PM  
Blogger Puss-in-Boots said...

What a kind hearted elf you are, Rel. And how lovely that the little girl is going to get her Christmas wish. Going into hospital is a scary experience for a littley and she'll remember the big elf for the rest of her life.

12:04 AM  
Anonymous gautami tripathy said...

What a beautiful post!

Wishing you laughter,love, joy and much peace for Christmas and coming New Year!

Much power to your pen too

12:26 PM  
Blogger Just Jen said...

You are so wonderful!
I could wish for an aneastheologist (spelling?lol) like you when I was little and the numberous times my boys have been under. It would have helped them out....such a scary nice to know you're making things go soo much smoother!
Have a great Christmas!

1:23 PM  

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