Friday, October 15, 2010

The Question

So far, it has been a quiet night. My favorite nurse, Nancy, is working with me. There would be only two staff that worked the night shift. A registered nurse and a medical service specialist. That is the name of the job I perform. I do anything that the nurses do with less pay. I am an NCO while Nancy is a Captain. We hit it off the first time we met and enjoyed working the night shift, together. Our unit is a male orthopaedic surgery unit with 25 beds. The Col. slept in room 225. It was the only single bed room on our unit. It is also an isolation room where, if need be, we can gown and glove in a separate room before the room where the Col. slept. I had spent about thirty minutes with the Col. before I made my rounds to check on my other patients. I had 4 pre-ops for the next morning and had to make sure each one understood they were not to eat or drink after midnight. The ward got quiet after our post-op patients received their pain and sleep meds so I peeked in on the Col. He was still awake waiting on me to finish my nightly duties. He had been on our unit for several months and knew the routine, well. The reason we had a terminal patient on our unit instead of the medical unit is because of the isolation room. If you have any knowledge of military life you know the importance the active duty personnel give to a retired full bird colonel. They are treated with the utmost respect and with this particular full bird I had grown to respect him and know him more than I should have. He, and his wife Bunny, were fantastic people and I had grown to love them. This is not a good idea when you know that he is terminal and will die, soon. There was something special about Col. DeBarge that made me forget his medical prognosis. We became great friends and everyone on our unit knew that I was headed for an emotional abyss. I was warned by more than a few that I was getting too emotionally connected to him. I could not help it. He was something. Little did I know that he would impact my life and bring me close to the edge of insanity. Just six words started an avalanche of emotional pain, so intense, that it would affect me for the next 32 years. Those 6 words were, "Will you end this, for me?"  theblogmeister

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