Weekly Tidbit #10 - Care that touches everyone
by Paul Uhlig
The topic of rounds today is gravy.
Thanksgiving is only two days away. The exploratory procedure planned for a brief hospital stay had become a much longer recovery with no end in sight. The nurse practitioner is sitting near the end of the bed cradling her tablet computer with labs and vital signs, but her attention is devoted to a heartfelt story of gravy anxiety. The husband and others are listening and nodding. The patient's daughter has mastered the intricacies of raising three young children, but gravy making remains a mysterious, unsolved art. Grandma will not be home in time to provide the magic.
Fast forward three days. Rounds begins. "How was the gravy?" "It turned out great!" is the happy reply. And then another gravy story, this time from the doctor. His family's gravy exploded yesterday. The Pyrex dish wasn't Pyrex. Gravy and glass flew everywhere, over the turkey and the pies, flooding the stove and spilling over the floor. Thankfully, no one was hurt. Thirty minutes later the kitchen was spotless again, the food was carefully cleaned, and a wonderful dinner was enjoyed with much laughter and new memories. Connected by gravy.
Fast forward three more days. Rounds again, this time with an entire extended family present. Several little ones are moving from mother to grandmother to grandfather. Members of the care team are sitting in the morning sunshine by the window. Progress is reviewed. Plans are made. Laughter is shared.
A few minutes later, as people prepare to leave the room, the littlest one present, a three year old granddaughter, raises her head which had been nestled in her mother's shoulder. She looks around the room at each person, smiles, and says, "Thank you for helping to care for my grandma."