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Because It's Today

She sat up in the middle of the gurney, long, silky hair draped over her shoulders and down her back, a gorgeous smile, waiting, listening, with eyes which couldn't see. Six years old, about half of it spent in hospital, and I'd been in OR for less than two of those.

She came to visit me to get a central venous catheter line placed, for antibiotics and parenteral nutrition. "Hyper-al", fluids rich with proteins, minerals, vitamins (made them turn yellow in color), and caustic to beat out liquid lye, hence the deep venous catheter. We started chatting, the usual for building a rapport in the space of five minutes, and I skimmed through her old chart while we nattered away. She'd been in the NICU here; I'd been one of her nurses when she was born, a bit early, needing help to stay alive and skating that thin ice between not having enough oxygen to breath and too much to burn out her retinas.

I wore my facial hair outside my skin in those days, and she wanted to know what a beard was. I took her hands and brought them to my face, so she could see the springy, spiky texture.

We didn't, at the time I first met her, have policies, practices, nor even fairly easy and quick screening process to run on donated blood then, though we (the Health Care professions) knew we needed them. I could be the one who gave her the HIV contaminated transfusion...




I think trinker wrapped it up best, here... the last line.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
carlyinrome
Dec. 1st, 2005 01:11 pm (UTC)

Oh, thank you for posting that. I cried.

As a future health professional and a professional human being, let me say this: nothing scares me as much as AIDS. I just . . . don't understand it. It seems so big.

singingnettle
Dec. 1st, 2005 01:38 pm (UTC)
Jesus.

We have a friend who lost his vision in the same way.

Ah, fucketity. Our government's priorities are so very wrong.
madshutterbug
Dec. 1st, 2005 01:47 pm (UTC)
We have a friend who lost his vision in the same way.

From being born premature and receiving oxygen?
singingnettle
Dec. 1st, 2005 06:31 pm (UTC)
Yes.
trinker
Dec. 2nd, 2005 07:36 am (UTC)
To remembering, and to bringing an end to things that need ending.
ichthyus
Dec. 2nd, 2005 08:33 am (UTC)
*hugs*
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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