Beep! Beep! Beep! The soft but persistent alarm invaded my sleep like a clap of thunder in the wee hours of a summer night. My husband’s machine sent out a warning that something was wrong. My heart sped up to three times its normal speed as I forced myself into wakefulness.
“Canister full,” the touch screen read. My mouth felt like I’d stuffed it with cotton and sweat beaded my forehead. I hadn’t anticipated this happening until we were home and securely in the hands of a public health nurse who knew what she was doing.
Sure, I had a nursing degree, but my experience had never included a machine that sucked at a gaping wound in my husband’s leg. I was a few thousand miles out of my comfort zone here. A motel room over a hundred miles from home at 1:00 AM was not my idea of the greatest setting to learn a new skill.
“I can’t do this, God,” my palpitating heart screamed. “How about some help here, Lord?”
The contact phone numbers at my disposal proved useless. No surprise on a Friday night. Fear turned my shaking hands to ice as I struggled to calm myself and deceive my unsuspecting husband that I knew exactly what I was doing.
After another hasty prayer, I cast my eyes around the room, knowing the answer would not be written on the wall.
But it was in the confines of that room. A cardboard box containing medical supplies necessary for the wound vac machine also held, wonder of wonders, an instruction book. Once I found the page that addressed the problem, I realized I had performed these steps at the hospital under the supervision of the nursing staff and could, in fact, complete this task now.
Patti Shene is a retired RN, formerly from Long Island, who has resided in Colorado for the past forty years. She is a Christian writer, blogger, and avid reader. Having entered her senior years, Patti enjoys supporting, promoting, and encouraging older writers. Patti is published in two anthologies and local publications. Visit Patti’s blogs at her website, www.pattishene.com, and leave a comment to let her know you stopped by!
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