It was a very busy day, and I was covering in my department in a clinical capacity in addition to fulfilling my management responsibilities. I wasn't excited that it was going on 3 p.m. and I still hadn't completed my inpatient rounding. Still, knowing that rounding was a priority no matter what time it was or how much I had left to do, I headed up to 5 East.
Because it was later in the day, the charge nurse had already seen all the patients on the floor except for one. This particular patient was on dialysis. When I entered to see him, I noticed he had both arms hooked up to the machines and that he was watching a small TV in front of him. As I approached his bed, he looked up at me with a big smile. It was exactly what I needed at that moment. We began talking about his time at the hospital, and he told me that his stay had been wonderful so far and that everyone had been taking very good care of him. However, I determined in just a few minutes that what he really wanted to talk about was his life outside of the hospital, not so much about his time inside. He told several stories of his past and how God had touched him in many ways throughout his lifetime. He shared how happy his life had been overall. Then he talked about having to be on dialysis three days a week. He said that though the need for those treatments was not what he had planned, he accepted God's will for his life.
My encounter that day made me think about perspective. There I was, frustrated because I was having a crazy, busy afternoon, yet the patient I was seeing was in the hospital, on dialysis, and still smiling and happy to see me. I thought to myself, Wow, who is rounding on who here? I also realized that if I hadn't rounded at the time that I did, I wouldn't have been blessed to hear this patient's story and to be reminded that although life may take a different path than we expect or want, it is the path that God allows, and that we need to trust He has something better in store. As our visit came to an end that day, we prayed together and expressed our gratitude in having met each other. I am so thankful for the opportunity I had to speak with him, and to truly listen to what he wanted to say. Through God's divine orchestration, I walked away that afternoon with an intense sense of renewal and happiness in my heart!