I feel blessed to be in a career I love, one that I find exciting, rewarding and fulfilling. There is enough drama and excitement in my job to keep me from getting bored; there are days when I fly to remote areas by helicopter to retrieve injured or ill patients, and there are days when we go from one call to another, from highway trauma, medical, and psychological calls, to the more mundane inter hospital transfers. It is on these ordinary transfers that the extraordinary often takes place.
It is the old people who have been left alone that I love the best. On the lengthy inter hospital transfers, I get to know them and hear their life stories. They are not complainers, and often they just want someone to listen to them. I wonder sometimes where their families are, and why they are so alone. A human touch, and a willing ear seem to be good medicine for these people. Their life stories are full of touching moments that are dear to them, and their recollections of their lives are always fascinating stories to hear.
They tell their stories with very little prompting, and seem eager to relive the most precious moments in their lives. Sometimes, their memories fail them and they seem to be grasping for the details that were once so clearly etched in their minds. Other times, their facial expressions betray them and it is easy to tell that they have slipped back in time and are living the treasured moments that time can never erase.
I hear stories of how things were way back when, and I hear love stories of how they met their spouses, along with their early lives of financial struggle. It often crosses my mind that it should be one of their grandchildren sitting in my place, listening to this most cherished family history that will vanish untold to them. Oh, and what they are missing! It saddens me to realize that we are often too far removed or busy with our lives to take the time to visit our elderly relatives and make them an important part of our own lives.
The simple act of listening is what these people need, and is the best medicine I can provide for them. They need it just as much as the medical treatment they will be receiving when we reach our destination. They don't know it, but I always pray for them. For their recovery, for their health, and for their eternal salvation.
I am forever thankful to God to be in a job I love.