Monday, July 6, 2015

It's the Little Things (Even at a Big Hospital)

During my husband's "chemo days," which he has every three weeks, I sit by his side and keep him company, get him water and food and help in any way I can. His chemo infusion lasts 8 hours, including a lumbar puncture to put a chemo drug directly into his spine.

One of my "jobs" during chemo is to go to the hospital cafeteria and get our lunch. They don't serve lunch to the patients in the treatment pods, so caregivers run for lunch.

One such time, David wanted a roast beef sub from Subway. If you've ever been to The Johns Hopkins Hospital, you know that there is a very nice cafeteria with hot and cold offerings, but there is also a food court with Subway, Einstein Bagels, A Couple of Mexican food places, a couple of chicken places, a pizza place and a Chinese food place. I buy our lunch every chemo day and take it back to the pod and we eat lunch together in his section of the pod.

So, as I did our lunch run this particular day, I walked through the "main loop" to the cafeteria and walked into a mad house. I suppose every pharmacist, doctor, nurse, technician and visitor decided it was lunch time because it was packed! As I made my way through the noisy crowd to Subway, I noticed, even from a distance, that the line was long.

I found a slight break in the line and asked the man standing to the right of the break if he was in line for Subway. That's when a little thing happened in a big hospital that made my day. He and the man behind him both said they were in line. I pointed to a long line of people and asked if the line went back that far; they both said yes.

Then the kind man said, "I think your line starts here," and took a step back, making room for me.

I said, "Oh, I don't want to cut in line."

The man behind the first man said, "You got a dollar?"

I said, "Yes, but I'm keeping my money! Thanks for the place in line." And, with a very grateful heart, I took the place they offered. I explained to the first man that my husband has cancer, is receiving his chemo and wanted a roast beef sub.

The man's voice was immediately filled with compassion and he said he was very sorry. He also said he has a friend who had been going through chemo but hadn't checked on him in a while. He promised he would be checking on his friend, and soon.

This made my day. I got to get through the line much faster, talk with some kind people and even be an instrument of reminder for someone who needed to contact a friend in need.

Little things in a big hospital seem like really big things.
I can do this. I can let someone cut in line and make their day in the process.


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