Hello everyone and welcome to my blog. It’s Writers Quote Wednesday and I’d like to take advantage and say a little something about empathy.
I believe what this quote says also. Without empathy the world would be in chaos. I believe that the story of Sodom and Gomorrah has a lot to do with the people of these two ancient cities lacking empathy and becoming desensitized to the suffering of their own people. Whether you believe God destroyed these two wicked cities or the eruption of a colossus volcano wiped them out, the truth is the world is a better place with them gone.
Right about now you may be thinking, what the heck is she talking about? Something similar to what happened in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah is happening in the world today. I’m not preaching ‘Armageddon’ but you have to admit that many people nowadays are sorely lacking empathy.
My father is still in the hospital. He’s doing a little better every day so we’re a bit more hopeful. He has a strong will and is fighting like crazy. I have spent a lot of time in the hospital with him and if you have a family member admitted in the hospital I recommend you do the same. When I’m not there my mom, sister or brother are. My brother and I are in the medical field and my mom is a retired nurse. We know what goes on.
I venture to say that 80% of the hospital staff are good people that care but then you have that 20% that are completely desensitized and lack empathy for the patients they treat and their families who are suffering right along side them. These are the people to watch out for.
My father is not alone in his hospital room. He shares the room with another man. The other patient’s wife has been by his side since my dad was moved to that room on Sunday. At least she’s always there when I’ve gone to visit my dad which is every day for many hours. Yesterday I overheard the older woman (she’s in her 80s) ask the nurse if she could bring her a sandwich or a small soup. She thought that since her husband, who was hospitalized, could not eat that maybe she could get a little of the food he was unable to consume. To my surprise the nurse told her no and not in a very nice way. The lady explained that she had no family to bring her food and she did not want to leave her husband’s side and I suspect she didn’t have much money either. The nurse told her coldly that she was not going to repeat herself and that the answer was still no.
My heart was crushed. I mean, I felt physical pain in my chest. How could someone stare a person in the face and refuse to help them, especially a tiny (maybe 95 lbs) 80 year old who’s hungry when you know you could easily help her. My family and I have been offered soup, sandwiches, jello, pudding, juice and all sorts of things by other nurses while we’ve been there and this nurse is telling this lady that she can’t do it. I couldn’t believe the callous way in which this nurse spoke to this lady or the lack of empathy.
Afterward I told the patient’s wife that I was headed for the cafeteria and that I would bring her something to eat. I brought her back a soup and sandwich and she ate the soup and saved the sandwich for later. Before I left the hospital I spoke to the charge nurse and explained what had happened. She told me not to worry that from that moment on they will bring the older lady food and she kept her word because the nurse (a different nurse) and nurse assistant have been coming by the room and bringing my dad’s neighbor’s wife snacks like jello, pudding . . . between breakfast and lunch of course. She will be receiving three meals a day plus snacks. That’s the way it should be. After all, if a hospital is going to charge $25.00 for an aspirin, $8.00 for a box of tissue, and $20.00 every time the blood pressure cuff is used they can afford to feed a poor old lady who doesn’t want to leave her husband’s side an occasional soup and sandwich.
People in the medical field are constantly in danger of becoming desensitized and of lacking empathy for the patients they serve and their families. I commend all those individuals who have been in the medical field for years and maintain concerned, moved, involved––with love in their hearts for those they care for and their families. I appreciate you and am so grateful for you. ❤
Colleen Chesebro is a writer, poet, and book reviewer. She hosts an inspiring event every Wednesday on her blog, Silver Threading, called Writer’s Quote Wednesday. Anyone can participate by choosing a quote by a favorite writer and posting it on your blog.