Cold Hard Loses


For those who have read this blog, you know that I am a lab tech at a VA Outpatient Clinic.  It is not totally uncommon for me to have patients that I draw every couple of weeks or every month.  I come to know them and I come to know their families.

Last month one of my regulars came in and told me that his cancer was back.  Today his wife came in for her blood draw and I asked her, “how’s your husband?”  Tears came in her eyes and she shook her head…”he’s gone.”

It happens so fast!  They are wonderful, sweet, kind people.  I think of them more as “friends” than my patients.  People tell me, “don’t get attached!”  How can I not get attached?  These are my brothers and sisters…fellow vets just trying to cope with their lives and move forward.

I was managing to be okay until she said, “He loved you so much and he loved the way you took care of him.”  Then, I kind of lost it.  We hugged, I cried a bit, then when she was done…I took the next patient in line.

I know that for many of you the VA has been a nightmare experience.  I get the emails.  I am heartily sorry because I really do try to do my best for you each and every day!

However, please know, that there are people that think you are more than a number.  Sometimes, our hearts break and we are left standing at our desk or in our labs with a line of people waiting for their turns. 

I wished I could have spent more time.  But I couldn’t.  To the next man in line – I probably wasn’t my happy talkitive self. 

God be with you, Friend and with your family.  You never were and you will never be just a number to your little VA lab tech.  Thank you for letting me be a part of your life.

Joan

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