Mr. Moore's (not his real name) warm smile and caring demeanor surely make him a welcome visitor to each patient's room despite the needles and vials that accompany him. And he listens to his patients.
After we explained that blood had been drawn and set aside in the ER in case more lab work was needed, he took extra time to track it down and avoided yet another needle stick in my husband's now-perforated arm. He then shared an experience that taught him the importance of really listening to and respecting what his patients say to him:
A few years earlier in a different hospital Mr. Moore entered the room of an elderly lady who was very ill with cancer. Her extended stay had resulted in a friendship between the two. She was crying. When he asked her why, she told him she was in terrible pain.
"Why don't you ask for some pain medication?"
"I can't. They think I'm hallucinating."
"Why do they think you're hallucinating, Mrs. James?" (Again, a fictitious name.)
"Because I told them there is a bat in my room."
"There's a bat in your room!"
Mrs. James nodded in the affirmative.
Mr. Moore's kind spirit led him to the next question:
"Can you tell me where this um … bat … is?"
"Yes. It's behind that chair in the corner."
Mrs. James' confidant dutifully walked to the designated corner and slowly pulled the chair from its resting place. There it was. A bat. About two inches long, his wings clinging to the wall.
This particular hospital was an older facility located near a wildlife habitat. The roll-out windows of the hospital could be opened only slightly, but wide enough for the winged rodent to slip inside.
Mr. Moore immediately contacted security and had the bat removed from her room. He then took the necessary steps to secure the much-needed pain medication for his grateful patient/friend, Mrs. James. How much more suffering would she have had to endure had it not been for the listening heart of a busy professional? I will always remember Mr. Moore’s engaging smile and the way he rescued Mrs. James from the bat no one else bothered to locate.