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{SFTH}   *Night Shift*  4/24/01


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By Irene Budzynski

Graveyard shift, night shift, third shift -- they all meant the same thing
to me--eight hours of no sleep.  I walked up the hill to the hospital
entrance, each leg feeling as if it was cast in concrete.  Mulling over
what a nursing instructor had told me at graduation, I giggled despite
my exhaustion.  "You're working nights?  Take lots of books to read
because you won't have anything to do."  Hah!  Little did he know
that there weren't enough hours on the face of the earth to finish all
the tasks in a night.

I barely had my coat off my shoulders when patients started ringing
their call lights for instant attention.  Medications needed mixing,
doctors were phoning in orders, and the evening nurse was insistently
trying to give report in the middle of the chaos.  It was a typical night
on a surgical unit.

 I took a deep breath, grabbed my stethoscope, and began to jot down
notes about my assignment.  Ten patients!  How in the world would I
ever give the kind of care that they deserved?  I could feel the hysteria
building.  My pulse picked up a couple of beats and the first cup of
coffee was a mere memory by the time I grabbed the medication cart
parked in the nurse's station and rolled it into the hall.

Already an hour had passed and I was overwhelmed.  I told myself to
"chill" and to deal with one room at a time.  Easier said than done.  It
seemed that every patient had a complication, a request, a need, or a
complaint.  Rushing around like a whirling dervish, I pushed myself harder
and harder.  Taunting me was the image of the paperwork to tend to when
I finished my care, and I tried to pick up speed so I could beat the clock. 

The last room was quiet and dark.  It looked as though I was in the clear.
I could tiptoe in and out, then rush off to attack the mountain of reports.
Since the patient was being discharged in the morning, he really didn't
need me for anything right then.  He could be assessed more thoroughly
when he woke later in the night. 

No such luck!  "Nurse?"  The timid voice reached my ears just as I was
about to close the door.  "Nurse?"  Oh, how I wished I never heard that
word!  Why hadn't I walked a little faster before he heard my rubber-soled
shoes?  I turned towards the man under a twisted pile of blankets and
sheets and replied, "Yes?  Is there anything I can do for you?" 
"I was wondering... I was diagnosed with cancer today, and I was
wondering if you have time to talk?" 

And so began his cry from the soul.  I sat at this gentle man's bedside
and listened while he bared his emotions and exposed his fears.  I prayed
with him, forgetting about the work that I had deemed so important just an
hour before.  When he had nothing left to say, I held his hands and told
him that I wished I could wave a magic wand to cure him.  All I could do
was to be there for him, to listen, and to pray that he would receive the
strength to deal with his illness.  We cried together, and I stood to leave
the room.

His final words continue their echo in my mind.  "I prayed to God to send
someone to me so I could talk.  My wife died a month ago and I have no
one.  Thank you for being here with me and taking the time to listen.  I
know the Lord sent you to me in the middle of the night." 

That encounter was a God-tap on my shoulder to remind me that He
knows how much I can handle.  My eight hours of work while the rest
of the world sleeps is no longer work as I knew it.  It is reporting for duty,
ready for whatever assignment God deems necessary.

Mother Teresa understood that when she wrote, "It is not how much you
do but how much love you put into the doing and sharing with others that
is important."

Irene Budzynski

Send Irene an e-mail and let her know what you thought of her story!

After a 20 year hiatus from the classroom to stay at home to raise three
sons, I returned to school and became a registered nurse at age 40.
Having never thought of myself as a writer, but rather as someone who
loved to write, I have begun to put to paper the stories that have been
swirling through my mind for so long.  What began as an avenue to
relieve the stress of my profession has developed into a passion.  So
many blessings in the little everyday occurrences of daily life!


Thought For The Day:

"The most disappointed people in the world are those who get what's
coming to them." --Elmer Letterman

Verse for the Day:

"A man's own folly ruins his life, yet his heart rages against the Lord."
Proverbs 19:3

Kid's Thought For The day:

"Never tell your little brother that you're not going to do what your
mom told you to do."

Parent's Thought For The Day

"If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do well
matters very much." -- Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Coach's Thought For The Day

"Officiating is the only job in America that everybody knows how to do better
than the guy who is doing it."

Deep Thought For The Day:

"Forecast for tonight:  Dark."


I have another prayer request for my mom. She is to have surgery in the
morning for a hernia repair. We have left her in Gods hands. I ask that you
pray for her and also for us as we deal with this. We are trusting God that
this will be the last surgery she has to go through.
God Bless!

Could you please pass on this Praise report.
The Dr. Says he was not too concerned about the lump on her head. He did
say however that it could get bigger. He says it is probably just a mass of fatty
tissue and cells. If it does get bigger then it needed to be removed. He is
concerned about her tonsils though. He said they were quite large. Her
parents have given thanks to everyone who has said prayers.
God Bless You All.


Evangelist Ernestine Blake of Mount Vernon, New York.  I
spoke with her husband, Pastor Blake, this morning because I had heard that
she was ill.  Here is what I learned: she has mass on her spine (this is
the most serious of the 3 things); there is also a spot on her lungs and
something wrong with her kidneys. The hospital wants her to be operated on
for the spine thing at the very least -- and Sr. Blake has declined so far.
She continues to pray and seek God as never before.  I am told that her
spirits are good and that she has good days and bad.  Today was a good day
according to her daughter Renee, who I spoke to when I called her hospital
room.  Please pray for this mighty woman of God.

I know everything that happens is for a reason, and that God's will be done.
I also know and believe that God can do anything.  I pray for a divine
miracle for this special lady and her family.  She is the Pastor's right
hand as well as his mate and I believe she still has a lot more to do in and
out of the church.
Maria Carey, Connecticut
\_\  /  
/_/  \    "For I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but
\_\/\ \   Christ lives in me.  The life I live in the body I live for the Son
   \_\/   of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." Galatians 2:20 

The copyrights to the stories that appear in SFTH are owned by the
authors and are used with their permission.  We refuse to run stories
without the author's permission and contact info listed after the story.
We also refuse to publish stories listed as "author unknown."
(All of which violates Copyright law and the rights of the authors.)
This e-mail may be forwarded in its entirety, but please do not cut
and paste the stories to be used elsewhere unless you have
contacted and been given permission by the individual writer.
Thank you so much for honoring the rights of those writers who
graciously share their stories with us!
Video Imagery (Michael's Video Production Business.)

"I thought of you first after my family sat down to watch the video we gave
them. They loved it, to say the least!  Within thirty seconds my mom was
crying and my dad did too.  They said it was the best Christmas gift we
could have given them!!  You did such a beautiful job!  They were so
surprised and so touched---they really, really, really loved it.  Thanks
for helping to make it so special to us all.  My mom mentioned how
the songs were perfect for the video too!  Thanks again!"
Kelli-- College Station, TX

Let me make you a video from your pictures or home movies!
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