As I was walking out of the hospital after work, raring to go home, I saw a couple sitting on a bench in the corridor. She was in pieces. I stopped, introduced myself and asked them if I could help. She had been scheduled for an operation. She was anaesthetised and the operation was attempted but for some reason it was not completed to her satisfaction. She was distraught. Her eyes were soulless. She said that she felt like her life was not worth living and there was absolutely no reason to stay alive. Her husband seemed worried. He was trying his best to comfort her and said that at the best of times, she tended to be highly strung. He also said that they had had a rough year.
I sat down beside them, held her hand and said that it was not surprising that she felt that way although at that moment she was under the influence of a number of anaesthetic drugs that might be distorting the true picture for her. This feeling would pass I reassured her. She continued to cry but she was listening.
Not sure how long I was there for but I did leave them with the message that whenever she feels like that she must speak with somebody and gave them Samaritan’s phone number. I identified that she had her parent’s visit over the Easter weekend to look forward to. I brought to her attention that she was much loved and cherished and I suggested her husband get professional help for her. Before I left I saw her regain herself enough to say thank you. There was some light in her eyes. I looked into them and said, “You are so precious. You have no idea how precious you are.”
At this point I had to leave as it would have been unprofessional to break down in front of patients in a hospital corridor.