Three Words

It matters to me that you look at my chart before you walk into the room.

I appreciate that you use my name and look me in the eyes.

You remember my sense of humor, how many children I have and that I am a writer.

I’m a frequent flier MRI patient and you know this.

You’re  happy to see me and I’m happy to see you.

I appreciate that you took time to pull up my medical record and familiarized yourself with my history, medication dosages and acknowledge with sincerity how it’s been 5 years of stable scans.

Your smile, compassion and empathy are more impactful, effective and lasting than the sedation you will soon be administering me to get me through the MRI.

You know I’m grateful you’re so good at finding my über small, deep veins and don’t mind as I utter “fuuuuck” when you put my IV in and it hurts.

I appreciate that you see the fear in my eyes. I appreciate that you know the magnitude of what these scans can reveal.

I appreciate that you don’t tell me it will be ok and instead squeeze my hand.

You affix the cardiac monitors and remember with a chuckle about my low blood pressure as you monitor my vitals.

As I lay on the table with the hum of the MRI just behind me, you gently put my ear plugs in, place foam wedges around my head to stabilize it and pull the cage over my head. You hand me a tissue to wipe my eyes as a tear falls down my cheek. I feel no shame.

You appear to understand as you place the panic button under my three layers of warm blankets into my hand, tuck the blanket in around me and start to administer my sedation.

I drift away watching the sky and clouds through the skylight safe in your hands.

I am grateful.

The stress of these scans looms over us every three months as a nearly insurmountable emotional obstacle. As a patient, I come to you as a fragile shell of myself and entirely vulnerable. Your compassion, empathy and kindness puts a few more layers on my shell, leaves me feeling less vulnerable and more supported.

Neither you, nor I can change the Piece of Shit or how it behaves, but you have made the path I walk on this journey much easier to walk every three months.

It was important for me to take time after my meeting today at Emory University Hospital and track you down. It was important to me to see you when I wasn’t your patient. It was important to me to sincerely thank you and I am grateful for your hug.

Thank you Bromley.

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28 thoughts on “Three Words

  1. Pingback: Water Under The Bridge | GREY MATTER LIFE

  2. I just found your blog and I’ve only read this one post and that’s all I needed to know to subscribe. My name is Jennifer, too, and I am 44, a wife and mother of 2 with a brain tumor as well. I can relate to everything you just posted. And I agree with everyone else ~ beautifully written!

  3. Wow!! I am truly touched and deeply honored to have such words written of my care JCG!! I did not know of this post until I got a call from the Dept Head/Chair of Radiology recently asking if I knew my name was mentioned in a blogpost. Terrified I had made some asinine comment somewhere on the internet I innocently said “no”. It is patients like you, Jennifer that make giving good care so easy. You come in overflowing with life’s energy and always smiling. You have an amazing spirit and gift (besides the Piece of Shit brain tumor) which allows you to touch people in all walks of life.
    So I thank you for this tremendous complement and for making doing my job easy.

    Hugs to you always,

  4. She is all that you say, she came to be by my side and the side of my dying 18 year old daughter. I love Bromley beyond words, her compassion is genuine and true. A servant, friend and saint.
    Thank you for sharing your story and I will pray for a complete and forever healing to come to you.

  5. Pingback: Week of WordPress – Compassion | Enhance The Human Experience

  6. Wow – Jennifer – your writing is beautiful and very meaningful. It is those special touches that makes it easier to deal with a difficult situation. You capture the emotions of having an MRI incredibly well. I trust this MRI continued the 5 year string of stable scan. Looking forward to seeing you soon.

  7. No words. Long day at work and I sit here reading fighting back the tears. I’m glad we are coming to see and support you this year.

  8. Beautiful!! Just beautiful. As a nurse, I am honored to be in a field with someone like Bromley who treats my friend they way she should be treated!!!

  9. This is so wonderful Jen. Bromley sounds like a saint and I am glad your care was in her (his?) hands today. I wish that this piece of yours here could be framed and hung in every radiology office nationwide PLUS the offices of every medical provider nationwide PLUS have it be required reading for med students AS WELL AS physicians who have practiced for decades….. all would benefit! xo

  10. Wonderfully written. It’s so easy for people to forget how much a friendly, compassionate tech or nurse can help us feel safe and less anxious on these incredibly emotional days.

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