On this special day when we think of the ladies in our lives my focus is not upon the uncaring political types that I usually write about (over at Democracy Under Fire) but on the girls at the Owen Sound Hospital who have been attending to my wife over the last week. As I visit each day I struck by the cheerful and compassionate demeanor of each and every one of them as they take care of multiple patients each with a different need and personality equally as competently at the end of their 12 hour shift as they do at the start.
My old legs ache just after making the trek from the back of the parking lot and return after fighting with the parking ticket machine that begs me with $5 each day before it will let me leave. How must theirs feel after the miles they walk back and forth from room to room all day only to face another day of the same tomorrow all this whilst cheerfully taking care of the sometimes complex needs of each individual in each room. The knowledge and careful attention to detail to correctly administer the prescribed care without error must be quite stressful in and of itself but it is always done with a smile.
A couple of years ago I observed the same competence and caring from a slightly different perspective as I was myself of the receiving end of the care, that time in the ICU where there may be a little less walking for the girls but a more intense need than up on the 6th floor where-my wife is now being cared for. How these girls there and elsewhere in similar departments maintain such a caring and cheerful attitude day after day, year after year for many of them, is beyond me.
Thank you ladies, during what is a stressful time for our family as we learn to deal with further challenges to come it is your care and caring that eases the transition. These few words simply cannot fully express my admiration and thanks for you commitment to this work.