I stood in the middle of a 4 bed room with my "crazy" patient. I call her crazy in the most loving terms, really she has some psychiatric issues, and the nurses have become attached to her silly, childlike antics, and have had varying reactions to her constant talk of the devil and death, and being buried 15 feet under, and she wants to know, "Am I going to die?" she looks at me with old, bright blue eyes that hold the innocence of someone about 7.
Her eyes light up as the "elders" come in for a visit. Her sister had sent them, thinking they could pray some sense into her, or maybe some hope. The 3 tall, well dressed, handsome, Mormon men stand there a bit perplexed, 2 of them barely 18, and on their year long mission for the church. She stares at me straight up and asks, "Do you believe in the elders?" They try not to look at me, but wait for a response, a little uncomfortable with her question. I laugh and make a joke, smiling at them, "Well I believe that they are standing right here in this room". They walk with her and pray with her, she comes back beaming and hopeful, that they have healed her. I tuck her into bed, while they start to visit with the lady in the next bed, a curtain separating our conversations. She babbles a few words about God. "Do you believe in the elders?" she asks again. No, I say, but I do believe in God, and His power and she wants to know that I pray every day. "Thank you Angel", it's what she always calls me, now even a bit more fitting after God entered this room... but He was here long before the elders showed up.
My LPN is all a little flabbergasted as we continue with her dressings, not sure we should be in here as they start to pray and lay hands on the neighbor one bed over. "Oh they're praying" I tell her, "it's OK we can be here".
Interrupted, she looks me in the eye and says, "You have the death pills here don't you? You could just give me one, can't you Angel?" We tell her that we are here to make her better, to make her whole and able to go back home. There is only one way she can be made whole, and He's standing right in this room, I can feel His presence thick like a warm blanket.