Those unseen-Tim- Nurse

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is the first episone in a line of interviews I´ve had with people noone sees. Or noone wants to see.
Tim is a male nurse who takes care of dying people.

I´d like to say: Enjoy what you will read. I´m not sure about it.

Submitted: August 01, 2017

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Submitted: August 01, 2017

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Tim- nurse for the dying

 

I meet Tim in the late evening in a small rural town somewhere in the north. The canadian border is just around the corner. The town itself is far from special. There is nothing to write about. 5000 Inhabitants, two gas stations, a run down movie theatre, a few mom-n-pop shops, a fire station and a super market. The next hospital is 45 minutes away.

Tim is 28 years old but looks like 40. His hair is long and dark, his skin is thin and pale. He is a tall, skinny guy with dark sad eyes. Tim carries the tattoo on his left upper arm that I think suits him pretty well.

A skull and a hour glas, inked by a rookie.

Tim is a male nurse in one of the hospitals in the area. He takes care of the dying.

 

Me: Hello Tim. Nice to meet you and thank you for your time. I know you´ve been working the late shift.

 

Tim (takes a sip of hot muddy coffee he drinks from a dirty cup): No problem. Nice to meet you too.

 

Me: I would like to ask you a few questions. You can denie any answer to questions you are not comfy with.

 

Tim: Well, I can tell you pretty much anything as long as it´s no private or medical informations of our patients.

 

Me: I will not ask anything like that. So, how did you become a nurse?

 

Tim (scratches his chin): I always wanted to help people. My friends asked me for my advice every now and then and sometimes I made their problems my problems. You know? If you lay awake at night and thinking about other peoples problems, get desperate and angry because you can´t find the solution of something that doesn´t even concern you. That was the point when I realized I wanted stuff like this to be my profession.

 

Me: What kind of advice did your friends ask you for?

 

Tim: Mostly relationship related. Sometimes ethical. Sometimes family related. I listened and gave them my opinion on the matter. (giggles) More often than not it really helped them.

 

Me: Wouldn´t pastor or counselor be the better choice? No offense, but there is a lot of space between listening to your friends problems and taking care of sick people.

 

Tim (laughs): My friends are pretty sick. Mentally, I mean.

 

Me: Your friends are mentally ill?

 

Tim: It´s not like they are psychopaths or maniacs or lunatics. It´s more that they have deep rooting problems with themselves or other people. Everyone needs to clean out the closet once in a while.

I rather want them to talk to me but sitting alone somewhere where they have noone who listens to them.

 

Me: True that. But why didn´t you become a pastor instead?

 

Tim: Because I´m not a religious guy. Religion and me are two things you will never see together.

And by the way, why should I go to college and study something I´ve already mastered? Would be a waste of money and time.

 

Me: Why did you choose to be a nurse then?

 

Tim: Because I can help people. It´s not much I can do, I´m no physician. But I can make their day a whole lot easier.

 

Me: How was, let´s say, your first year? Any problems? I´m sure that it was somewhat of a culture shock.

 

Tim: As I started there have been a lot of things I was shocked about. (Laughs) Didn´t know how much a human body can puke, piss and shit in a single day.

 

Me: What was the worst part of your job?

 

Tim: Changing the bed sheets after someone with diarreah couldn´t hold it anymore. Liquid shit dripping everywhere like brown stinking water. I threw up so many times it burned my throat from the inside. Washing people was bad too. Old and ill people stink in a very own way. And it´s not pleasent to have to scrub dried sweat and body fluid from a 90 year old with dementia.

 

Me: And still you stayed. Why?

 

Tim: Because those people needed me. You need someone to wash you if you can´t wash yourself. Or go to the bathroom alone anymore. Or can´t eat alone anymore. Those people needed me and most of the time they were thankfull. Sure, there have been a few patients who were a real pain in the ass to take care of.

 

Me: I can imagine that. And changing and washing isn´t a problem anymore?

 

Tim: Over the time you get numb. Someday you reach a point where you can´t be shocked anymore. Some things are still fucking disgusting, but it´s not like I haven´t seen stuff like this before.

 

Me: How did you feel the first time one of your patients died?

 

Tim (takes another sip): I wasn´t devastated if it´s what you ask. Old people die someday, that is a natural law, a fact if you want to say so. My first patient who died was a 88 year old man. I was sad for him at first, but I´ve witnessed him struggeling with death. I wished him a good night, went home, and the next morning he was dead. That´s how it went. When your time runs out, you die.

 

Me: Excuse my words, but that sounds a little cold hearted.

 

Tim: It´s not. If you are surrounded by dying people, death becomes normal. I take care of every single of my patients as good as I can and with all my heart. But it´s a fact that they will die. It´s the end of the road. You will die someday, I will die someday. Just a matter of time until every single human on the earth meets the reaper.

 

Me: You made it your profession to take care of people who will die soon. Why that?

 

Tim: As I said, because those people need me. Some of them don´t have family or friends to give them company when it´s about to end. It´s sad to see someone die without any kind of company. Dying itself fucking sucks, but dying all alone sucks even more.

Me: What´s worse when it comes to patients? Old people or children?

 

Tim (sighs): Children. Definetly childred. You know, the rooms where the children are, are decorated with bright colors, teddy bears, comic and cartoon scenes. There are play rooms and even a playgound. There is nothing more depressing as watching a child play with Legos and puppets when he or she is bound to a walking aid and morphine infusions. We hand out little teddy bears to the children. We call them Company-bears and the child keeps them until the coffin is getting burried. Like a compagnion until the very end.

(Tim wipes a tear from his eye) Fuck, you really got me here.

 

Me: Is there a difference between the way children and adults deal with death?

 

Tim: Depends on how old they are. A toddler with, let´s say, cancer has a total different imagination of death then a 15 year old or a war veteran. I quess children take it better. For them it´s a part of their life, while adults know very well that it´s the end.

You know, what really fucks my mind is, there is a whole industry build on dying children. Coffins for children, grave stones for children, special clothes for children. A whole fucking industry build on something that shouldn´t exist. Death should be for the old and sick, not for children who never had the chance to live a life. That´s one of the reasons I´m not religious.

If god can let a child die, just because, how can he be the allmighty and loving shephard?

 

Me: I don´t think that it´s gods decision.

 

Tim: If it´s not, what is? I spoke to the hospital chaplain about it. He told me the old shit that god works in mysterious ways. Bullshit. Either there is no loving god or he is just a plain sadist motherfucker.

 

Me: You are angry.

 

Tim: Of course I am angry. And sad and helpless. Worst part is to know that I can´t prevent death. I can pump morphine and relaxatives into our patients, but that will not heal them. It just makes them feel better, not even better, but less shitty.

 

Me: You are helping them.


Tim: You see? That´s why I do this job.

 

Me: How long do you think you can do this? There must be a price tag on a profession like that.

 

Tim (closes his eyes, scratching his chin): Until I can´t set a foot in the hospital anymore. Until the day my body physically denies to go through the doors. Being a nurse takes a toll, alone the long nights and the stress makes you age a lot faster. But until then, I will get up in the morning and do what I´ve chosen to do. Who will, if not me?

 

Me: Thank you for the interview Tim.

 

I went home, close to midnight, and thought about what Tim has told me.

The image of a child in the play room haunted me, kept me awake that night.

For me it was just a picture, stuck in my head, for Tim it is the sad reality.

Until the day his body refuses to walk through the hospital doors.

I don´t know when this day will be, but I know that it will be a dark day for everyone included.

I look in my note book to remind me to my next appointment.

Hellena. Anorexic.


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