My husband was called in to the hospital this morning at 4:30 am. To say that I was less then thrilled about this (the effect on his sleep, the effect on mine, the resultant crapping-up of what was supposed to be a day off for both of us) would be an understatement. Yes, I know, somebody at the hospital needed medical attention and I should happily hand over my husband to provide it. Perspective, right? But when you're married to it, there are lots of moments of not really caring about the big picture so much, and feeling grumpy about your own lot. Yes, it's selfish, but it's true.
So, around 7 am he gets home, and he tells me this:
His patient had been having seizures since the previous evening, and various therapies had been tried before my husband was called in. When he got there, he found the patient and a family member, both of whom speak Spanish, accompanied by a woman who was translating for them. By way of making conversation, he asked the woman how she originally met the family. It turned out that she herself had visited the ER for her own health issues the previous evening, and as she was leaving around 11pm, presumably to go home and sleep, she noticed these people having difficulty communicating with hospital staff. Because she speaks Spanish, she knew she could help. So she stayed, and translated all night for these strangers.
Even with this example of self-sacrifice before me, I'm still feeling grouchy and short-tempered from lack of sleep. I'll be thinking about the translator today. How does one shift the focus to other people when you're stuck in a rut of feeling tapped-out and inconvenienced?