Sunday, February 13, 2011

Wow- What a Weekend

This weekend has been chock-full of some awesome moments and a few sad ones. It has been quite a roller coaster, but I'm very thankful to have spent wonderful time with my family. On the Eve of Valentines Day, I was reminded of what I hold dear. Some friends and family are going through very rough times, so they are weighing heavy in my thoughts.

On Saturday, I went to the memorial service for a patient of mine who passed away. He spent a lot of time in the hospital over the past several months, and we got to know him well. His memorial was a relaxed yet amazing remembrance of his life. He was a joker. Once, when he was ill enough to be in Intensive Care, I asked him how he ended up in Maryland after growing up in New York. His response? "Prison". While I hated to see him in the hospital because it meant he wasn't doing well, I enjoyed visiting him every day. His friends and family shared wonderful memories and laughed a lot. I was glad to learn more about him and the man he was. I feel fortunate for the patients I meet and who often touch my life in more ways than they know.

Today was a roller skating birthday party. My husband was a competitive roller skater as a kid, and I love watching him skate on wheels or blades. I can hold my own, but he makes it look effortless. They allowed bikes on the rink, so our son got to ride while we all skated. It was a harder workout than my trainer ride this morning, but we had a great time.

Heading home from skating, I asked Tommy to swing by Target (of course my list of 5 items turned into 25). We got on route 50 (an eight-lane highway) to head home. This wouldn't be our normal route but we rerouted on our way to Target. After just a few minutes, we saw a sea of brake lights. We came upon an accident (a woman had swerved to miss something in the road, smashed through the guardrail, crossed 4 lanes, and hit the Jersey Barrier). No EMS/Fire were on the scene yet, but there was a State Trooper. Tommy kept driving slowly, and then we saw someone holding an injured child. It has been 14+ years since the days when Tommy and I rode the ambulance together, but watching him with children even back then showed me his compassion and his kindness. So today we stopped. The little girl was 7. She was ok, but had a major (and I mean major) laceration to her face. We worked with other bystanders to take care of her until EMS got there. Another bystander was holding her, and kept telling her that the doctors would use "butterfly glue" to make her better. When Tommy and I talked later, we felt badly that while this person was being helpful, she honestly set her up to feel disappointed when she got to the hospital. Unfortunately, she was facing a lot of stitches.

Another bystander was kind enough to talk to our kids (who were safe in the car)while we were busy. They had a million questions on the ride home. We talked a lot about what would happen if we were in a similar situation, and how if we were ever in an accident and had to go to the hospital in separate ambulances, we would ALWAYS find them. They just need to trust the healthcare providers and police/firefighters to take care of them until we get to them. For the parents out there, this is a good conversation to have with your kids if the opportunity presents itself. (Of course you hope it never happens). Passengers in a car are often separated for transport to the hospital after an accident- letting your kids know that they can trust those taking care of them is vital, especially in a stressful situation.

To decompress this evening, we held one of our favorite activities....the Pajama Jammie Jam. The kids sang and rocked out to everything from Pink ("Raise Your Glass"), to John Denver ("Country Roads"), and Miley Cyrus ("The Climb"). Of course my son was dancing in his Batman cape and his underwear. I am so thankful for the moments when I can just be totally absorbed in my family, and laughing with Tommy about their latest antics.

Whew! Thanks for letting me share....


  1. You are awesome Kiersten - all of the Henry's are... Nice post and thanks for sharing it with us. Only you...

  2. You guys are awesome. 99% of people would have driven right by - good for you!

  3. Wow, what a story. You are awesome. And really great point about how in accidents family members are often split...I never thought of that.

  4. Sounds like a rollercoaster weekend. So sorry to hear about your patient. And I totally admire you for stopping and helping that little girl - so many people wouldn't have done that!! :)

  5. My coach is a nurse, and she has so many stories of driving by accidents right after they happen. It really makes me think that you guys went that way for a reason, you know?

    On another note, I have never heard of competitive roller skating...that I would love to see!!