“You’re a Nurse. You make a difference.”*

The good-looking Young Man was a couple of hours into his 12 hour night shift when my roommate returned from diagnostic tests in Victoria to occupy the bed next to mine. The Young Man, head shaven, lean and athletic, was the antithesis of the expected stereotype of the nurse. In the very brief moments of our meeting I learned that he had, in fact, been an athlete and for all I know may still be. A second baseman, Chris had played at a fairly high level in the Southern Prairies and in one of the Dakotas, if my sleep deprived memory still serves me accurately.

What followed must have been part of a shift from hell as for the rest of Chris’ shift my room mate, a very sick old man got up from his bed at least 5 times and before ringing to get help to go to the toilet, would walk with unsure steps to the bathroom, dropping his pant full with his fecal load at least twice in transit. Of course it is the nurse’s job to make sense of all this and more and to make sense of it even while keeping her food down and her patients’ spirits up.

“Our societies must be crazy”, I thought “to give hundreds of millions of dollars and to confer demi-god status on the likes of  “A” Rod, Tiger Woods and to hundreds of others in professional sports and in the Entertainment Industry while grudgingly doling out a relative pittance to worthy people doing an essential job. If Chris’ dream of athletic success as a baseball player had come true we would have been deprived of a dedicated, competent and caring individual in a vitally necessary area. Come to think of it  “the Gods must (also) be crazy” to tolerate this and to turn a blind eye at what absurd things we humans routinely do.  “Atta boy Chris, you do make a difference.”


*Johnson and Johnson ad.

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