There isn’t always a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow

There isn’t very often that one sees the beginning and the end of the rainbow, it isn’t very often that one could look towards the ground below and see where the colors fade.

Today I was standing by the window’s overlooking the city, the sky was cloudy, a light mist in the distance and the two crosses from the old Catholic hospital where in the distance illuminated by the sun peeking through the clouds. 

I felt so incredibly lucky to be working in a place with a view.

I turned and faced my patients before me, most everyone had cleared out, it is a Sunday afterall, patients and staff do not want to be here on a Sunday, so they don’t show, don’t call, like a bad first date remnant.

“It’s beautiful, isn’t?”  I comment, really to know one but myself, but hoping someone will respond.  The elderly man to my right with is wife next to him in a folding chair smiles at me, I smile back and turn to the woman kitty-corner to him.  She stares into nothingness, not even acknowledging anyone.

I go to her chairside and lower myself to where her gaze is at, I ask her if she is okay, she doesn’t respond at first, her eyes blank and staring.  When she finally looks at me all I see is sadness and loss.

“Well, I’m here, aren’t I?” She says, the weight of her words fall on me.

This was a moment where I didn’t have anything to say, where I was left speechless and burdened with a sadness.  I felt for her, every fiber in my body hurt, often sadness like this not expressed.

Her eyes flickered from my face back to the emptiness of before and I thought about it as I rocked back up to my heels and moved back towards the window. 

I could feel the bleakness she felt at that moment, in her life there was a long string of bleak moments that stretched along every moment she was tied to the machine.  In this place we call an out-patient clinic we have the cheery yellow and green paint of the walls, the 180 view of the city, we have the televisions set on comedy channels and the staff wear bright colored scrubs. 

Somtimes it helps and sometimes it doesn’t, sometimes the path before them is just too bumpy to imagine crossing, sometimes it’s just a bad day.

There isn’t much I can do for her, there are days I feel I have done nothing, I can call the social worker, I can call the doctor, I can check her meds, we can up her anti-depressants.  But the constant in her life is dialysis and the evilness it spreads.

There are people who climb out of this feeling, it’s a normal feeling for awhile, and they find their way out of the darkness, they find something that makes them smile, if even for a moment. 

At the end of the day, as I took her off the machine, flushing her cleansed blood back into her veins, I stuck two fingers between her half-clenched hand as a blood pressure took.  She looked at me for a moment and I smiled, it wasn’t long before she looked away and her blood pressure was taken and her needles were out and she was ready for home.

There isn’t always a pot of gold at the end of those rainbows, but they always end somewhere and usually just past them sunlight appears.


~ by Kim on November 9, 2008.

2 Responses to “There isn’t always a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow”

  1. Life in dialysis can be very hard. It’s depressing just to imagine being in dialysis room 3x a week, 4 hours a day.

  2. Very sad. I hope she can find a better outlook on the time she has left.

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