But I couldn't handle you being nice to me the other day.
I was running around like a crazy person on a night when we were packed to the rafters. I was supposed to have the "easy" area, the one including the asthma chairs. But there were people with abscesses, and possible DVTs, and pneumonia in there. And because we were working short, I had several other rooms. And because one of those rooms was a monitored room, I got an ICU patient who needed CVP monitoring. I also had two psych patients who could barely keep from fighting with each other. People were (justifiably) bitching about their long waits, and for some reason, they all kept asking ME (instead of their own doctor or nurse) about when they would be seen, and could they have a sandwich, blah blah blah. One man was rummaging around in a cabinet, and when I asked him if I could help him, he said he wanted a straw (a hot commodity in our ED) for his wife, who was in another nurse's area. I went back into our staff lounge and dug one up and then ran off on my busy way.
The patients kept coming, my CVP guy was becoming increasingly more unstable, and I was feeling incredibly overwhelmed, being buttonholed by docs every other minute about orders for their patients, and feeling unable to keep up with everything I had to do.
I was standing at my desk putting together an IV setup when the gentleman for whom I had found the straw came over. He looked me in the eye and said, "You know, I've been watching you. Everyone around here looks busy, but you're the only one who is actually DOING something."
I stared at him for a second and said, "Well, thank you, that's very nice to say."
He touched my hand and said, "I really mean it."
My eyes immediately began to well up with tears, and rather than completely lose it, I snatched my had away, averted my eyes, mumbled, "thanks," and sped away, so he wouldn't see me get upset. I feel really bad about blowing him off, but I couldn't take it.
So, thanks, nice man, for nursing the nurse.