As some of you may know, I volunteer at a rehabilitation centre and I specifically work with patients who have had major brain injuries and strokes. Sometimes there are slow days where I walk around and there are only a few patients who need some attention. However, each time I go back, I am reminded of how lucky I am to be walking, eating with my hands and anything else we take for granted. I am rewarded with a feeling of appreciation, as the nurses and patients loudly express how nice I am to give me time up to spend time with them and help them out wherever I can. And as selfish as this sounds, I am so happy to hear those compliments.
Today, I was introduced to a new patient who had memory problems. He was sarcastic and didn't have much to say; he stared at me like I was an annoyance more than anything else. But being stubborn and patient, I broke him. He started to listen to me and would open up a little bit more. By the end of my shift, I had him smiling at me all the time and I understood his odd sense of humour--it felt so good.
And at the end of the day, I know I have made a small difference--and that is all that matters.