I am a clinical social worker who has worked at UC Davis Medical Center for 40+ years. I also receive my medical health care at this facility. I was scheduled for a colonoscopy and needless to say, I was a bit apprehensive about the procedure. It was very humbling being the recipient rather than the provider. Regretfully, I have experienced multiple losses within my family and was highly aware of complications that can result with any procedure performed. Entering the procedure room, I found it to be a bit depressing, intimidating, cold, and sterile. There stood Hazel Callahan, my nurse, who would be with me through the whole procedure. She, on the other hand, was engaging, kind, and cheerful.
Hazel directed me to a room to undress for the procedure, gave me a warm thick gown and socks, assisted me on to a gurney, and covered me with warm blankets. I commented on how I appreciated receiving the warm gown and blankets. She noted that the room was cold and wanted me to be warm and comfortable.
I was a little hesitant about doing the procedure. Hazel reassured me that I was doing the right thing. She noted that she knew two individuals who were very close to her that had been diagnosed with colon cancer. One of whom was at a stage 4 and had a very short time left to live. She emphasized the importance of early intervention and that I indeed was doing the right thing.
My elderly cousin drove me to my appointment. I was concerned that if anything happened, I would want her to have support and guidance. I asked Hazel to please notify my Department (Social Services), should anything bad happen. She said that yes she would, but in a very reassuring voice said, "But nothing will happen!"
I noticed on the monitor that my blood pressure was 109/58. I could not believe that that was my blood pressure; I told Hazel I had been diagnosed with high blood pressure. It has not been that low in a while. I told her I thought it was her keeping me calm.
Recognizing that I was a social worker, she thanked me and my profession, maybe three different times, for all that we have done to help her with her patients here at UC Davis Medical Center. I felt like a soldier coming back from Afghanistan, being thanked continually for my service in the battle field.
Hazel remained very attentive to all my needs, even during the procedure when she detected that I might be experiencing pain. When the procedure was over, my first thoughts were, "I survived!" My next thought was of Hazel and how much I appreciated her presence. She was my angel. Hazel, after a few days, may never think of me again, but, I can assure you, I will never forget her! The small and simple things she did to make me and others feel special will never be acknowledged enough! Thank you, my angel Hazel.