Sunday, September 30, 2012
Linda Guidry 9/30/2012 RIP
Today is a sad day for a number of us here in southern Louisiana. We are all just a little less than we were when we went to bed. Our dear and wonderful friend Linda Guidry, LPN died this afternoon surrounded by her family. Linda the wife of Blackie, the mother to Alvin, Emily, Camella, Susie, and Matthew, and the Grandmother(Ahnee) to a host of grandchildren has gone to be with Jesus after a short illness. I can't explain to those who don't know her how much her death affects those who knew her and loved her. She was a fixture at St. Martin Hospital and you would be hard pressed to find a worker or a patient that didn't know her. She was a wonderful nurse and a fierce protector to her patients. When my friend Jill and I went to visit her in the hospital last week we found her sitting up in bed struggling to breathe and to find a comfortable spot. I got off at midnight and called Jill and off we went. Linda, Jill and I worked the same schedule for years at different areas of the hospital and we knew that she would be awake. What they say is once a night nurse, always a night nurse, and in the wee hours of the morning we are often awake even if we are off. As she was struggling her thought was "what do we do to our patients" between breaths she was letting us know that we don't do enough for our elderly patients who are unable to care for themselves. " We have to make sure we give them water more than every hour, we have to make sure that they are comfortable, we have to help them better". I was in awe that in her struggles that she was focused on how to care for those who couldn't care for themselves and depend on nurses for comfort. I promise Linda that I will remember everything that you said that night. Every time I will deal with a recalcitrant patient I will remember and care for him or her as if I was caring for you.
Linda would occasionally work in the ER with me and a long time ago when we both had bottle reddish hair( we did love our red hair) a patient that I was helping her with looked at both of us and said "ya'll must be twins" ( and she was serious). I looked at Linda who was 50 lbs less, 4 inches shorter and who looks NOTHING like me and we both said yes. Then I added the comment - but she was born first! The patient stated " I knew it, you look exactly alike." From then on whenever we greeted each other it was "hey sister". For years whenever I would give a butt shot I would say "okay get ready ...big shot" as I would hit them with the needle. Linda did this as well. One evening she went into the room of a particularly large woman and explained she would be giving her an injection in her rump. She then wiped off the area and said "Okay get ready, one, two, three, BIG BUTT." She went back to the inpatient side refusing to come back until after the patient left. We have laughed over this for years.
Linda and I love our "bling". When you realize that we are always at work and rarely have opportunity to wear our "sparklies" we decided that the saying "less is more" did not apply to us and that 'more is more and BETTER was our mantra!!" We would always have something shiny on. I nearly broke our hearts when they sent a memo stating that the dress code was going to be enforced. Lots of bling is not listed for the dress code of a professionally dressed nurse. We could wear watches, a tasteful ring( and not on at least 3 fingers.... can you believe THAT???!!!)and non dangling earrings. It has been a struggle for both of us to find shiny things that fit within that description and still remain true to the more is more mantra.
My current ED manager Denise told me the other day that Linda taught her to be a nurse. She was a brand new RN years ago when she first came to "the Gary" as our hospital was then called. Linda took her in hand and helped her find her way. Linda as a LPN was a better nurse than most RN's that I have worked with over the years. She had incredible instincts and a wonderful sense of humor that never left her. Whenever I had an IV on a baby I would call Linda. She was the best. Make no mistake. If you worked with Linda you had to work and if you didn't work she had no patience for you. No matter that she had a temper that was awesome to see, she was at heart a peacemaker. I can still hear her say to me when I was dealing with a co-worker problem " now sister, just let that go...let that roll off your back". She read her bible at work and was a source of spiritual insight. She was an active member of New Beginnings Church and her family provide the music ministry. Susie and her husband Rene Armentor, and Blackie are up there each Sunday singing to the Lord and providing incredible blessings to all the members.
I could go on and on listing all the wonderful memories that I have of Linda, the arguments that we have had( we are both pretty strong willed), the way she would "pass" you a pair of eyes that made you realize you screwed up. I could tell you all the times that she prayed for me when I had cancer. I could tell you all the times that she provided me with her faith when mine was nearly gone. I could tell you about ALL the patients that benefited from her care. I could go on and on about her sense of humor. I could do all these things but you still wouldn't understand the impact that she had on me. I will miss you so much "sister". You have left a legacy of love in your children and grandchildren. "Ahnee" will not be forgotten.
Tonight I am wearing my sparklies....