The gentleman with the tracheostomy that I've been taking care of can't even speak to express his needs. And he does need a bit more care than some of my other patients. I feel silly when I have to guess, but I usually get it by the third or fourth try. I feel lousy because I don't think I take very good care of him that way. I've never been much of a lip reader. He turns to his childhood buddy, sitting by his bed, carting around his own oxygen tank, and mouths something. Buddy turns to me and says, "He told me you're a very good nurse." This from a patient who refused to have one particular nurse care for him yesterday. Then the patient takes my hand in both of his and holds it for a few moments.
That makes me feel good.