Tonight, I received an email from a dear friend. She has a collection of Passion Talk DVD’s from Louie Giglio, and knowing how much I enjoy them, she has invited me to watch them with her – A “Giglio DVD marathon” evening! And then she adds, “We can make Boston Coolers!”
Now, if you are thinking right now, “What the heck is a Boston Cooler?” then you must not be from Michigan! You take a mug that you’ve kept in the freezer a while, then put a couple of scoops of French Vanilla ice cream in it, and pour Vernor’s “pop” over it.
And………….. Again, if you’re asking, “What the heck is Vernors? or “What the heck is “pop?” Then, you need to VISIT the great state of Michigan! (I’m posting an article on it below!)
Boston Coolers always made me remember my Grandmother, up until a few years ago, that is. I was taking care of a man in the ICU. He was dying, and he was dying very quickly because he was bleeding very badly. He was a very, very angry man, and my day with him was NOT EASY. He knew he was dying, and he was very angry about that, and he took it out on me, as his nurse. During one of our turns, my friend Brynn helped me get him comfortable and situated in his bed, and he began to cry. We closed the curtain and talked with him, and just held his hands while he broke down in full acceptance of his imminent death. He made the decision with the two of us there by his side, to bravely make himself a “no-code” and we were able to eventually get that accomplished with the physicians so that we would not do anything heroic to keep him alive. Instead, we would focus on doing everything we could to make him comfortable, and to allow him a peaceful, pain-free death. And we promised that he would not die alone. I’ll never forget it. I’ll never forget it because that was when my friend Brynn repeated the words my friend Michele had said so often throughout our friendship before she passed away. “What can we do?” she asked my patient. And you guessed it – He asked for one last Boston Cooler.
Brynn took her break that day, and spent it walking over to Kroger’s to get a pint of French Vanilla ice cream, and some Vernor’s pop. Together, we made that man his very last Boston Cooler. He died during my shift that day. But we were able to give him his last wish.
So, yeah – I’ll always remember my Grandma when someone mentions a Boston Cooler. But I will forever remember my Boston Cooler patient, and the kindness of my friend Brynn. I’ll always remember her saying, “What can we do?” Come to think of it, I’m not even sure she got to each lunch that day….. But that’s Brynn. In fact, that’s a nurse for you. Always putting the patient’s needs before their own – always asking, “What can I do?”
And, no – You will not learn how to make Boston Coolers in nursing school. In fact, I think we learn the very most about nursing from tender moments like these, and from seasoned nurses like my friend, Brynn.