Tuesday, September 25, 2012


     I'm going to start this post today by saying that Our Father is ever so amazing. He's gracious and kind and merciful and loving. He's everything that's good in life. The one thing that I've also noticed is that He has a way of humbling us when we're too prideful or arrogant. Now, I admit-- I'm no saint. I have my days where I'm down in the dumps and I feel like nobody cares. I have days where I'm at the top and I feel like I'm the cream of the crop and nobody does it better than me. Then, I have those days where I'm so inpatient with everything and everybody. I feel like the world should be moving at the speed of my light. I know it's silly but it's just me being honest.

     I'm in my senior semester of Nursing school and, as usual, my days are long and hectic. I started complaining about having to go to Clinicals first thing this morning before I even got in the shower. How dare patients have the nerve to be sick and me have to get out my warm bed to go in and put in time for free! I'm sick of this, I'm tired of that, and on and on my mind raged this morning. So...I prayed about it in the shower and left it at that. Once I pulled out of the driveway this morning, everything started to calm down. By the time I reached the hospital, I was in good spirits.

     Well, as usual, I was the first student to the floor. My instructor asked me if I had this certain patient before and I said, "No." Then, she gave me a brief summary of what was wrong with her and I thought, "crap!!!" Although, I'll never let a patient see me aggravated or irritated, in the back of my mind, I thought that I was being punished. For having bad thoughts. For being mean to those that I love. For being inpatient. For being arrogant.

     Anyway, I get in the room this morning and I see this patient. She's my age and had a stroke sometime during the summer. She has children whom love her. She has a mother who takes the time to call and make sure that she hears her voice. She couldn't talk, she couldn't move, and her body was twisted. She was missing part of her skull. She was lying there storming (something brain injured patients do when they're overstimulated). I was told that her prognosis is very poor. Suddenly, the thought came to me that when she woke up the morning that this happened, she probably never thought that this would be her life. I wondered if she'd had the time to thank God for His Son, his grace, his Mercy, her life, their life. Had she taken the time to stop and smell the roses. Look up at the clouds and watch them float on by? Had she taken the time to tell her loved ones how much they meant to her and how grateful she was that God put them in her life? Did she handle all of her spiritual business before this condition took over her life?

   I took care of her like she was one of my own family members. I've started to notice that I do that with all of my patients. It gives me joy because it gives me purpose. Anyway, I took more time with her than I normally do for any other patient because I felt compelled in my spirit. I wanted her trach care to be just right. I didn't want her to be the least bit uncomfortable (although there was only so much I could do in that area). I was praying that she was cognizant enough to know that she was in good hands because I was there. And I cared.
    One thing that I noticed is how I felt very humble and quite foolish and ashamed. Who am I to complain about anything when I'm walking, talking, my kids are healthy, and I have family who love me? Who cares that I had to wake up early and leave out before the sun came up? Who cares that things don't always go my way? Seriously, there is more to life. So, I learned a lesson or two today. And what is life if you don't see or get the lesson that God wants to teach you? In my mind, I told God, "Thank You." I get it.

     First, stop complaining so much. I have a bad habit of this and I don't like it at all. This Nursing thing is the dream that I've had for myself that God made come true even when I doubted. He gave me the gift of the big heart that has so much compassion. Second lesson-- everyday really does count. Every single day. Lazy days, crazy days-- all of them. You have to make them count and if possible, leave a good impression. You just never know...

    I'm a huge fan of the group Coldplay. In their song, Square One, they sing this lyric: 'From the line on the first page until the end of the last day'. It's metaphorical for one's life. For some reason, that song just kept coming back to me. All afternoon. Do I want my last page to be filled with regrets, anger, and irrelevance or do I want a 'well done my good and faithful servant' when my life's book has been read?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Loving It!

     I've made it to my fourth semester! Am I scared? You betcha! Am I tired? Better believe it. The studying is tedious and there's so much that I had forgotten over the summer break. Lectures are more like class discussions because there's a lot of self teaching. The tests are no longer just knowledge based; you have to apply what you know to that patient. The hours are long, the material is tough, and everything else in your life goes on the back burner.

     The one thing that I've noticed is that I really love clinicals this semester. I believe that it's because I feel more like a nurse and less like a CNA. Now, when I found out who my clinical instructor was, I was excited. Ms. Grace, as we call her, is brilliant. Funny, too. More importantly, she makes you really look at your patient, their disease process, and the effect it has on their life. She cares so much for the patients when she tends to them and puts her heart into it. I'm determined that I will be that kind of nurse. No patient is going to be just a body to me. Ever.

     The other thing that surprises me is that I'm tougher than I thought I was. I always said that I don't want to see blood and guts and slime, etc. I was determined that I never wanted to see a bedsore or suction snot from a person's trach. In my mind, it just wasn't happening. But...this semester, I'm on a respiratory floor and I can suction and clean a trach with the best of them! My stomach doesn't even try to flip anymore. I'm way better at assessing patients and recognizing when something just doesn't feel right. My heart is on a hospital floor and if I had a choice in the matter, I would stay there all day. I just have this need to try to solve problems and care for people.

      I was thinking today that God has given me the most amazing gift. Besides my children that is. I didn't grow up in the best circumstances and was left feeling unloved and unwanted almost my whole life. I still have days. But, I think that all this only made me a more compassionate person overall. I know that I care way more than I should and I'm unbelievably sensitive but it's ok. I finally accept those flaws and truth be told, I think they're blessings.