Friday, March 31, 2017
What she did for me is having a domino effect on me, my family, and the people I care for as a nurse.
As quickly as a drop of water becomes lost in the puddle, this stranger changed the path of my life.
My son had been out of the NICU from his 6 week fight for life for exactly one month, and we were back in the hospital. I was running on no sleep, and saw in front of me and my boy a future of hospital stays, diagnosis, therapy, and sickness. No doctors had answers, and I didn't even know what questions I had.
The stranger, she walked in on her rounds. Her patient, my son. Six weeks old with aspiration pneumonia. She checked his respirations, his SPO2, blood pressure, and pulse. The room was dark, and quiet. I was bedside, crying, hard with no sound. I felt absolutely alone, and defeated. I was desperately tired, and nothing was how it was supposed to be. She assessed her patient, and left the room. I'm guessing she charted her assessment, monitored her other patients.
It was the middle of the night. She probably hadn't been to the bathroom in hours, she was likely hungry, her feet hurt, and she was ready to get home to sleep. She could have taken a break, she could have sent her friend a text, she could have sat down to rest her feet, and finish her charting, but she didn't..........
I heard the wheels rolling down the hall before I saw her hand reach out in front of me. I looked up, and that stranger, in her scrubs, my sons nurse reached for my hand, and stood me up. She unfolded the small cot, put on the sheet, and put the pillow down. She guided me to the bed, and helped me lay down. That stranger covered me up, and our eyes locked. We spoke no words, and she left. I fell to sleep immediately. She ended her shift, and I have never seen her again.
Now here I am in my late thirties a nurse, working my way up. Now I get to be the stranger, everyday I go to work, I get to be the stranger. No words spoken, like a drop of water lost in the puddle creating a ripple effect, and an instant transformation.
Thursday, March 30, 2017
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
The pain, the beautiful, the lovely, the horrifying, all snapshots in our minds.
Then there is the space between, the usual, the biggest part of our journey.
The space identified as no longer, and not yet.
The space between where we are, and where we want to be.
In this space is where our response to the ordinary holds our opportunity to grow.
Most of the time this space feels like a hiatus, other times it feels like we have no control, but in these spaces are our opportunities to grow, and know change is coming. This space can be terrifying, this space can be mundane, and this space can be full of clutter.
The space between.
The smiles we smile, the laughter shared, the tears we cry, the hope, the disappointment, the joy.
The moments in between the seconds.
Friday, March 24, 2017
Even when we love our job, we cant pour from an empty cup. We cant rely on others to refill us. We cant count on others to bring us happiness because it is no one else's job to take care of me, but me.
My therapy, my refill is the gym, the barbell, even the pain. The sweat, feeling my heart pound, lifting the weight off the ground and increasing my physical strength increases my inner strength. Hearing the plates hit the floor, this is my therapy, it fills me up where nothing else can reach. No words, no ones actions can refill me like the barbell. It is solitude, and it is clarity. It is head vs heart, I am my only competition, I am just me, I can let go.
People come and go in our lives, people will disappoint us, people change, people lie, but it is no one else's job to take care of me but me. The one place I can refill is the gym. The gym is always there. It is a guarantee that it will give back to me what I put in. It is my therapy. The gym is my therapy. When life gets busy, the first thing I let go of is my love, my therapy, the gym. I feel defeated, and tired, and I want to climb into bed, but I need to refill. I need to take care of me, I need to let it all out in the one place that will always be there waiting for me. The gym. I refuse to let go of this, no matter how tired I get. This is one time I get to put myself first. Refill, so I can pour from myself as a nurse, as a mom, and a student.
Monday, March 20, 2017
Which way shall I go? To the left where nothing is right, or to the right where there is nothing left?
Sometimes this currant will wash us away from people who threaten our inner peace. Often I find that most people in my life were only meant to be there for a short time, for winter laughter, for summer nights, and some only for dreams. The tides turn, and they are gone on their own currant. With every goodbye you learn, and you learn, and you learn.
Find places in life that don't walk away, and give back exactly what you put in.
Friday, March 17, 2017
I remember waking up each morning when Alex had just come home from the NICU with a knot in my gut. NG tube care, projectile reflux, aspiration pneumonia were constant worries each and everyday. Then with Max, going to bed at night worrying if his blood sugar will drop too low.
Just as I did then with Alex, and just as I do when I lay in bed at night, when I walk into work I take each task as it comes, and when it is overwhelming I remind myself how far I have come, what I have learned, all the battles I have won, and all the fears I have overcome. I tell myself to be brave, and bloom.
I took this picture near the farm I grew up on.
Always keep your face to the sunshine so you cant see the shadows. Its what the sunflowers do.
"I think we are all golden sunflowers inside." Allen Ginsberg
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Naps are typically something we view as a way to gain energy, improve mental focus, and boost alertness. When a child takes a nap we like to gaze at their long eyelashes, chubby cheeks, and angelic breathing. However, when that child is a type 1 diabetic you're anxiety increases, worry weighs on you, and fears about their future are at the forefront of your mind as you wonder if they are too low and falling into a coma, or headed into DKA and a trip to the ER.
Sunday, March 12, 2017
Friday, March 10, 2017
Since I began this new normal, this incredible journey, this up hill climb, I have heard many people say "God never gives you more than you can handle", or "He chose you because He knew you could do a good job", and even "I know I couldn't raise a special needs child".
I hate to take the beauty out of those nice thoughts, but I cant handle this, I cant do this either. This is too big for me, but I have to do it.
Alex is my boy, of course I will do this, of course I will choose to handle this. I'm not some special creature that was created to do super things that others cant do.
It seems people find relief in saying they couldn't do it, so that's why God hasn't given them a special needs child. Like they get a free pass on raising a special child because they just know they couldn't handle it.
I'm no different than those people who think they cant. Well, the difference is I have to, and I choose to do the best I can.
Don't treat me like I was chosen, or I am better, or stronger, because I'm not. This is hard, I cant, I kick and scream, but I have to, so I will, and I will do the best I can every minute of everyday, not because I'm stronger or better, or can handle more, because I cant, but because I have to, so I will, and I will do the best I can.
We are the same.
Thursday, March 9, 2017
Last night after I left the gym the sunset was one of the most beautiful I have admired. Of course I tried to capture its beauty on my cell phone, through the bug stained windshield, and didn't quite grab the gorgeous colors I saw with my own eyes. I spent a good 15 minutes trying to capture it, all the while the sun was setting, and I realized I didn't soak it in, I didn't appreciate all that beauty because I was trying to capture it in a picture. I was trying to edit the bug stained windshield and and missed the beauty that was in front of me.
I have vivid memories of sitting in the hospital looking out the window at the world and wanting to scream at everyone who was going about their day while mine was crashing down around me. For six weeks I looked out the window of the NICU and watched everyone go about there day, the beautiful September weather suddenly felt unfriendly, and scary. Then again in November, back in the hospital with no answers, and everyone just kept on living. Thanksgiving in the hospital, and everyone went on with their plans to cook, laugh, and see family. Years later the cold January wind felt appropriate as the doctor told me my five year old had Type one diabetes, and he would forever depend on insulin to live. One day without the appropriate amount of carbohydrates and he will fall asleep and not wake up. I was staring out the window 8 years later and facing fear again. Watching the world keep spinning without me..............But it wasn't.