Monday, February 24, 2014

Just a nurse

I recently recall saying to a doctor, "Oh I'm just a nurse." I was surprised and pleased when he corrected me. Why? Because that's what people all around us tell us everyday. Maybe not in direct terms, but through their actions and speech, we know. Don't get me wrong, nurses get a lot more respect than they used to. But I know one thing for sure, I am anything but "just" a nurse. 

Nurses are intelligent. We may not have had as much schooling as other professionals, but I remember studying harder than I ever had before and not everyone makes the cut. By the time a doctor completes school and is ready to start practicing, even as a resident, a nurse the same age has had several years of experience in the field, dealing with complex problems on a daily basis. We have developed keen assessment skills and a killer gut instinct to go along with it. We often take part in courses to specialize in our chosen field, spending countless more hours becoming experts at what we do. 

Nurses work hard and fulfill a lot of roles. I am an educator, a portable pharmacy to my patients, a wound care specialist, a physical therapist, a phelbotomist, a janitor, and a bather, feeder, and dresser just to name a few things. We are expected to make sure our patients are medicated, clean, well-fed, educated and satisfied with all the care they have received at the hospital, no matter who it came from. I have found that we suffer the consequences when another hospital service is at fault for poor care. I will stand by this as long as I am a bedside nurse, a care partner (nursing aid, patient care tech, whatever you call them) can make or break you. No matter what, take care of your care partners, help them in anyway you can and treat them with respect! I know from first hand experience just how hard their job is. :)
Nurses are compassionate. We see people at their worst. We are hit, kicked, slapped, bit, verbally abused and degraded by patients, families and other hospital personnel. Yet we endure, because we care about our patients. We laugh and cry with them, talk them through their stresses, and are their for them when they need us. There is rarely anytime in a shift to decompress whenever a nurse encounters such harsh realities. I feel that many of us are forced to brush it off, laugh it off or bottle it up as much as possible. :(

Nurses are strong (mentally and physically). We work 12 hour shifts on concrete, lifting, pulling, and pushing patients. We hold in our sadness at the loss of a patient, pulling it together until our shift is over because we must carry on for our other patients. It is all too soon that there will be a brand new patient with a new set of problems to manage in that very same room. 

What is a nurse to you?

-Disclaimer- this post is in no way meant to degrade or belittle any other profession, or the patients and families we care for. As nurses we understand that the hospital is very stressful and sometimes that presents in the worst way possible. The only point of this post is to remind myself to always hold myself in high esteem for what I do. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Hey I have an idea!

So, my wonderful husband, in all his wonderfulness sent me a text about a month ago. 
      "Why didn't I think of this before as an option, teach music abroad."

I may or may not have texted back 7 hours later

That's where it all started. Duane and his scheming. He began doing research (his specialty), and discovered a website devoted to posting jobs available at international schools (as in, not in the USofA). From there he spent an enormous amount of hours perfecting his CV, putting his teaching philosophy into words, writing cover letters, gathering references and testimonies and putting together a website dedicated to promoting himself as an international teacher. He has since put applications out to schools in Mali, The Cayman Islands, Rio de Janeiro, etc. Now we wait patiently for responses. 

What have I been doing during all this. Stressing. Worrying. Wondering about the future. Let me first state this. I love my husband, I respect my husband, and I want him to succeed. Despite the steady flow of gigs that Duane has had in Nashville, we are not reaping the benefits. The idea itself has met a lot of resistance from all different kinds of people (I'll admit, that I have had my doubts and issues). People mean well and I love that they can feel comfortable to speak truth to us and caution us from making decisions we may regret. I know that they speak out of love for us. Who knows what tomorrow will bring? God calls us to do and try many different things and I never want to be close-minded or stiff-necked. I have always thought, God won't call me to do anything radical like moving to another country, being a missionary,etc. I'll just be a nurse...the gosh-darn best, most compassion, caring nurse you have ever had, all for God's glory ;). Never say never people. Never say never. 

It took me awhile of wrestling with this, being angry, sad, upset, name it. I can't believe I didn't break something in a random fit of rage. (Yes, I am my father's daughter. I have quite the temper.) I worried about bills that we have, the puppy we love, what would/could I do in a foreign country, and how would I get along if I didn't know the language. Fear is crippling. I hate not having a plan; a well formed check list of 'to-dos' I can calmly work my way through. I am struggling to learn that I am not, nor will I ever be, in control. 

In this moment though, I feel peace. I am determined to be still, and wait on the timing of the Lord. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

So Behind...Happy Anniversary?...

So last ..cough.. year Duane and I celebrated our 3 year anniversary!! Now, although I love that we married in December and I thought our wedding, the weather, and the day was absolutely beautiful, it does get hard to celebrate together so close to the holidays. Our first two anniversaries, we didn't really do anything for ourselves, instead we would just go home and visit family for christmas/new years. This year I wanted it to be different. I wanted to make our marriage a priority and so we planned a trip. Not just any trip, but a DISNEY trip.

So, being the frugal couple we are, we could not imagine paying 200+ a person to fly to Orlando. Instead, we dropped Meah off at the kennel and started driving. What was suppose to be a 10 hour car ride turned into a 13-14hour car ride. AHHHH!! Just outside of Atlanta, there was an accident that closed all of south bound I-75. We were diverted off the interstate for a 3 hour detour that took us about 5 miles down 75 past the accident. We were at our wits end by then and not even halfway there? It was an awful start, but we finally made it to our hotel at about 2 am.

Disney was absolutely magical. I say Disney and of course in my mind, this includes Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. I know this is not so, but I just wanted to clarify for this blog's sake, what I mean exactly.

Day 1 we went to Hollywood Studios. We road Tower of Terror, Rock n' Roller coaster  (both several times) and went to the Indian Jones stunt show to name a few things. It was really fun and since we went in December, we hardly waited in lines at all. The longest line was maybe 30mins total and I feel so spoiled now. I wouldn't know what to do if I had to wait a long time. 

We spent Day 2 at Universal Studios, riding roller coasters, becoming Minions from Despicable Me, being chased by aliens from MIB and the Mummy. We also saved the world with Transformers. It was so much fun. 

Day 3 we went to Islands of Adventure and basically spent the whole day between The Incredible Hulk and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The detail in the Hogwarts castle and the stores and restaurants was phenomenal. I had 2 Butter Beers, we rode both sides of the Dueling Dragons (you have to ride in the front, its 100x more awesome), and the ride through the Castle. I guess we will have to plan another trip soon since they are opening up Diagon Alley later this year *wink, wink.*

Charlene, Aaron and Brian
We also had one more special thing planned and we got to share it with our friends from small group Charlene, Brian and their son Aaron. We went to Mickey's Christmas Party. Basically it's Disney Magic and Christmas spirit all rolled into one amazing night. The park opens from 7p-12a for everyone who has the special tickets. You can ride any rides, there's free cookies and hot chocolate and you get to watch some spectacular fireworks and a parade. I even got hit on by Peter Pan. What more could I ask for right? That night we were able to ride Space Mountain (Duane had never been!!) and I got to meet Belle (my favorite Disney Princess). We also watched the parade, road the railroad and got stuck in a Haunted Mansion. It was amazing. I loved our Disney Vacation.