My first love was writing. This I discovered during intermediate school.
Looking back, I think the reason for this was that growing up in a big family, and I being the 7th, with all my other siblings older and their ages closer to each other, made me turn to expressing myself on paper. I thought a writer I will be in the future. Later in high school, having developed a social life, I found out that people listen to me when I talk and later became part of the student council. That was then when I realized the importance of protecting people's rights and leading a bunch of happy, satisfied students in my humble little school.
I told my parents that I wanted to take up law in college but my Dad who also chose my siblings' careers had another path in his mind. Back then, nobody in our home would dare challenge Dad, not because of fear but more of respect and belief that he knows everything, and his plans always work. He said the world of law was male-dominated, and that much as I loved expressing thoughts based on schooled principles and advocating for human rights, he did not think that suit me. I appealed if I could pursue my first love. He said I could always write part-time or as a hobby, but he did not think a career in journalism or any form of writing would sustain me for life.
As it was, I landed on the medical field. Doing academics was a given, something we all know requires discipline. I thank God for my passion to learn anything worthwhile, and anything that interests me. I did not notice time eating away days, weeks, and years. Caring for people while equipped with the right knowledge was fulfilling and this I had in me all throughout my stay in the hospital. I loved listening to patients' different life stories, I looked forward to each of their recovery, and I was even a bit surprised that I enjoyed the hospital hustle and bustle, with all its antiseptic scent which most non-medical people dread. The big plus was the dawning that "law" was not the only field where one could advocate for others' rights and welfare. Patients do appreciate every task we do that protects them. There were patients who would openly thank you but the priceless ones were those whose eyes said it all.
There was one thing though. Much as I enjoy the world of healthcare, I had this practice of separating my private life from my work. I gave it all to my patients and superiors but scrubsuits undonned, I went home to my own world of family and friends, to chill out and make use of what's left of a social life after the hospital. Maybe I did good at work because I liked caring for people, and I applied all academics learned. However, there was a clear line between my medical-nursing world and my world at home. I saw patients as people who needed me, and I saw my family as source of my own needs. I guess most of us after an exhausting shift's work view our homes as the sacred refuge. My family members were my support and carers. When one of them was ill of even just some minor condition, I got irritated because of that delineation I had drawn that they were my pillars and not my patients. They were supposed to be strong and always there for me. I was alright with this arrangement until something changed all these.
My Dad was diagnosed with lymphoma. I was fully aware of what it meant and all that followed. For all the strength and wisdom that he represented, I could not reconcile my two worlds or worse yet, I found myself in one depressing world. We nurses take pride in our career but to me then, the bottom line was, it was a profession, but I had a life. I went through the D-A-B-D-A (denial-anger-bargaining-depression-acceptance) stages as did my Dad, Ma, and all siblings. For a moment, I was envious of my other siblings who belong to other non-medical fields because although I knew they were in pain, less was demanded of them. I was always at the frontline to deal with the crisis, and as they say, the more you know, the more difficult it is.
We decided to have Dad discharged from the hospital when all modalities failed (surgery, radiation and chemotherapy). We also thought it best that everyone will have that last chance to be with him longer and home care was more convenient than prolonged hospital confinement. The biggest change in my life was the drawing-on together of my two worlds. I realized that there IS only one world. In the end, I felt more privileged that I knew the meaning of caring both in the professional and humane world. I thank Dad, my patient, for teaching me that indeed, at the end of the day, what matters is how we lived our lives, how we cared for people, and the acceptance that each and everyone of us has got to go when our time is up. That personal experience directed me to the fact that death is real and we will all become patients at one point in time. There is no difference between strangers and family because it is life we deal with, at home and in the workplace. The good news is that we, nurses can make a difference. After all, that is our mantra, to protect life and let mortals die with dignity. Today, I am not so much into the academics but more into living the best short life I had been given, and share it with anyone who crosses my road.
This is my first time to join an article-writing activity as I have not really developed nor enhanced my first love skills. I just feel good that as I write this, my first love (writing) and last love (nursing) come together.:wink2:
Last edit by sirI on Aug 19, '08