jaelpn 11,120 Views
Joined Dec 21, '05.
Posts: 48 (65% Liked)
I use to think that faith was enough- that if I had enough faith, I could accomplish anything. Faith is something that I think can lead us into the belief of being able to have a stronghold on life. When the tough gets going, we start to see that cloud of darkness roll in. I have always been known to be a Christian, but the closer I get to thinking I know who I am, or what I am and believe in- things change. One minute I am feeling this complete satisfaction of life as if some light of clarity has suddenly turned on inside of me. The next moment I am wondering how I am able to even survive another day on this earth.
There are nights that I have trouble sleeping; I'm just staring up at the ceiling with my mind going a mile a minute. I'm sure there are many other people who do this as well. I just start thinking about things in life. One thought always crosses my mind: I am going to die. We all know it's coming, there is no escaping the reality of what human life becomes. We exist, we live and we die. It's something no one really wants to talk about, yet we are all swimming in the same ocean of life. I try to wrap my mind around the concept of death but it's hard. I see death often since I work in the medical field. It's not that shocking to be doing the final preparing of a body before the funeral home straps the body to the gurney to be prepared for the last viewing before the body is buried six feet under. Sounds kind of morbid, doesn't it? What happens to our souls after we die? There are so many different religions, so many different beliefs. How do we know that our religion, our belief- is the "right" one?
I grew up going to a Methodist church- so from a young age, I was told I was a Christian because I believed in God and sang all the church hymnals, was baptized and did all the things that a young christian person should do. The older I got, the more I thought about how my faith never really started until I lost my faith. I had gone through the phase of depression and lost what faith I had in life. It was much easier to just stay in that dark depression and not feel anything toward life (like a numbness)- but the deeper I got, the harder it was for me to feel anything toward life. I don't really remember how my faith came back, but I knew that I needed to find some kind of happiness in life.
I'm sure most people know about God and the story of Jesus, Noah's arc, etc. As a kid, I remember reading from the children's bible- seeing all these colorful pictures of the arc, the cross where Jesus had died for our sins, the heavenly angels playing the harps on this big white puffy clouds. The more I think of it as an adult, the more it seems all that stuff was written like a fairy tale. We don't want to think of what is -next- after our death so we want to fill it up with something that seems too good to be true.
I don't believe there are coincidences in life. I believe there is a purpose for everything that happens. We may not know it until after our hindsight of the experience, but I think there is a reason for all the good and bad things of the world. After my father's death at the age of 59, I tried to close my eyes and pray. It was hard...I was angry that my dad had died so young, and maybe I just wasn't in the right state of mind to pray when I was angry. I eventually overcame the anger and was in that accepting stage. A few different times I had dreams of my father- almost like I could touch him. It brought a lot of emotions- knowing that he is only as far away as I let him be. We are stuck in these bodies for a long while- these awful, hard to maintain at times- bodies. My dad had a lot of stuff wrong with his heart and lungs- it just caused him an early death. But death isn't as negative as it sounds- it's kind of like putting a beloved pet down because you don't want to see them suffer anymore. God knows the person is suffering, the person's body isn't responding the way it should so he puts the body to rest and their soul lives on in the dimension of the universe for which we can't see with our humanly eyes. There is not a doubt in my mind that there is something "more" ...there are too many miracles, too many things to think we were all created from some "big bang" ...the simplicities of a blooming flower, the sounds of birds chirping, the way the stars shine brightly in a clear midnight sky. That is where my faith comes in. There is just too many beautiful things in the world to think that we humans could make it all up. The miracle of birth- how we all are so different and yet we all have two eyes, ten toes, ten fingers, etc. How awesome is it to see a child born to this world- and life to begin once again.
I may not be the picture perfect Christian. I know I'm not even a good enough human to deserve this life; to be able to see what life brings forward. I know that I am, however, full of faith. Faith has taught me that no matter how hard life gets, no matter the good from the worse things that happen in life, faith will carry me through. I've heard the saying that someone has faith the size of a mustard seed; althought that's a very small amount of faith- it's something that can carry you through. We all need faith- I hope that wherever the wind may blow, no matter how difficult life comes- faith can reach us all. I have faith there has to be a better tomorrow; why? Because without it, there's no use in living. I'd say faith is enough- enough to give us Hope.
"I survived that First year." I believe those words were what I whispered quietly as I finished my first year of being a Nurse. ...and also being a first time mother. It seems to go hand-in-hand. You can prepare, study, read other's experiences, but until you actually experience that first year... you can only hope it's a smooth transition. My daughter was born February 11th, 2015. When I had her, I had 7 years of nursing experience under my belt. I haven't been in the hospital as a patient since I was in grade school with a fractured arm. Instead of being the nurse caring for a patient, I was the patient.
It's kind of crazy how you can go into the bathroom, pee on a stick and come out with these 2 pink lines...and the world stands still. It's in a blink of an eye that your life changes. It is like when you are waiting for that final "Pass or Fail" on your nursing NCLEX.... and you see "PASS", you realize all the hard work and dedication was well worth it.
The way you are in labor, you struggle through the labor pains, the back labor, the hard pushing, the burning... "oh she has a full head of hair!" ...and you are pushing with all your might to be able to see that precious face you have waited to see through all the months of pregnancy.... you are hoping, dreaming and ready to take on this new adventure. And finally, that moment arrives.... you give your last ounce of strength, whether it be labor (or your last amount of strength in nursing school) and out comes the most remarkable gift. When my daughter was placed on my chest, the world truly stood still at that moment. Those precious hands, those toes, her big eyes taking in the new world around her... that moment will always be the most cherished.
So when my first year of being a nurse is thought upon, I remember the struggle. You are in that learning phase, yet are set free. You get a few weeks of orientation and then are on your own. As much as being in the hospital for a few days, once you place your baby in the car seat, and put that key in the ignition, you are set free. She is now completely you and your husband's responsibility. The struggles of sleepness nights, having to wake up to breastfeed and finding that latch was difficult. But as she learned how to latch on, and I learned to find a position comfortable for the both of us, it became easier and easier.
Maybe this is why, it too, is called "Nursing."
Such is the same as when you are in that first year of being a nurse, you are learning how to become comfortable with yourself, your judgement and how that effects the people you are taking care of. There are milestones in parenthood just as there are milestones as a nurse. It's all about caregiving. Not going through the motions... but actually C.A.R.E. giving. You make the best judgement you can, and sometimes reaching out to others is ok. 2nd opinions are sometimes needed, and yet your intuition kicks in. You want the best outcome not only for your baby, but for your resident, as well.
When my daughter was still in the hospital, her bilirubin levels were high. It scared me as a mother, because I was just ready to go home. I was scared- did she have to stay in the hospital longer? ....did she need to be on bili-lights? So I was reaching out... and kindness of others were reaching out, praying for us, praying that the next blood test would come back with better results. I tried everything, from placing her closer to the window to let the sunlight in... feeding her constantly to get her little system going. Then the nurse comes in. You linger on every word she has to say, because she is that link between you and the doctor. "Do you want to hear the good news or the bad news first?" ...being the optimist, I chose the bad news... because whatever the bad news is, there is good to follow. "The bad news is, in 2 days you have to bring her back in to see the pediatrician." ...."The good news, you are being discharged. Congratulations on being a new mommy. She is beautiful."
Watching her learn to roll over on her side, to being able to sit up on her own, learning to crawl and cruise around the furniture all on her own brings a smile to my face. Those first few independent steps she takes catches my breath. Then she falls. Then picks herself right back up and tries it again. She is learning just as we are learning. It is all about taking baby steps.
You don't become a nurse overnight. You take baby steps. You hit milestones. You don't give it- you try, try again. Life is all about the experiences, and you know what? It's all worth it. We lean on others in the tough times, and we give each other hope when it is needed.
It is what brings moms, and nurses, TOGETHER. We lean on each other through the good and bad. It is just in our nature. It is our way of nurturing.
I glance up from my medication cart just in time to see Mary coming down the hall with a frantic look on her face. Often, this kind of look from a resident means either...
A) They are in dire need of a bathroom NOW or
B) Something is going to cause me to have a long night of paperwork.
Mary is holding a framed picture of herself that appears to be a few decades old.
"Have you seen this person?" she innocently asks.
"I can't find her anywhere." ...
I stop what I am doing at my med cart, look up at her and see the confusion on her face. The look on her face tells me she is quite puzzled that she can not find the person in the picture anywhere.
The young woman in the picture is smiling, curly brown hair flowing down her back as she smiles back at the camera . The lady standing in front of me has white hair that was set at the "beauty parlor" and looks a lot like the young lady in the picture except for a few more wrinkles, and her smile has faded to a confused expression.
This is the real picture of a woman who is suffering from Alzheimers. She does not recognize herself any longer. Sometimes I think we all lose a little bit of ourselves through the years. We are always trying to "find our place in the world" ...searching for who we are, what we want to be and where we need to go in our lives. As quickly as we find out what makes us happy, that fleeting moment tends to escape us and we are back to square one.
I've come to the realization that I am never quite comfortable with "me" ... there is always something that I am hoping to change. I am just another face in the crowd. Looking back through old pictures, I have found that my life has changed. I can no longer look at myself and see the person staring back at me in the picture. I've changed, I've grown to be a much different person than I was as a child.
Maybe this is how Mary feels.
"Have you seen this person?" ... maybe she is just wondering where the time has gone. How fast life moves- and how far we come in wisdom.
"Yes, Mary... I have seen this person. She has aged gracefully and is loved by many." ... as Mary looks down at the picture, there is a tear that forms at the corner of her eye.
"I was a catch, wasn't I?" she says, as she places the picture frame in the basket of her walker. I smile, and know that the rest of my night at work has to go ok, because somehow, my heart has been touched by an angel.
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