My Inside Does Not Match My Outside

Life is good, fun to be had, but one problem prevails... if I get up to dance, will my knees cooperate or fold? Nurses Announcements Archive Article

My Inside Does Not Match My Outside

My eight hour shift at the nursing home has ended, so off I walk to my pickup truck for the monotonous ride home. Driving into my yard it takes every bit of energy to carry myself into the house. Hobbling along I manage to clear the doorstep and flop into my recliner with a big sigh of relief. As I remove my white lace- up orthopedic nursing shoes and take off my socks, much to my dismay I find "cankles" prevail. (Cankles are when your ankles/calves are joined as one.)

My socks lay on a pile next to my shoes, but looking at my legs they appear to still be on because of the telltale ridges and indentations that are still present. Too tired to be dismayed by this all too common sight, I hobble up to the bedroom for my nightly ritual of freshening up, donning p.j.'s and collapsing into bed.

Upon awakening the following morning my "cankles, and sock legs" have diminished but my toes remain square, chunky and sore to touch causing me to walk down the stairs for my morning coffee with a gait resembling a penguin. After a hot cup of steaming "cowboy strong coffee," my mind clears with thoughts of "This is not fair!" "My mind is sharp," I review the events of the past shift covering a 911 where an emergency was well handled with my knowledge and expertise that comes with 30 years of "humpin the halls." Granted, no longer do I run.... but my pace is still brisk! Upon arriving, my advice is still sound. No longer do the young EMT's give the old white haired nurse a hard time about why this is an emergency situation and why they were called. My presence leaves no doubt that I am the "head nurse" for the shift.

Finally the weekend arrives with time off to play, be with friends for a night, movies, maybe out with the girls for stress relievers and dancing.

Life is good, fun to be had, but one problem prevails... if I get up to dance, will my knees cooperate or fold?

Young at heart, but older in body everything hurts more than it ought to. Looking good with white blonde hair flowing and very few wrinkles hides he fact that no one has any idea my true age or being. A nice shirt, with a touch of "lady like sexy" adds to the feeling. Laughing, relaxing, and having fun, all of my nurse issues are put out of my mind, almost feeling like I am 30 again. As time passes I am light in mood, my energy rises and I feel wonderful, even if it is for a few hours.

So my comment is to young nurses full of energy and vigor... beware! One day you will be the old white haired nurse you see. Your aches and pains will come in time, but hopefully you will fee the same way I do today. This is the best profession ever and I would not trade this experience for anything!

So looking through my eyes this morning, yet again, I see that my outside does not match my inside...but is just fine with me!

Spunky old nurse who loves to cook for friends.

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Thanks for sharing. I hope people remember the message of your article. Everyone gets old (physically anyway). But, mentally and emotionally?? Well, probably... :rolleyes:

Yes, thank you for sharing. I'm a staff nurse on my early 30's though i feel like 50's already beacause of my cervical problem- Bone spur from C4-C7. Hope to have the spirit that you have... That even though in pain will still be able to take care of others and have a good time with myself & others. Take care

Specializes in L&D, GYN, Neo ICU, Nursing Education.

Oh, I just love this article. You have captured the aches, pains, and problems with aging in a profession requiring activity. You've also captured that respect "older" nurses have earned and the inherent love most of us have for this rewarding profession. Very nice article.


Specializes in None Yet.

Great article! I'm 40 and almost done with nursing I can relate to this.

Specializes in Orthopaedic Nursing; Geriatrics.

I love it Lindsey! Very good description of how us "seasoned" nurses feel! I have been a nurse since 1973 and love my job every day! Now, the evenings may be difficult, but I love the days! My husband keeps asking me when I plan to retire and I tell him it's not in my plans! I am still young on the inside but at night I sometimes smell like Ben Gay on the outside!!

I am 40 also can totally related. Wow

Specializes in all things maternity.

Thank You! I am 53 years old and have been a nurse for too many years...if judged by the outside. I have many medical problems and can barely walk some days. But on the inside...things are soooo different! I feel so young and relevant and how I love being a nurse for young new families. I don't want to ever retire but its only a matter of time before I will have too. I must enjoy it while it lasts!!!

thank you for sharing those sentiments. I have recently been forced to take my disabilty due to my back problems. My mind is sharp as ever and my almost 20 years of critical care nursing is a valuabel resource. I just finished my MSN/Ed last year in hopes to 'rekindle" my career but because of my limitations no one wanted me!! :crying2:

I am filed with disappointment and sorrow at being forced from my career! I have a wealth of experience in critical care, teaching, mentoring, and writting policy/procedures. This is very hard for me emotionally. I am still looking for an outlet. Our profession really needs to look at experienced physicaly disabled nurses in a different light!!! SO, Yes, I concure, my inside does not match my outside!!! Thanks for putting it so eloquently! :)

Specializes in NICU.

"So my comment is to young nurses full of energy and vigor... beware! One day you will be the old white haired nurse you see. Your aches and pains will come in time, but hopefully you will fee the same way I do today. This is the best profession ever and I would not trade this experience for anything!"

I agree, and thank you for voicing your opinions. I've been an RN for 35 years; 34 years at the same hospital. and yet am rarely asked for help by the younger nurses. I have arthritis, use a cane prn, and walk slower than I used to. I'm also a bit off-balance, and have started the application for SSD. But my brain is full of 34 years experience in the field of Nursing I've specialized in. It hurts me to see one nurse with a year's experience call another nurse with 1-2 years experience to help her; even when I'm in the same room.

Another painful thing: I've contributed God knows how many hundreds of dollars over the years for Wedding Showers, Baby Showers, Farewell Showers, Graduation Showers, etc. We have them in our Nursing Lounge. Recently I celebrated my 30 year anniversary with our hospital's NICU, where I work. I am the ONLY nurse that's been there since the day we opened our doors. This annivesary was not ackowledged by the hospital or my fellow staff in any way. Not a card, a flower, a ballooon, a potluck, a "thank you"; Nothing. Nada. That hurt me more than I thought it would. It really stung.:crying2:

I said to a friend of mine; they forgot the 32 years I worked in the unit where I was in good health; now they only remember and concentrate on the fact that I'm slower and sometimes need help because of pain. (BTW, I NEVER ask a busy staff RN for help. But if I see someone "Surfing the Net" in our area, looking at clothes, toys for their kids, or playing games, I will PURPOSELY ask for help, even if I don't need it.)

Thanks for giving me a chance to vent.

And I still love my job after all these years.:nurse::redbeathe

Hey preemielove80,

When younger nurses don't ask for your help, maybe you shouldn't take it personally. Maybe the younger ones are a little intimidated by you. For most of them, I don't think they do it on purpose. People who have more experience and come out a 'certain way' tend to be perceived 'intimidating.' I'm not sure why that is. Younger nurses will tend to go to their young counterparts, and obviously won't have as near experience as you. It's not because they don't like you, but, most likely they're just intimidated.

It's a little sad that you don't feel appreciated by anyone at your hospital. Well, as long as you get your retirement pay right? I think you'd be perfect in teaching nursing full or part-time. It's not as physically demanding compared to working in a hospital. Plus, you can share everything you know about nursing, so that one day -- one of your students can properly take care of you :rolleyes:. Hopefully, none of your students will hate you (just kiddin'). You sound like a kind, wonderful woman who would benefit from teaching and your future students will greatly benefit from you in return.

So, why not teach... teach? I hear it's a good job, plus it gets you out of the house and it comes with money!

Specializes in Dialysis,M/S,Home Care,LTC, Admin,Rehab. are an amazing writer :) What an awesome article. Thank you!