I spent the day working at the hospital doing my work experience summer thing for nursing school.
I got to float to the intermediate care unit with my nurse, and help some very sick patients. I even had one tell me he loved me today. It was cute and funny, considering his age and sense of humor, but hey, I did save his bacon when his BP took a dive, so I guess I did earn it.
Today is 5 years since Jacob's birth and loss. (For those of you who haven't been around that long, my son Jacob was diagnosed with a fatal diagnosis of Trisomy 18 in my 20th week of pregnancy with him. He was stillborn at 22 weeks after 30 hours of labor at a hospital in Colorado, where we lived at the time). Considering this was after 3 miscarriages, to say the loss was devastating would be stating it pretty accurately.
As much as I didn't really want to work today, I thought it was a fitting tribute to my boy that all the progress in the past 5 years helped me build towards a new career that could help others.
My experience with Jacob and his loss, while not the only thing that made me a nurse, certainly gave me some knowledge and compassion towards people that I wouldn't have if I hadn't gone to that hospital and dealt with the incredibly kind nurses who saw me through what was arguably the hardest thing I've ever been through. Along with the losses, the weeks I spent in the hospital with Nora was what really taught me that I could be a nurse, as I was in there for five weeks (with placenta previa), and actually got to see what nurses do, and realized I could do it too.
And yet, those nurses at the hospital in Colorado, who assured me through 30 hours of labor that I would get through this, that we were ok, that everything we were doing was the right thing to do under the circumstances...they really saved me in those days.
I know now as I assure a patient through a procedure as I did today, to take someone's hand and look in their eyes and tell them I'm sorry it hurts (even if I'm not causing the pain), that just showing them the compassion that I actually care about them -- THAT is a large part of what nursing is all about. It amazes me how sometimes nursing gets to be so technical that people forget the connection part.
Really, just a few moments of caring and showing that you're thinking about what's going on with them and that you want to alleviate their suffering -- goes far in helping a patient feel confident in who you are and that you're not just a med dispenser.
So after my 12 hour shift, Miss Nora hugged me extra tight tonight, and I spent a little time with her before putting her down. We sang The Beatles "I Will" song together at the top of our lungs, and the part where I sing
"And when at last I find you,
Your song will fill the air,
Sing it loud so I can hear you,
Make it easy to be near you.
For the things you do, endear you to me,
Oh you know I Will.
And as I sang the "make it easy to be near you" she swooped in for a kiss.
A good day.
Love you son. You know I always will, and even when I move on, it's because I do it in large part as a tribute to you.