Endings….

TranscendingBS

In just a few short days, my kids will graduate high school.

I should be proud.

I should feel like something in this messy, crazy life of mine has turned out right.

Like a June Cleaver, look how they’ve grown, what wonderful people they have become, kind of mom.

But, I don’t.

I feel lost. And confused. And scared. And lonely.

I feel like I’m grieving.

Like someone has died.

And, when I say it that way, maybe it’s me. Or a part of me anyway….that has died.

Ends are horrible. I don’t care what anyone says. They are so final.

How do you have something for 18 years, and just let it go?

How do you love something with all of yourself, and just set it free?

How do you have your goal in life, as a parent, come to fruition, only to wish it away?

I am so…

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Endings….

In just a few short days, my kids will graduate high school.

I should be proud.

I should feel like something in this messy, crazy life of mine has turned out right.

Like a June Cleaver, look how they’ve grown, what wonderful people they have become, kind of mom.

But, I don’t.

I feel lost. And confused. And scared. And lonely.

I feel like I’m grieving.

Like someone has died.

And, when I say it that way, maybe it’s me. Or a part of me anyway….that has died.

Ends are horrible. I don’t care what anyone says. They are so final.

How do you have something for 18 years, and just let it go?

How do you love something with all of yourself, and just set it free?

How do you have your goal in life, as a parent, come to fruition, only to wish it away?

I am so selfish.

I want, so badly, to go back and witness all of the things that I missed. To correct all of the mistakes that I made. To right all of the wrongs.

I want to watch more plays. More football games. More awards ceremonies.

I want these huge, grown up, independent people to be tiny again.

I want them to hold my hand when they’re crossing the street. Or when they’re nervous. Or, just because they’re little, and I am mommie.

I want them to need me.

And, at the same time, I see that they are so grown. And such beautiful, wonderful individuals.

I see that they are what I have always hoped they would be.

I see that I have always been waiting for this.

I have been hoping for a moment when I could let go….and watch them fly.

And fly they will.

Higher and faster than I have ever flown.

With more grace and triumph than I have ever known.

I made this.

This is my one success.

My one victory.

There is no personal gain for me at this point.

Only loss.

An empty, lonely feeling.

But, for them, the possibilities are endless.

The things they will do are astonishing.

The lives they will live are amazing.

It’s their turn….

Not mine.

It’s ending, and I don’t know how….

Hug a Nurse

So….I just finished a six day (or should I say, night) stretch at work.

For six days, I spent more time with my coworkers than my family. More time caring for strangers than the people that I love.

I’ve been cussed out, proposed to, shamed, and thanked.

I cared for a man who had shoulder pain for THREE YEARS….in the Emergency Department….

How can anyone possibly live through a three year emergency????

By the end of my fourth night, I was tired.

Night five….angry? defeated?

Night six….I don’t even know….maybe a little of everything at one point or another.

This is the life that I chose. What I’ve always dreamed of. I love taking care of people. I love learning and growing as a nurse.

But….if any of you know a nurse….hug them for me.

We love what we do, but we want to go home. We want to talk to our families….eat dinner with them….be near them. We don’t want to miss out on what’s going on. New boyfriends or girlfriends, grades, smiles, laughs, cries….

Our families have those too. And we want to be a part of them.

Our compensation for spending valuable time at work….away from home….is so simple.

Seeing patients and their families healing.

Hearing “Thank you.”

Smiles.

Hugs.

We don’t require much….and don’t receive it often….but the smallest of things are so very big to us.

So, do me a favor….

Hug a nurse today, will ya?

What the Hell Happened?

So….I gave my notice at work today. At a place where I have served this community for 20 years.

All day, I have teetered between angry, and sad, and worried. And I have grieved.

My question is this….

What the hell happened to health care? To nursing?

When did we stop caring for people?….and start caring for money?….and administration?

When did it become ok to let people that we know – using our extensively trained, medical judgement – are sick and in need of our services, walk out the doors of our ERs with no help?

When did I, or will I, become someone who will clock out after my shift and be able to go home and rest easy….knowing that – while I may have seen 30 patients in one shift, I really only saw 15 because I provided half-assed care the whole time?

Nursing was created in a time when there was no technology. Nurses did nothing to REALLY save lives. We cared for people. We comforted them. We, in moments when people had no one to be close to, made people feel like they were the most important thing in the world….to US. We bathed people, and cleaned wounds, and held people’s hands, and wiped people’s asses. We may have stopped someone from bleeding to death, but I promise you, after that person lived….or while they were dying, we were emotionally there with them. Giving a part of ourselves to them.

THAT is the nurse I want to be.

I fail….daily….

I get annoyed, and stressed, and overwhelmed. We all do.

But, let me make one thing clear….

If you are the queen of England or the homeless drug addict down the street, it’s not YOU that I’m annoyed with. Not really. Unless you are someone who feels that you’re more important….entitled….then, yes, it’s you.

I, your nurse, am annoyed with the fact that I CAN’T take care of you the way I want to. I’m not allowed to. I have to do a million little tiny things to do for a few, very insignificant, people so that this hospital can stay open. So that you can have a place to go when you,or your family, are sick or hurt.

And, most likely, I’ll keep doing it. Day/Night in and Day/Night out. Because, even though it’s not what my heart wants….it’s the closest thing that I can give you.

I may not have time to hold your hand.

I may seem rushed when you’re trying to tell me stories about your grandkids.

I may get frustrated when you tell me that you’re tired of waiting to be seen, and you just want to go home.

But don’t be mistaken. It’s not you that I’m frustrated with.

I’m frustrated because I want to hold your hand….

And hear your stories….

And I want you to stay and receive the care that I always dreamed of giving.

But I can’t make that happen.

And it breaks my heart.

Thanks Mom

March 10th was my mom’s birthday. It was also, one year ago, the last day that I talked to her. Not long after, I can’t remember the date exactly, I got the call that she was gone. Thus began a very steep downward spiral for me.

If you’re looking for a beautiful – I miss my mom – kind of post, then you should stop reading now. This one isn’t it. It’s far from it, actually.

I guess I could start with the good.

When I was younger, my mom was a brilliant nurse. She was so smart. People admired her. I admired her. As cliche as it sounds, she is the reason that I have always wanted to be a nurse.

Cardiac was her favorite. She could spout off information about your heart like she was saying the alphabet. It was natural to her.

It’s ironic, really. Medically, she could fix your heart. As a mom….well….it was just the opposite.

I chose, at seven years old, to live with my grandparents (yet another story, for another time).

Throughout my life, I sought her….her love, her approval, her attention.

I was thirty years old when I finally chose to stop. My kids were seven. SEVEN!

God, I was tired. And angry. And….did I mention TIRED?! Who does that? Who chases something for that long without ever even reaching a point where you can imagine catching it? Who gives away that much of their happiness? That much of their life?

I had a heart the size of the universe….and a brain like a grain of sand.

A few years back, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. It had spread to her lung and her bones. She was miserable. She had so much pain.

She had a mass on the outside of her breast that had been there for years. She had never told anyone about it….because she was scared that it was cancer.

After her diagnosis and release from the hospital, she came home with me. She lived with me through her treatments. I, and my husband at the time, took her to doctors appointments, chemo, radiation, scans….we took care of her.

She was, probably, the healthiest and happiest she had been in years. She laughed and smiled. She functioned in a family. She thrived in ways that I had never seen her thrive before.

She hugged me.

I know someone is making that – What the hell???? – face….but it was one of very few times in my life that it happened. And, I guess that’s when I knew. It was so awkward. I didn’t want to hug her. I didn’t know exactly what the hell I was supposed to do. It was like hugging some random stranger on the street. Someone I had never met before. Someone I had  pity for.

Although I wasn’t where I wanted to be in life, at some point, I had become the stronger one. This person that I had spent so much of my life giving power to was so small. The one that I had always thought that I needed, now needed me. It was a pivotal moment, really. It’s when you ask yourself….Do I be me? Or do I be her?

I chose me.

And so began this transcendence.

Things didn’t end bad. I don’t have some fairy tale to tell. Our last conversation was good. Maybe the best one we’d ever had. She was afraid she was going to die. I helped ease that fear. She laughed. We talked for hours. She called me”baby”.

For so much anger and turmoil, we ended on a good note. The best one we could.

For the most part, I don’t even miss her.

For the most part, I really don’t even think about her in everyday life.

Until now….the last couple of days….and just like old times, when you were here and could call or I would see you at work….

I’m tired….and angry….and, did mention?….tired….

Thanks mom….

HeLLo

I guess I should introduce myself. It’s not all that interesting….but, here it is.

I’m a mom, first and foremost. It hasn’t always been that way, but I think I’ve finally got it….now that they’re graduating HIGH SCHOOL! Through all of my faults – and there are many – I have amazing 17 year old twins. A boy and a girl. I’m in awe of the fact that they’ve known me for 17 years and they still talk to me. Much less call me mom. It’s an honor. And I’m so very proud of who they have become!

I’m a girlfriend….partner….would be a wife (if she’d marry me)….to the most amazing person I know. In a short time, we’ve taken a long road through hell and back….and I’ve loved it all. I’m not an easy one to love. Never have been. But she does. And it makes life good. She is my person….

I’m a step-mom….to a wonderful 11 year old boy with the most beautiful heart, amazing ear for AC/DC, and stunning dance moves you’ve ever seen. He doesn’t know I’m his step-mom. But, that’s a story for another time….

I’m a nurse. An ER nurse to be exact. With a love for pediatric patients and flight nursing. I love to take care of my patients. I love to learn. And I love to work with my people. It’s what my heart wants to do. Even when I want to scream at the boss, or punch administration….I never lose the love of the actual art of nursing.

And….what made me all of this is my family. My extraordinary Papa. My mom….yet another story for another time. My brother. My sisters….It’s a lot.

But, it’s good. And bad. And happy. And miserable. And messy. And perfect.

Most of all, it’s mine.

And I wouldn’t change a thing!

 

 

 

TranscendingBS

It’s BS. It’s all BS. Rules. Limits. Labels.

They were made to be challenged.

This is my transcendence.

My own challenging of the BS.

This is me.

I’m a mom….and a nurse….with a girlfriend….and without a filter.

Let’s talk about all of it….

Home, work, kids, dogs….

Let’s laugh….and cry….and be pissed (like today)….

But let’s be real. We only do this shit once….hopefully. So let’s talk about doing it with a smile….even if it’s after a good cry.