Stop right now and ask yourself, “Do I know what I want to do for the rest of my life?” You may have it all figured out, you may be still lining your ducks up, you may still be finding yourself. All of those options are perfectly NORMAL!
I remember, when I was like five years old, my Mom asked me, “Felicia, what do you wanna be when you grow up?” I thought about it for a moment and replied, “I’m gonna be a nurse!” with all the enthusiasm of youth. My Mom responded, “You are still so young and have your whole life ahead of you. You can be anything you want to be.” She was right and I thought of so many other things I wanted to try. The point of this story, however, is to explain how I actually DID wind up becoming a nurse.
It went like this:
When I was 11yrs old, I almost died from sepsis. My appendix had ruptured on a Thursday night. I woke up in agony on Friday morning so Mom kept me out of school and made me an apt with my regular doctors partner because he was out of town. She took me in, he ran some bloodwork, checked me out, diagnosed me with gastroenteritis and sent me home with some meds.
Over the next two days I progressively got worse and worse. On Sunday, my Mom called my regular doctor who was back in town and agreed to see us. (Yes, on a Sunday because that’s how those southern docs roll!) By this point, I was not able to stand up straight. It was as if a hard band was being pulled between my knees and shoulders, drawing me down and causing so much pain I had trouble breathing. By this point, I couldn’t lift my own legs into bed. My Mom was getting me in and out of bed.
When we got to the doctors office, he rushed us into the back and helped me up onto the exam table. He than asked me to lay back onto the table. I tried, I really did, but I hadn’t been able to lay flat on my back for two days. He turned to look at my Mom and said, “Ok, here’s the plan. I need you to take her straight to the ER. I don’t mean go home and get her gown and toothbrush. Go straight there. I will meet you there. Her appendix has ruptured and there is infection spreading.”
When I was admitted and taken to a room, they gave me a shot for pain and I can’t express the relief I felt. After some time, a nurse came to give me another shot and take me for surgery. On the way out the door, she said, “Honey, you should be dead by now!” I turned and looked at my Mom and watched these big, huge tears roll down her face. I thought to myself, I’m going to be a nurse! But, I’m not going to be THAT nurse! The nurse making my Mom cry!
And that’s who I am! I am a nurse who gives hope, not sorrow, smiles, not tears. My patients love me and I love them more because that’s what it’s supposed to be about. I meet so many who go into nursing for the paycheck and that hurts my heart.
A patient of mine was discharged but before she left, I left her a note beside her morning coffee that I made for her, never fail, every morning… It said, “If I never met you, I wouldn’t know you. If I didn’t know you, I wouldn’t love you and if I didn’t love you, I wouldn’t miss you. But I did, I do and I will!” My goal was not to bring her to tears (which happened) but to let her know she is loved and would be missed! She grabbed my hand and said, “If not for you, I don’t know what I would have done while here! You’ve made my stay beautiful and I love you and will miss you!”