"Listen to the mustn'ts child, listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me....Anything can happen child. Anything can be." Shel Silverstein
"She believed she could, so she did." R.S. Grey

“What if I Fall? Oh, but my darling what if you fly?” Erin Hanson

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Linky party, why I became a nurse(ing student)

Ok since this is nursing week there are lots of people posting why they became a nurse, and even though I'm just a nursing student I thought I'd play along with Anna's question of "Why I became a nurse".

If you are new followers of this blog & you don't read my other blog then this will be new for you.

On May 2, 2008 I got a phone call at work from one of my mother's really good friends saying that my mother was in the hospital & that she was almost non-responsive & that my sister & I should come right away.  (We live about an hour from where my mom lived.)  So, we immediately went to the hospital where my mom was in the ER.  She was in a stupor, barely responsive and we weren't sure what was wrong.  After many tests the doctors told us that she had a huge tumor the size of a lemon on her cerebellum and that it needed to be removed immediately.

Now, some background.  My mom had been sick for several years from what she said was depression.  She had basically become a recluse in her home & had visibly aged considerably from a boisterous, vibrant woman to a pale skinned, timid homebody.  In 2007 there was a mass found on one of her lungs which was biopsied & came back benign, but a 2nd opinion was never obtained.

So that day when the doctor said she needed surgery it was a no brainer, it had to be done.  He told us all the side affects.  That she may not come out of it.  If she did she could have impairments, memory loss.  Her personality could be changed.  There was no doubt, all of that was better than losing her.  So into surgery she went.  Hours later we were able to see her when she was in recovery and believe it or not it was like a miracle, our old mom was back.  She was joking & laughing, it was like old times.  We even got the nurses in the ICU ward in on it, which was a relief for them.  One nurse said that she was going to allow us to stay after visiting hours b/c we were so much fun & also b/c she was used to her patients being non-responsive so this was a pleasant change for her.  Mom was so different.  Or actually she was so much the same, the same as she USED to be.  But the next day came the bad news.  The tumor was actually a metastasis from her lungs.  She was diagnosed with Stage IV small cell lung cancer, which had metastasized to her brain & other places.  Talk about devastation.  We didn't know what that meant, but I could tell from the response (or should I say non-response) from the doctor that it wasn't good.  They talked about radiation to the brain to get those to shrink & then possible chemotherapy.  It's all such a blur now.  It was so nice to be with her during that time, so nice to have the person back we had grown up with.  We had to wait for her head to heal a bit before  she could start the radiation & during that time I quit my job & moved in with my mom.  After a couple of weeks or so she started radiation, but one day while she was receiving her treatment her head started to leak at the incision site.  She went back to her surgeon & found out that her incision site had an infection in it and they had to start her on some pretty heavy antibiotics, therefore the radiation treatment had to stop and it just went downhill from there.
The picture at the top is of her after her surgery sitting in her chair on her porch reading from her daily devotional book.  This was the person we had been missing for so long.  She was so happy.  The picture below is at one of her follow up appointments after stopping her radiation treatments, she was very tired and hated going to these appointments. 
Unfortunately she was never able to resume her radiation treatments and on August 2, 2008 she passed away.  My sister and I were in bed with her when she died and it was the saddest day of my life.  But I know that one day we'll be together again in heaven where we'll never have to part from each other again.  
So, now to the point.  When my mom was sick we moved her in with us and she would sit outside for hours at a time.  It was summer time and she LOVED to be outdoors.  So every morning she'd have me wheel her outside in her wheelchair so that she could enjoy the outdoors.  Sometimes she would read, sometimes we would talk or I would read to her & then other times she would just sit & be silent.  It was during those silent times that I often wondered what she was thinking.  It made me think about my own life.  I knew that if she could she would have changed so many things about her life (or maybe she wouldn't have), but I knew that there had been things that she had wanted to pursue in her life that she never got to.  So after she died I decided then and there that I was no longer going to waste any more of the years that God gave me.  I was going to make a difference in this world and in order to do that I needed to go back to school & nursing was what I decided.  I knew that I wanted to help people and I knew that I wanted to make money while doing it and honestly I knew that I didn't want to be a nurse and I wasn't capable of going to medical school (I know that sounds contradictory to the title), but I knew right then & there that I DID want to be a nurse practitioner.  I've worked for many practitioner's over the years and I decided that I wanted to open my own clinic, maybe a couple and so that year I started on my journey that led me to my acceptance into the Spring 2012 nursing program where I have now completed my first semester and am proud to say am a SECOND semester nursing student.  I don't want to be at the end of my life and have any regrets, so even though I will be 40 this year & sometimes I feel discouraged by that, I just have to keep reminding myself that no matter what I'm doing the years are going to keep rolling by (God willing) so I might as well be doing something productive with them! 

I know that my mom would be SO proud of me and it's always bittersweet when I experience an accomplishment in school b/c I just wish that I could call her & share it with her, but one day she'll know all about it.  

So that's my short version of why I became a nurse(ing student).  Hope it wasn't too jumbled!  :)

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