A Blessing and a Curse of Being a Nurse
Wow! I’m 50. How on earth did this happen? Where did the time go? I feel like I have been a nurse my whole life. What does that mean? It means I have had a full career for the past 28 years. But it doesn’t stop there. Being a nurse is not only a career, it’s who I am. It’s how I think and it’s how I live every day. My daughter says I’m a hypochondriac. If I have a headache, it’s a brain tumor. A cough – it’s lung cancer. Pain in my side? It’s appendicitis. My son says I’m gross; if I see a blackhead I must squeeze it. A boil? I must poke it until it oozes and I watch all of Dr. Pimple Popper’s videos. My granddaughter is the only child in kindergarten singing “the scapula is connected to the humerus, the humerus is connected to the ulna.”…and so on.
If I have a horse who is injured, I whip out my handy supply of iodine, sutures, gauze and cling and fix the problem. My Christmas gifts are always secured by medical tape. I have more pens in my house than I know what to do with.
Raising babies? Well I would stay up all hours when they were sick, determined to get them better, placing them upside down across my lap and tipping and clapping whenever necessary, and giving tepid baths when fevers were present.
Raising teens? Dinner-time was always a time to unwind and tell them about my day on the job; how awesome it was to retract my first bowels, and how they expanded and contracted and moved with peristalsis; how I assisted with a Penrose insertion and watched copious amounts of purulent drainage pour out. Of course, my children knew exactly what I was talking about. My son snared his first rabbit, rushed home and asked me to teach him how to skin and gut it. I did it like a pro, all the while teaching him the full anatomy. No matter where you are, if someone finds out you’re a Nurse, it starts.
“I have this ache.”
“My husband has this weird mole can you look at it?”.
Being a Nurse has also given me many privileges. My most important one has been taking care of my mom; helping her use her commode, lifting her out of bed, bathing her in bed, administering and maintaining her PCA pump, in and out catheters and suctioning, sitting with her, singing to her as she breathes her last breath. The strength to do all of this came from years of emotional pain on the job. It bends you and sometimes it can break you. In the end, it prepares you to be strong. For this I am grateful.
Being a Nurse does not stop when I leave my job. It is who I am. It completely defines me and I’m proud to be a Nurse!
~ Victoria Thompson, Owner/Operator of Plan A Mississauga