Tag Archives: love

What a Week

So this week has been overwhelming to say the least. I have felt pulled and torn in multiple directions on a daily basis. It has seemed as though everyone has had a criticism of me this week. I have felt at times as though my very character is being questioned. This is demoralizing beyond belief.

I still work with amazing people. But management and the doctors have been just difficult as hell to work with lately. I am finding that the things I value the most about my nursing are being questioned and criticized. I am a person who gives a crap. I can’t help it. I try to not at times, but it is just contrary to my nature. This week, I was questioned for my dedication to my job- that I shouldn’t be helping people so much that I have to clock out on time. I also shouldn’t speak when the work situation is intolerable.
Later this week, I was told I was too emotionally attached to my patients. This was for trying to report issues going on to the doctor. The long and the short of it, is I realized today that this patient was being discriminated against for being unfunded. Apparently we are only aggressive and proactive with 90 year old people with insurance. If you are young but critically ill without money, you are screwed. Sometimes I feel so impotent at work I want to scream.

At least there is balance of good and bad. I saw some truly amazing and beautiful moments. I was blessed enough to witness a wife holding her husband and saying goodbye. She let him go, even when it was hard. To see the amount of love in that room, was a profound experience. The best that we can hope for in this life, is that someone loves us enough to do that. To be both on the giving and receiving end of that. To love and be loved, to draw our last breaths on this earth while resting in the arms of our loved ones. How someone cannot be moved by that, escapes me.

Yet, I find myself being criticized for being filled with wonder at what an amazing and fragile world we live in. How often to we circle one another, never truly connecting? How often do we hold back, not expressing our love and gratitude for the experiences we have on this earth? Why do we take this all for granted?
I am a sentimental person. I cannot help this. It is who and what I am. But perhaps I need to explore another direction in my life. I feel like I am spinning my wheels and getting nowhere. Life is too short for this.

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I Am A Work In Progress

Cultivating inner discipline is something that takes time; expecting rapid results is simply a sign of impatience. ~ The 14th Dalai Lama

This morning for a moment, I found myself repeating negative old behavior. I have recently embarked on a spiritual, emotional and physical transformation. It has been going remarkably well, however at times I do find myself slipping momentarily back into negative ways of thinking. While in the midst of pondering psycho behavior, I read the above tweet. It was exactly what I needed to hear. I have a choice, always, to engage in negative, self-destructive behavior, or I can stop. I know this, but become frustrated that I still feel my moments of craziness. Reading this reminded me that I am a work in progress. It is unrealistic of me to expect perfection, or to expect my mind/body/soul to be perfectly balanced and perfectly disciplined at all times. It is a transformation…which implies process, not achievement. I am in the process of changing my ways of being, reminding myself to approach life from a place of positivity. The very cool new thing though, is that I can see these choices, in a clear way. I can see examples on a moment by moment basis, options and opportunities for choice and growth. I can see the chance in front of me to become crazy psycho drama Sarah, or choose differently. It is becoming easier and easier to choose a different path, as opposed to the same crap as always. This to me is a gift, something that I had forgotten was possible. I am so happy and grateful that I have this chance to become different today. that I can be in touch with the real me, open to possibilities, open to love, open to peace and harmony in my life. That I can embrace that which used to scare me, and experience life to its fullest. This is what it means to truly be human, to live in the moment accepting the gift of life in its entirety. I can be free of craving, free of ownership and possession, free of jealousy and hate. I can let go of that which diminishes me, and embrace that which elevates me. Every day I can make this choice…and know that it is possible to achieve. in time, with practice. I am living in a moment of grace, and can choose to expand those moments to encompass those around me. I can let go of control, which is an illusion anyways, and just BE. I am so excited to see where this journey takes me, because I know it is about that…the journey and not the destination. For the first time in my life I can truly say that with certainty, and that is a wonderful feeling.

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Transformations

I have been experiencing some amazing things lately. I do not know if this is a midlife crisis, or what. I am approaching a big birthday though I am choosing to ignore that. I cannot help but feel that I am on the verge of some big changes. I have been reinvigorated in many aspects of my life. I have had some amazing aha moments- from listening to music to watching films- things that have reaffirmed my belief that we create our own reality. When I sit in negativity, whether that be in my personal or professional life, it affects me. It affects those around me. Yes, it seems terribly cliché – but it is true. I am practicing a new yet old philosophy. to be centered, here and now, in my present, full of all possibilities. I can choose which possibilities I wish to manifest in my life. I am the author of my existence, and can choose to experience myself in a new way. Do people change? Maybe no. But you can discover a new aspect of yourself, that you can be a different you. So far this week, since practicing this, I have been able to seek out new things that reaffirm that I am on the right path. I have lost 15 pounds according to my scale. I feel transcendent. not because of the weight loss, but because I FEEL different. I feel happy. from inside. content and free of obsession and addiction. I do not need to look to outside things to validate my existence. I am here, I am now, I am love. I do not need to worry about other’s perceptions of me. I can be free to let go of fear and anxiety and that which does not enrich my life. it is time to let go, and to just BE. I feel like I am the Jewel in the Lotus. I finally get it…its about loving and seeing that which is possible. those possibilities create reality, by my observation of it. I then will make choices that create that reality.

and no…I’m not high I swear 😛 I am just…utterly happy.

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Nursing is a Gift

“Compassion is a mental quality that can bring us true lasting inner peace and inner strength”.- the 14th Dalai Lama.

Nursing is a gift. it is a gift you give your patients, your patient’s families, your coworkers and yourself. No other profession allows for the level of compassion and human contact that nursing does. We see people at their most vulnerable. We help people when they are most desperate. We often are the link that keeps them hanging on, or the one that gives them the permission to let go. We are the soul of medicine. I believe that with all my heart.
I recently had two radically different experiences with a patient’s death. In the first, we had a patient who was all alone. His family wouldn’t stay with him. They would come, visit, and leave. This poor man had been through countless surgeries. He had wounds and machines and had suffered. His family had elected to make him no code status- to allow nature to take its course. We knew his time was limited, and we tried to encourage his family to stay with him. They decided not to. The night he died, he was all alone. Except for nurses. I looked up at the monitor, and saw that his heart and breathing was slowing. I went into his room, pulled up a chair and sat down. I held his hand and told him it was ok. I wasn’t his nurse, just a nurse working that night. His nurse was frantically busy trying to reach the family, but they wouldn’t answer the phone. I held his hand as he died, and saw his soul leave his body. I cried for him. It tore at my heart, but he did not die alone. I do not care what your religious beliefs are, but I maintain that you can tell when that “spark” is gone. Even when someone is not responsive anymore, when they are no longer conscious, you can still tell when they have passed away, machines or not. As a nurse, and as a human being, I cannot bear the thought of someone passing their last moments on this earth alone. Not if it is remotely in my power to prevent that. Eventually we were able to reach the family, they came and signed papers and left. It was hard on all of us to see that.

The next day that I worked, I had a vastly different experience. A patient that I had taken care of for many weeks was gravely ill. Multi system organ failure, no hope for recovery. No evident brain activity. I had become close to the family over the preceding weeks. His daughters came back to town in order to assist their mom and to say goodbye. I was not his nurse that day. but the family asked for me. My time was spent hugging the family, being a shoulder to cry on, and giving them permission to grieve. They were in limbo- not able to move forward because he had not yet passed away, but he was for all intents and purposes gone. They elected to withdraw care and let him pass. It was difficult and hard, and I cried with them. The funny thing was, my “nursing” was for the family. We had already done everything we could for the patient. We were there to ease any residual suffering- but he had family to be with him as he passed from this world. What the family needed was our support to tell them it was ok. That was the gift that I could give them that day. To acknowledge their pain, to validate their feelings, to support their decision and to tell them it was ok to feel exactly how they were feeling.

As I see the flurry over advanced education for nurses, I am struck by how little people seem to know. I realize that what people are struggling for is a way to quantify what nurses do. I don’t think that can be done by a piece of paper. There is no degree in compassion. There is no certificate for empathy. You can have the technical skills of a god, but if you lack the ability to connect with another human, you cannot be an effective nurse. You can memorize charts and drugs and machines and abnormal values. But if you cannot put yourself in the shoes of your patients and their families, you are doing everyone a disservice. Whether it is holding the hand of a nervous patient and telling her its ok, or bringing a sandwich to a worried husband, all of it is part of nursing. It is a gift, the gift of loving someone, even if only for that moment. And I am always enriched by that experience, no matter what form it takes.

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