“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”
– Dalai Lama
Happy International Nurses Day. My sister Mary is a nurse in Florida. She shared the following:
In 2000, my father went blind from a stroke. He had dementia and was later diagnosed with lung cancer. At the doctors appointments I looked at the care he was receiving, and thought I could do better than this. The next day I enrolled in nursing school and started class a week later.
Hospice came at the end of my father’s life, and I decided that was what I wanted to do. I found a position in a nearby Hospice House. When I walked through the doors, it was like angels were singing.
It was hard at first, with all the sadness. Then it turned around. The people laying in the beds were still alive. They could still hear me. The ones who were alert so appreciated humor. I never saw a diagnosis, just a patient with a heart, yearning to be treated with dignity. I have always, and will always treat a patient like family. Calling them by their names, never Honey or Sweetie, which I find disrespectful.
I was ready to retire in March, but I couldn’t leave my work family behind, even with a high-risk husband. They turned our Hospice House into a Covid care center. After a while something happened. I lost my fear and I found peace. I think this is a game changer in so many ways. The Dalai Lama said something like, if you can’t change what’s going on around you, change the way the way you deal with it. That is what I do everyday. .
As far as being a Covid nurse, I have been screamed at when family and friends come to visit the dying and I have to refuse them. “What do you mean I can’t see my dying parent?” This breaks my hospice heart.
We have set up a process, where we wheel the patient in their bed to a screened-in porch. Outside, on the other side of the screen, the family can say goodbye.
On my days off I’m emotionally and physically exhausted. I stay in bed. I want to hide and take a rest from this world. As of yesterday we had no more Covid patients. I’m glad we’re on the down slide, but lets see what the reopening brings.
Thank you Nurse Mary