My first personal experience with a nurse was not a pleasant one. I was six years old, in the hospital having tumors removed from my lower gums. She was mean, meaner than nurse Ratchett. I experienced my first injection (to my memory) from this scorpion of a nurse, just stabbing me in the leg, scolding me as as I screamed out in pain.
In my later youth, I have different memories of nurses that I dealt with. There was Verna, who assisted my 2nd family practitioner, very compassionate. And to this day, as she still works with my current family doctor, a nurse that I have dealt with for more than two decades, a very serious nurse, but one that I know and trust to convey messages accurately to my doctor, as well as be the extra kick-in-the-pants I may occasionally need.
There was my oncology nurse, who got me through eight months of hell, also known as chemotherapy. Her name was Brenda. I know that she had a son my age (at the time when I was going through treatments). I was not treated like a a patient, but with the care that a mother who happened to be a nurse could only give.
There was Heather and Jackie, my two cardiology nurses who followed me during my entire stay of my open heart bypass surgery. From the cath lab, to the operating room, to the intensive care unit, to my private room, both followed me through the hospital, checking on my recovery. They did not have to, especially as it was on their own time.
There was another nurse named Heather, who dealt with me during a bout with septic pneumonia. I had several nurses during the days of my recovery, but Heather was the one who visited with me often overnight during her shift, listening and learning of my experiences as a long term cancer survivor of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
Roseann was the nurse to begin explaining all of the issues that I now deal with from my treatments for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma thirty years ago.
Yes, my doctors also play a major role in my survivorship. My current family doctor of thirty years, and my long term survivor doctor for the last eleven years, and my current cardiologist all play a major role. I trust them. They know me and they know how to talk to me, and reach me.
But their nurses are the ones that carry everything out, deal with the initial interactions to get the issues as clear and straightened out so that any issue can be dealt with. And also, they are the ones who comfort us, when we are in the most scary of situations.
And for each an every nurse that has been a part of my life, I thank you. And to my friends who are nurses, I am blessed to be friends with those who offer comfort and care, not because they have to, but because they want to, and they are good at it.
Happy Nurses Week. You all deserve it.