Somehow I wound up with a Staph infection on my knee where I have chronic psoriasis. I noticed it Saturday morning and by Sunday night I was miserable with a fever and a decent amount of pain. Just cuz I am extra lucky I also came down with a horrible sore throat which is very much like Strep but is viral. So now I am on antibiotics for the Staph infection. an NSAID for the horribly painful sore throat and am spending most of my time on the couch feeling miserable. BLAH! Not my idea of a great spring break. I promised myself I would at least put a dent in my paper that is due 3/29 but haven't been able to do that since I have been feeling like crap. Tonight I finally feel OK which is the only reason why I am hear at the keyboard.
This week I spent a lot of time being a bit miffed that God didn't call me to be a nurse a long time ago. Then I realized I have to take that back. . . I am a bit miffed that God called me to be a nurse when I was 20 but I was too stupid to pick up the phone. I remember people suggesting nursing to me back then and I always replied "Sick people, EW. Sick puppies or kittens -- YES!, sick people -- NO!" If only I had decided differently. It would be neat to be able to rewind and make different decisions, wouldn't it? Since I am here and I am so blessed to be on this journey through nursing school - the people I have met, the experiences I have had and the knowledge I have gained -- I could not even pretend to wish that it was all different. Somehow we always wind up where we need to be -- even if we are too stupid or stubborn to realize it until we are thirtysomething.
I had an interesting experience with a patient this week. A nonverbal, illiterate stroke patient. I was so frustrated because I could not figure out how to facilitate communication!!! There was no communication boards on the floor and we were powerless to figure out what this patient was saying. The patient could understand every word that you said but could only mumble in return. It was one of the top 10 challenges of my student nursing experience. A nursing school friend and I are going to see if we can put together a binder of laminated illustrations that might facilitate communication in cases like these. I find it interesting that each week I am presented with a challenge that is so much greater than just a medical condition or diagnosis. I think I am really getting the complete picture of what nursing is really about. It's not just passing meds and changing dressings -- it is figuring out the puzzles so that I can provide the best nursing care that is humanly possible. For instance, this week I sat with a patient for 30 min just because I realized that she was lonely and wanted to talk. I listened to her talk about her children and herself and her experiences. It made her so happy. It took no formal training, just a listening ear and some time to sit down and be there for someone who needed me. All my life I have liked to be needed (who doesn't?) and this is the ultimate for me -- Patients need me and I am there for them 110% -- AND I LOVE IT!
So while I wish I was "spring breakin' it" somewhere warm -- I am not. Instead I am home, feeling icky and stuck on the couch. Blah.
My words of wisdom for this week are this:
"Sometimes the most comforting care you can offer your patient is nothing you learn in nursing school, it is about being a good human being and using your heart to direct your actions."