Monday, July 20, 2009

Exactly what you'd expect at 5AM...

I am tired. Physically so, yes. But emotionally, even more so. Please forgive me if what ensues is mildly emotional, & bear in mind I'm sleep deprived :)

I want to be a good nurse. I want to be a GREAT nurse. I really think that patients deserve the best. Everyone has their own definition of what a good nurse entails. To me a very large part of being the best is the emotional aspect. Especially in the field I work in. Oncology. The dreaded 'C' word: Cancer. This may sound twisted, but I love it. I get to know my patients & their families much more than I would on a med/surg floor, an ortho floor, or OB. But it's a double edged sword...because while I get to share the really great moments, the remissions & succesful transplants..I also see the suffering. I will never claim to understand or know what pain & sorrow my patients & their families go through with this battle. I would never presume to. But while they're fighting, I want to support them in any way that I can. If that means I cry with them, I cry. If it means I just listen, I listen. Or I just get them a red popsicle....

I've been crying & listening & popsicle-ing in this area for 5 years now. Some of my coworkers have been doing it for 3 times PLUS that. (I have A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. coworkers..that's a whole 'nother post.) And I go through these ups & downs, cycling through...doing really well at leaving work at work for a couple weeks, or months. Then a couple weeks where I have to go for extra runs just to get everything out of my system. These last couple weeks have just been a challenge. And I have to let it out...because it's not fair. And it sucks. And no amount of ativan or morphine or dilaudid can fix it the way I want to. I do not understand why these incredible people have to go through what they do just to live & take another breath..while the rest of us get to enjoy walking outside without worrying about an infection. And eating without nausea. And sleeping without pain.

BUT. I can't leave. And I won't. And I don't want to. Because I absolutely love my job. And I've done it long enough now that I know it's a phase. And soon my coping skills will ramp back up & I won't be so bummed...I really can't imagine any other area I would love so much. I take away a lot of perspective from my job. SO. On that note: thank you for letting me vent. And THANK YOU to my amazing coworkers! You guys help make this job what it is. You help make this job what I love!

16 comments:

Rick and Rachael Underwood said...

Meg you are and AMAZING NURSE!! I have learned sooo much from you by working with you (which by the way we need to do more of)! When I grow up I want to be just like you:)

That one girl said...

That has got to be tough. My grandma died of cancer when I was 9 months prego. I would fly to see her/ help take care of her. Seeing her go though all she went through and morph into this person we didn't recognize was heartbreaking. I don't know how you guys do it, but seriously are we thankful!!!

MEGandJEFF said...

Rachael, you are sweet. And you will make an amazing nurse..so close to done!

Holly, I can't even imagine how hard that was with your grandma..you, my dear, are incredible & sweet for taking the time to care for someone you love. Sounds corny, I know. But true.

jessica emily adams said...

Freak, Meg. You just made me cry. Quite a bit.

I don't know if you knew that my mom passed away from breast cancer in November. As I watched her literally suffer the last 2 months of her life I couldn't help but be SO grateful for those hospice nurses and doctors that took such AMAZING care of her. I know you are the same way in your position. I could NEVER do what you do, mainly because cancer hits WAY too close to home for me and I never want to see another person die from cancer as long as I live. There is nothing on this earth I HATE more than cancer.

You amaze me that you can deal with that every day. I know you are making an impact on so many people's lives and I have the utmost respect for you. Cancer patients truly have to suffer more than I ever comprehended.

So thank you. Thank you for having the strength to do something that I'm sure is incredibly difficult. The families of the patients might not express to you their gratitude as much as they can or should, but that is probably just because they don't know how or because there aren't words to express that gratitude. Or because we know if we open our mouths to express what we're feeling we'll just lose it.

Love ya, girl. You're a hero for sure.

MEGandJEFF said...

Jess, you just made ME cry. In a good way.

I did know that your mom passed away..& I remember wanting to find some way to reach out to you when I heard..but really having no idea how & thinking that at that time my attention would probably just be an annoyance since you didn't really know me, I stayed away. I wish i hadn't.

I've read back on your blog. Read the posts about your mom. And she is an amazing woman. And so are you. With every word I read I became more in awe of your strength..and just wanted to hug you more!

I wish words could convey how much respect & love I have for the patients & families that go through this ordeal. People don't always understand what I mean when I say I take more away from my job than I am able to give. But I truly do. I meet the most incredible people. I get to be part of their lives, & I draw an insane amount of strength, love, perspective, patience, and LIFE, from the people & families I get to care for. I am incredibly blessed to have that opportunity..& my patients & their families don't have to say word one to me (even though so many of them do)..because they are the ones giving me something.

So thank YOU, my dear! I love ya, & I think you are an amazing person. Sorry this response was a whole post on its own!

Becca said...

Meg, you ARE and always will be an amazing nurse!!! I hope that as I get my butt back in gear I b=can find the drive to be as wonderful at whatever I choose to do as you are at being a nurse. I hope you never do give up on oncology nursing because If I onday have to face that challange on my own or with my family I want to beable to bring them to you and the wonderful people you work with because I trust that the best possible care is being given and know that the patients there become a part of your families. They aren't just people off the street to you. What a wonderful feeling you help to create in one of the most trying times of peoples lives. I hope that you know even in the hardest of times for you, you know how deeply you are touching others lives. YOU are AMAZING!!!!!!

Sheli said...

Meg you are so sweet and caring for everyone around you. Thank you for all you do for our great and not so great patients. They have such good care here with all of our amazing nurses and cna's. You make me smile!

Zack said...

Well, I know I'm normally a smart ass, but knowing you from the patient side, this was really cool to read. I'm pretty sure I cried around you a few times, and you were for sure there for me. I think you are amazing at what you do. I include you on the list of people that got me through all of this. I hope we are friends for life. Chantelle and I love you very much. If you're ever pissed and having a bad day, know that the patients are stoked that you're around!!! Knowing that you would be there at night got me through countless days!

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