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What I learned in one week

take the first step in faith you don't have to see the whole staircase

Last week was like having the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day on repeat. Every day brought its own disastrous event that in some way made my heart ache. Through these events of last week I’ve learned a few things.

I learned early in the week just how powerful the click of a computer mouse can be. With one click someone lost both my trust and my respect. A click is powerful; in a day and age where we can gain access to so many things so quickly, we can also change relationships with just one click of a button. Think before your click.

Also early last week I relearned the very true reality that seemingly healthy living objects can die without notice or obvious cause. My family’s five-year-old Golden Retriever was barking one minute and gone the next. That was another hard blow. However what was even harder was hearing my mom’s gut wrenching sobs over the phone and not being able to bridge the 160-mile gap between us. Always remember to let your loved ones know just how much they are loved.

Grief gets easier, or rather lessens, with time. Still, on the anniversary of the death of a loved one, it can often feel like a brand new wound. My grandpa has been gone four years, but remembering my last conversation with him and his last days of suffering is still difficult. My heart aches to hear his voice as he picked up the phone and said ,”nobody is good enough for my girl.” Grief does get easier with time, but that doesn’t mean we miss the person any less.

I’ve been in outpatient nursing for seven months now. On Wednesday of last week I learned what its like to lose a patient you are really close to. I learned just how hard it is to realize that that patient will never walk in again with her big beautiful smile beaming at you and say “my nursey.” This is one of the hardest aspects of my job, but because of this week, I learned one of the most rewarding. I was sitting at my desk, crying as I had just found out the news, when I received an e-mail from this precious patient’s husband. I cannot imagine the depth of his grief at this moment and yet he took the time to write me to tell me how much I meant to his wife and how I was her favorite nurse. He told me that what I do every day matters. I learned in that moment, to an even greater extent than I already knew, how amazing the patients and their families I get to work with are. Secondly I learned, that what I do day in and day out truly does matter.

On Thursday, I watched as a sweet, elderly lady got hit by a car. As I ran to her side I learned a few things about people: One, that we, as humans, have a hard time taking responsibility when we do something wrong. I don’t remember much of what was said by the lady who’s car had hit this sweet woman because my focus was on the injuries of the woman, but I do remember this that instead of checking to see if this woman was ok, the driver was yelling at the woman she hit, telling her it was her fault. I learned through managing this scene that the billion CPR classes I’ve taken have paid off (mainly the “YOU  call 911!” part). And I learned the power of kneeling next to someone on the street and saying, “I’m a nurse,” has the ability to calm that person down.

Finally, on Friday, I learned that stopping for a pedestrian in a crosswalk can get you rear-ended and that a stressed out person can yell at you that it is your fault because you stopped for a pedestrian (I also learned just how rock solid my car is and how thankful I am for its safety ratings!). And as I sat in my car waiting for the police, I learned that sometimes at the end of a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week all you can do is laugh and cry at the same time. 

In a week’s time, I learned more than I wanted to. I endured more than I wanted to. But I am blessed. I am blessed to not have to be my own strength, because I have an anchor of my soul who will be the strength I need. I’ve been reminded just how amazing my family and friends are. And in a weeks time I was reminded time and time again just how precious every second is. This one week I will never forget. This week forever changed me and for that I am truly grateful.

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