I may not be an expert but I’m close. Over the past years I have become something of an expert on nurses and more importantly I have come to understand that you better be nice to your nurse because they can make your life better…..or not.
Prior to Marty’s strokes I had limited contact with anyone in the health profession. I tried really hard to stay out of doctor’s offices, hospitals or any other place that had sick people. I didn’t like it, I didn’t have the patience for it and it felt icky…. sick people you know.
Over the past ten years I have come to know and love many in the health care business and a lot of those people are nurses. I have to say, if you plan on getting sick or need health care, nurses rock, they are the ones who actually deliver a good part of that health care the good doctors are prescribing.
The nurse is the one who will wipe the drool off your lips and clean your butt when needed, hopefully with a different cloth. The nurse is the one that jabs the needle in your back-side to deliver the good stuff, they are the ones that make sure your heart is still beating and how fast, they are the ones who get the blood and the pee and the spit, the ones that bring you the warm blanket and the ones that are the gate keepers so you can get some of that high quality care.
We have been fortunate, first that we can afford health care and second because we have had mostly positive nurse experiences. Maybe it’s not luck, maybe most nurses sincerely want to provide good care. Maybe most nurses do what they do because they care; maybe most nurses do God’s work because they are good at it and feel like they have been called to do what they do.
I don’t know, I just know nurses make lives better at the very worst possible moments in life. Being sick, hurt, or broken is awful, bad care makes those moments excruciating, good care make them tolerable.
Toni, Wendy, Sarah, April, Melissa, Jessica, Tracy, Annette, Patty, and more, these people have become a part of our tumultuous life and they are a part of our posse, our crew, our team that loves Marty, cares for Marty, and works for Marty. All of these people, Steve, Stacy, Kathy, Denise and others have done what many could not, made our lives better during really anxious times.
The nurses I know work hard, they work really strange hours and they work long shifts.
The nurses I know don’t get to pick their patients, they take care of the sweet and generous and the ass hats because we all get sick from time to time.
The nurses I know carry bags of fluids, wash their hands until they are raw, listen to coughing and smell poop, pee and puke until the smells stay with them all day.
The nurses I know apologize when they hurt you, feel bad when they can’t get blood on the first stick and put up with my occasional anxiety ridden insanity as I try and take care of Marty. They know and allow me the occasional mental health visit to Great and Wise or the hospital and not one time have they ever given the hint that it’s not all right.
The nurses I know, when they know Marty, deeply care for her. The nurses I know, when they get to know Marty, care for her and marvel at her resiliency in spite of the fact that they see this kind of resiliency multiple times during any given day.
The nurses I know are my heroes as they go about their work and still go home to care for their own families.
I love me some nurses and if you don’t now, someday you will because it will be your ass that’s getting the needle.
P.S.........I gotta add one other thing. I also love the first faces you see and the person you take to when you call in a frenzy. Angie, Pay, Annetta.....they don't get to do the sexy poking and probing but they are the gatekeepers, the people who get us in when Marty'sHusband is in a panic. It takes a village.