Saturday, May 30, 2015

REMEMBER THE TIME PART 3

My doctor said, "Sunny and 42 degrees".

It was that morning in October when my daughter let out this loud cry when she was pulled out of my belly. She was 2 months premature! But that cry was a sound of "Watch out world! I'm here to stay!". I knew she was gonna be just fine. 

Looking back, I've always wondered up to this day why I wanted to know what the weather was while she was being born. The only thing I can think of is that I seem to associate a lot of things, specially eventful ones with how the weather is for that moment. It's like a stamp in time. And time seems to stand still for a moment once I grasp the feel of my surrounding. 

I can't remember much of what had happened that whole week while I was in labor and delivery. My husband always said that I was very sick and out of it for the most part. What I remembered was I heard my doctor tell my husband that our baby has to be born as soon as possible.

That morning, no windows to look out from, no memory of what had happened, and the only way I can connect to the outside world was to ask what the weather was.
That was 18 years ago and  I can't help but reminisce through all the little stamps in time - first day of kindergarten, middle school, high school, and the "dreaded" driver's license. Now, she has finally graduated high school. 

Oh how time flew by!

Gone are the days when I was the designated "room mom" during her elementary days in school. Those days were so much fun and entertaining in my part as I watched her grow and learn things which helped her become the fine young woman that she is right now.

When she got her driver's license, I realized that she is not riding her little pink and green three wheeler anymore. The days where I can watch her pedal through our driveway now remains in my memories. She is now driving her own car with everyone else out there and there is no way I can watch her step on the gas pedal !


Riding home from work on the week of her graduation day, the weather was that of your typical thunderstorm season. It was hot and muggy. An afternoon parade of  thunder and lightning kept me wondering if it will storm on her graduation day.

The weather gods blessed us with a perfect sunny and 83 degree day. Gentle breeze kept kissing my cheeks as it reassured me that this is gonna be a perfect day for a glorious occassion. Surrounded with family and friends, our daughter graduated with honors in her Class of 2015!

To my dearest daughter, I want you to know that I am so proud of you. I know that you will achieve whatever you want because of your determination. I know growing up without any siblings had its own perks and quirks. But I can tell that you have managed to find yourself through you - your own strengths.

I am tickled to death you got accepted to Georgia Tech - your very first choice for college. You did it. I can't wait till I put the "GT Mom" decal at the back of my Jeep!. You are stepping into a brand new arena of life full of possibilities. I am confident that your very own strengths and knowledge will guide you through all the challenges ahead of you. Just always remember, Mom and Dad are always here for you.

Now, it all makes sense. I came to realize after all these years. No matter what the weather may be, you will always be our daughter. You are our sunshine, our spring daisy, winter snowflake and most importantly - my sunny and 42 degree crisp fall weather.

We love you more than you ever know.





Wednesday, May 6, 2015

HAPPY NURSES WEEK 2015

Nurses Week is a celebration of compassion, courage, and love. Nurses are honored for all that they do. But, what do nurses really feel about nurses week? Have you ever wondered? What are your thoughts about this celebration?

As a nurse myself, I can honestly say that the first thing that comes to mind is, "Do I get an extra day off?" Wishful thinking right?

Everything we do as nurses comes straight from the heart. We do what we do because we care. We go an extra mile because we want to. And we don't even call it an "extra mile". We call it, "it's what I do".

We take care of our patients well because they are the reflection of who we are as a nurse. And if things turn for the worst, we give it all we got to try to save a life.

One nurse on our floor always says, "I'm saving lives. One patient at a time!".

And she's right.

By keeping our patients safe at all times, is keeping them free from harm. And when they feel secure, they feel love. And we can only hope that this will lead to the road to recovery.

Nurses give comfort and courage. We also nurture and listen.

We give comfort to the ones who are in pain, tired, hungry, and scared.
We encourage hope to the ones who are in pain, tired, hungry, and scared.
We nurture the natural inner powers of the ones who are in pain, tired, hungry, and scared.
We listen and acknowledge pain, hunger, and fear. 

These trivial moments in nursing is what makes the profession so beautiful. Its beauty comes from within. No amount of nursing books can even begin to teach this concept.

This is because there are no words to explain the joy it brings to a nurse and his or her patient. 

Happy Nurses Week!


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

WHAT? YOU'RE BACK ON THE FLOOR? GIRL...YOU'RE CRAZY!

It has been two months since I went back to bedside nursing. I have to say , I didn't realize how much joy and fulfillment I've missed out on ever since I left it 4 years ago. Going back to the hustle and bustle of it all was the most enlightening step I took in my nursing career.

Looking back, my whole purpose of becoming a nurse was to make a difference - in my life as well as the lives of others. Somewhere along the way, I lost track of my goal and delved into the business side of nursing.

As a hospital  ER Case Manager, my job was to review charts to make sure patients were admitted in the right status and necessity. Thereby, maximizing reimbursements. Then, I started working from home as a Care Coordinator for an ACO to make sure patients refrain from going back to the hospital through disease management. Thereby, saving the big insurance company their money.

I became an instrument for the wealthy to become wealthier. I started feeling stagnant, unhappy and non existent. Something was missing. And I yearned for that feeling of warmth when a patient looks at you and says "Thank you for everything you have done for me",

As "corny" as this might sound, I realized that you should really listen to the voice inside your head and pay attention to the beat of your heart. Yes. Bedside nursing is not easy. It's emotionally and physically draining. Politics. Management. Protocols. But, those little nursing moments makes it all worthwhile.

I have been having the time of my life when I went back to the nursing floor. Some of the case managers I used to work with told me I was crazy ! Some said I was brave.Who knows.

Crazy or not, the most gratifying moments of my nursing career has been happening all over again. This time around, I have a better understanding of the patient as a whole. They have a life before, during and after the hospital stay. I welcome patient's families more now as a part of my team. They help me get a better grasp of why my patient is the way they are. It's true, that there are still some patients and families that you really wish were assigned to another nurse. But, I have learned to accept that We are all different. I don't have any control of how people will act. But I have total control of how I react to my surrounding.

I'm more confident approaching physicians and asking them what their treatment plans are for my patients. I'm not scared to voice out my opinion and advocate for my patients. I always say that patient safety is my number one concern. Keeping them safe while in the hospital and knowing that they have a safe discharge plan is a goal that pushes me to do better. In addition, what I've learned about length of stay and discharge planning while I was a case manager made me more proactive with my care plans as a bedside nurse.

I attribute this new found confidence from my experiences outside of the hospital floors. My break away from direct patient care made me realize that I can do more and refuse to settle for less. I now  appreciate bedside nursing more than I ever did. Bedside nursing is hard but easy to love. It's chaotic, but puts your priorities in order. It's draining, yet fulfills your heart. It's what I love, and that's good enough for me.