Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Do Things Happen for a Reason?

Nurse Writer 


I stepped through the door of the nursing home with my tan scrubs, gait belt and hand sanitizer eager for my first day of clinicals. Immediately, all of the different smells in the air made their way up my nose all at once and my stomach turned. This was the first, but definitely not the last time I made a mad dash to the bathroom.  I spent a good amount of time there huddled over the toilet gagging from either seeing or smelling something unforgettably disgusting or from a migraine caused by lack of sleep and food.

The CNA program was 6 weeks of pure unadulterated hell. I didn’t see my family, or sleep or eat. My diet mostly consisted of stale vending machine Kit Kats, Pepsi, Tylenol, and Coffee…lots and lots of coffee. I spent my summer going to class at 5:30am where I was greeted by a teacher that I swear was out to get me. I was 6 seconds late one day and was lectured on the importance of promptness in front of the class then written up. During instruction, if Ms. D was in a good mood we could sit on the beds but if she was mad (which was most of the time) we had to stand for 2 to 3 hours without a break. I tried desperately not to fall over. I wasn’t sure how long it was humanly possible to go without sleep, but I am pretty sure that my buddies and I were close to the cusp. Our study groups would sometimes run up until 2am to finish our 16 chapters.   

1st Day of Class
The day of the final had finally arrived, I repeated the steps over and over the whole way to school. I took a deep breath, opened the door and whispered to myself, “I’ve got this.” My instructor stood in front of the class with 26 little pieces of papers. We all took turns picking a little purple paper of doom and when I flipped mine over it read 24. My partner and I would be the second to last to take our final skills test. Out of the whole class, there were only 2 people that I didn’t want to get stuck with. A 17 year old know it all and a neurotic middle aged woman who cried all the time. Any of the other 23 would have been just fine. But of course, my partner was the crier. We practiced a few times and her uneasiness was as contagious as the C.diff that ran rampant through the nursing home. I ran outside to catch my breath because she had completely psyched me out.

My classmates filed out of the room two by two all in tears, either of joy or sadness. I took brief catnaps while I watched Grey’s Anatomy in the hallway. Finally it was 5:15pm and I had been there for almost 12 hours waiting anxiously. I was exhausted but confident as I walked into the testing room with Sarah* (name has been changed to protect her identity LOL!). She got into the bed and immediately started bawling. I could feel her anxiety radiating off of her body onto mine.I pulled my card with the set of skills I was to perform. I knew I could do 2 of the 3 while blind folded but for the last one I needed her to calm down. I had to change the sheets with her in the bed. Making a bed with a person in it is no easy feat, but when the person is 5’7” and hysterical, it was close to impossible. When the buzzer rang, I knew my summer had been wasted. I passed the first two and received a 78% on the last, only 2% from passing. If I would have simply put the sheet in the hamper before time ran out, I would have passed...but I didn’t.

For me, a perfectionist, it was an embarrassment, as well as a huge blow to my ego. I gave it my all and it still wasn’t good enough. I had sacrificed my whole summer away from my children, had at least gained 5 pounds from my poor diet, and the bags under my eyes rivaled Uncle Fester’s.  I was always taught crying was a sign of weakness but honestly, at that moment I was weak.
            
6 books, 3 classes and a New Dream
 I went home and spent the next 2 months depressed, like the “I can’t get out of bed because life is so cruel” kind. One day, I picked up a pencil and wrote it all down in the form of a fictional short story. It amazed me how much better I felt. I loved the feeling of escaping reality just for a little while. My pencil had the ability to take me wherever I wanted to go and let me be whoever I wanted to be in that moment. I had always wanted to be a writer but knew that wouldn’t pay the bills, which I why I thought I had to pick a “practical” profession.

Retrospectively, I am thankful for this experience because it taught me so much more than it was intended to. I learned that despite my best efforts I am but an imperfect person. My time at the nursing home gave me more compassion for others. I met my best friend who was there to talk me off the metaphorical ledge. I also came to the realization that life has bigger plans, it may seem disastrous at the time (which it did) but after the storm, there is always a rainbow. It led me to my true passion, WRITING. I might not be saving others like I would be if I was a nurse, but I save myself everyday by following my dreams, no regrets!


12 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing this, it was inspiring! I think we have a lot in common. I'm working on my first YA novel as well. Check out my site @ www.janealveyharris.com maybe we can discuss publishing strategy! You are on a great path!!

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    1. I LOVED your blog and so did my husband. It was very relatable, funny and whitty. I am excited to collaborate with you and have been working hard on the Lucid dream piece I am going to be sharing with you. Thanks for your support!

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  2. I loved this post! I love the blog and I agree you are going down a GREAT path!

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    1. Thank you so much for your support. I am having such a fun time writing. I hope you enjoyed and continue to stop by on Wednesdays. Have a wonderful day! =)

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  3. This is some really inspirational stuff. Glad you tweeted me about your blog. You're supremely talented, & I love your passion for writing. Keep up the great work. Cheers! :)

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    1. Thank you for your kind words. I hope you continue to to by on Wednesdays. I really appreciate your support.

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    2. Yes. Wednesdays are gonna be more special for now. :) By the way, thanks for selecting Wednesday as the day for blogging.

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    3. I hope you continue to *stop* by =)

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  4. Funny story, I can relate. I almost implode any time I "fail" :) Glad you're writing though. Enjoy!

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    1. Oh I did. I kept it together just long enough to get out of the testing room. Best fail ever! =) I appreciate your support. Thanks for stopping by.

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