The after aftershocks.

thumbnail_growingnursedebiFBheader-cranberrycopyIt’s been a great weekend. I’ve had more energy than usual, I’ve been productive and creative, I’ve gotten dirt under my fingernails, I’ve eaten too much, I’ve had fun. I’ve laughed with my family, I’ve run from snakes, I’ve reconnected with friends, I’ve listened to great music. I’ve enjoyed time in my shed, I’ve enjoyed time at church, I’ve enjoyed time with people, I’ve enjoyed time alone. Basically, I’ve just enjoyed. I’ve enjoyed every beautiful, healing moment of it. I needed it.

You may have noticed by now that the chaos of nursing tends to get to me at times. This chaos doesn’t usually come from the patients, though. More often, it comes from what surrounds them – the coordination of their care. Just like it takes more than a pilot to fly a plane, it takes way more than one doctor and a nurse to care for a patient.

While all may be peaceful inside the patients’ rooms, there is a nonstop blur of activity happening for them behind-the-scenes. Specialists, therapists, pharmacists, monitor techs, case managers, patient care techs and others are all working extremely hard to ensure these patients have safe recoveries and successful re-entries back into living their lives. Believe me, there’s really a lot going on.

It’s the nurse’s job to keep track of all of this. It’s like balancing spinning plates. Multiple spinning plates. For multiple patients. It’s the nurse’s job to not only help keep these patients alive, but we have to keep all the plates spinning properly, as well. It’s these spinning plates that bring all the phone calls. It’s the spinning plates that bring the “right now”. It’s the spinning plates that bring the chaos. It’s the spinning plates that I need to heal from. It’s not the patients, it’s the delicate and complicated balancing act involved in their care.

So this weekend has been good for me. The aftershocks of the chaos have quieted down in my heart. I’ve healed and what remains now are the imprints the patients inevitably leave on me. I love my patients. Every single one of them. They all teach me somehow. Seriously – every single one of them.

They teach me that everybody has a story worth hearing. They teach me that everybody loves in different ways. They teach me to not judge where they’re at right now in life, but to learn from what led them to this point. They teach me the importance of meeting their eyes or holding their hand. They teach me the value of connection. They teach me the value of slowing down and just being there. And they teach me that there’s so much more to life than balancing spinning plates.

I praise God for the restorative beauty of my healing weekend. I praise God for the lessons he teaches me in spite of the chaos.

And I praise God for you, my friends, for being here and for growing with me.

“The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” (Isaiah 58:11)

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