14 February 2013

An Amazing Love - or - The Love Gene

I don't know how they do it.  Nurses.  I read a post on Facebook just yesterday and in a nutshell, it said this:  They don't have time to take care of their physical needs because they are taking care of ours.  They get yelled at because our medication is late, they are away from their families because they are there taking care of ours.  I know this all too well because in 2011, I was hospitalized three times over a six month period.  And while I was going through all that, my daughter Ani was a nursing student.  As a nurse's aide, I heard all about her day to day and so I tried, despite my pain, to be kind to my nurses.  When I was going through my bouts of cancer, my daughter was there by my side, not quite a nurse yet, but so loving and caring.  She would follow up with my appointments, question my doctors, sit beside me to offer support.  All good training for what was ahead.  That very year, I proudly watched her graduate nursing school just 6 weeks after my surgery,  and the following year I was there to celebrate the completion of her nursing residency.  And so why am I bringing this up now?  Old news, right?

Well, today is Valentine's day.  A day to appreciate those we love.  And I wanted to share this with you because it touched my heart.  This morning I got on the bus at 6:30 a.m.  In my mad rush to get out of the house on time, I grabbed my phone off the charger, threw it in my pocket and made it to the bus on time.  Looking down at my phone when I finally sat down, I saw a text message from my daughter:  "I just went to see my patient.  He's not looking too good.  Please keep him in your prayers."  My daughter and I are united in a lot of things, but one of the strongest of these is prayer.  So I prayed - on the 409 Commuter bus - for her patient.  That God give his body strength to receive the medications, treatments and care.  But also, that if that was not possible, that He not allow this child to suffer long.  I texted her back.  and looking at my phone I realized that her text had come to me at midnight.  6.5 hours earlier.  I wrote her...apologizing for the delay...asking how her patient was, hoping that he made it through.  But she responded that he had passed away during the night.  This patient had been in her life in and out of the course of a year.  Diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, he was in the hospital frequently.  I could "hear" it in her text message, and later in her voice when she drove home in the early morning.  Just as our nurses grow on us; so too do their patients grow on them.  They think of them; pray for them; and have hope for them.  And this loss affected my daughter.

I rode into downtown thinking about all of this.  How do nurses do it? Faced with life and death everyday?  I don't know if I'd be able to be so strong.  And it got me thinking of the difference between them and us.  I think that some people are blessed by God with the "love gene".  It's not a scientific thing...or maybe it is...but it's the love gene that makes a nurse able to comfort someone's sick child in the middle of the night.  It's the love gene in a nurse that restores a hospitalized teen's dignity when they need cleaning up;  It's the love gene that enables a young nurse to dry her tears at the loss of a patient, and in their grieving, turn around, put on a smile and help someone else that's in need.  The love gene is patient, kind and nurturing.  And it is filled with hope and compassion.

So on this Valentine's Day, I wanted to send a special love note out to all those amazing nurses!   Thank you for all you do.  From all of us: parents and patients.  Thank you for being patient and kind with us with us even though  sometimes we aren't patient and kind with you.  Thank you for hurting when we hurt.  And for your amazing love.  You are a blessing in our world.  Oh, and a special note to my daughter...I love you,  Ani.  You are my hero!


Ani Kohar said...

Thank you for your sweet words. Sometimes it's a hard job but it's the support that we get from our family and friends that keeps us going. Thank you for always believing in me mama...you are MY hero! :) xox

mary said...

Thank you for this amazing post! : ) I couldn't agree more with Ani! family and friends and their prayers keep us going when it seems impossible! :)

Ariel said...

Thanks so much for your positive comments! As nurses we do face a lot of negativity, people are hurting and going through a lot and it's natural to lash out at those who are closest, nurses and family. It's a calling!!

Also wanted to say that as a caregiver and Christian I really enjoy your blog and enjoy reading all your entries.

Pomegranate and Eye said...

Ariel, thanks so much for your comment and for reading my blog. It's always so difficult to know if anyone is reading since most don't comment. I appreciate it!