Between birthing babies, raising children, and enduring cancer treatment, a lot of my last 6 years have been spent in medical facilities. I have been fortunate to be under the care of brilliant, compassionate doctors. However, the real care comes from the nurses.
So here is to all the nurses that offer care when we need it most:
To the nurse who held my hand while I was admitted for an unexpected induction, thank you for reminding me that my plan isn’t the only way.
To the nurse who sat for hours and monitored heartbeats and contractions when the electronic monitor was down, thank you for your attention to detail and patience with a very slow labor.
To the nurse who stayed and encouraged me while my son screamed through his entire 45-minute feeding during his first night, thank you for helping me know that motherhood is going to be tough but I can do it.
To the nurse from the pediatrician’s office that called to check on me during the first six weeks because my baby’s crying really was that loud and constant, thank you for assuring me that I’m not in this alone.
To the nurses who cared for my grandmother when she couldn’t care for herself, thank you for allowing her to maintain her dignity and grace.
To the nurse that sat and explained all the ins and outs of blood sugar when I had gestational diabetes with my second pregnancy, thank you for knowing that health is more than medicine.
To the nurse who moved my IV line off my hand so that I could knit away nervous energy while in labor with my daughter, thank you for remembering that while this is your everyday, it’s not mine and we all cope differently.
To my cousin the nurse who lets me call her with every mystery ailment of myself and my children, you are my sanity. Thank you for filtering your vast ocean of knowledge into things I can understand.
To the nurse who removed my catheter at 3AM the night of my double mastectomy so that I could walk the halls when I couldn’t lay in bed another minute, thank you for seeing that I needed to feel capable.
To the nurse who administered my chemo meds week after week, thank you for always choosing a chair for me that had room for my husband to sit beside me. You knew that those afternoons were long and hard, and you also knew the best way to comfort me.
To the nurse who went and found a bell for me to ring at the end of my last chemo after I joked, “isn’t there some kind of ceremony?!”, thank you for giving me a much needed moment of victory.
To the nurse who makes small talk when I go in for scans, thank you for keeping my mind occupied on something other than worry.
To the nurse who works on holidays, thank you for giving up time with your family to take care of mine.
To the nurse who leaves her own children tucked in their beds to work the night shift, thank you for knowing that emergencies don’t clock out at 5PM. You offer your best to your patients and then continue to give your best to your family. You may be fueled by caffeine but you are also fueled by an equal serving of passion.
To the nurse who cares for other children in ways that she hopes she never has to care for her own, thank you for your strength. You daily bring light to parents’ worst day. You constantly process fears and sorrow that we can’t comprehend.
To all the nurses, you are knowledge. You are skill. You are grit and determination. You are comfort and caring. I see you and I appreciate you.
When things are urgent, you act. When things are scary, you reassure. When I don’t know what to do, you do.
Thank you for being the calm in the storm. Thank you for being you.