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Own it, don’t dismiss it.

A few weeks back my music switched to cycling through everything on iTunes, instead of just my play list. I usually tolerate this until one of the kids nasty worded rap songs comes on and I switch it back to my Christian music. After I saw Rob Bell two years ago I downloaded some of his first pod casts and it so happened number seven popped on. I had heard it before but I had a feeling I should listen again. I believe he called it the tapes in your head. The word tape kind of shows our age since I’m pretty sure they no longer exist.

He was talking about the way you talk about yourself in your head. So he launches into a scenario where he is playing kickball with you and you catch his ball but you trip and fall and run a spike through your chest. So he cuts the spike loose and halls you to ER. I had a hard time getting past playing kickball with Rob and not calling 911. Anyway you arrive to ER and they stat page a doctor to your room. Do you want your doctor to play this in her head? I’m not really sure about this. I graduated last in my class. There are so many doctors that are better than me. Or would you want her tape to say I’ve got this. I know exactly what needs to be done. I have the skills and the team to accomplish this. Another thing he spoke about is not owning compliments but rather dismissing them or downplaying them.
Three hours after I listened to this I walked into work and my boss was talking with another gal I had never met. The unknown called me high energy and my first thought was no I’m not. And then it was if my head shook and cleared my brain and I was like I think she’s right. So I’ve been thinking about how my life does indeed reflect high energy.
For starters my job reflects this. I am scheduled eleven am until seven-thirty pm to come in and take all the new admits. They include surgeries, direct admits (straight from home or doctors office) ER patients and moms who just had a baby that ends up in NICU. This shift originally started because for a few years the hospital did away with having people on call and we were not allowed to staff for patients who weren’t there at the start of the day. On big surgery days (10 or more) this could be a nightmare with every nurse being at max capacity and yet more surgeries needing to come. I worked three to eleven back then so a lot of times they would call me to work early. So anyway I now come in at whatever time they need me. This may be as early as eight thirty or as late as three. I sometimes have all five patients within three hours. The recovery room loves me because I almost always take report when they call and have taken back to back and say send at same time I’ll make it work. The only time this is a nightmare for me is when the patients were not given adequate pain medicine during surgery and are out of control upon arrival. This keeps me running for the first few hours. Our unit is huge and really spread out so on a crazy day I can easily hit ten thousand steps in eight hours. And to think my husband likes to harass me and say all nurses do is sit around and eat chips and dip.
My activity level screams high energy too. I walk almost three miles every day for my coffee and then around the back neighborhood. It’s also my time to play Pokémon. I’m still running and always training for something. Last years fifty mile runalone says either high energy or belongs in an insane asylum.
At the end of the same day I had a patient and her husband thank me for being the kindest nurse and person they ever met. My first reaction was to dismiss the entire compliment and then Rob popped into my head and the love dare. I remembered one of the three things Brian said he admired about me was my willingness to do whatever I could to help others. And I must admit they were right. They were of a different culture and I respected that and incorporated it into my plan of care. Plus they were Heartprint patients which will always have a special place in my heart.
So over the past three weeks I’ve been trying to own it, instead of dismissing it. I must say this is a lot harder than I thought it would be. My head tape likes to go immediately to the negative and the worst case scenario. I guess I have something to work on.
Mole Moral ~ If the tape is negative, eject it, and replace with a positive one, you deserve it!
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Matthew 25:40

I pretty much either run or walk for coffee every day of the week unless its raining or snowing. At least a couple of times a week I would pass this homeless guy who could pass for my neighbors Doppelganger. Anyway I would say hi and he would say the most crazy stuff that made zero sense to me. My doorway assessment skills diagnosed him with schizophrenia and not on medication. He seemed stuck in his own mind or maybe we are stuck in our minds and he is  the one who is free. Anyway, the last couple of weeks it had dawned on me I hadn’t seen him in quite a while.

Yesterday while getting coffee I asked the gas station girls about him. They said “Oh you mean homeless Jeff,” he has been banned from most of Arnold. However, a former gas station employee has set him up in a trailer in an undisclosed location and he is doing work such as cutting trees. He is in air conditioning and safe. They said he is doing well but still not on medication. I am not going to lie, I was blown away which made me think of the title of this blog.

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Whoever this person may be, they are truly living a life of Jesus. How much easier is it just to say hi and smile and continue on your way than to actually invite someone into your home and care for them. I have a friend who would do something like this but I can sadly say I don’t think I would. One day I will have to answer to my selfish behavior while I try to justify it by all the other things I have done for people. For example the Heartprint blankets. Luckily it’s not a contest or there would be no winners.

 

Mole Moral ~ Never be afraid to admit you use biblegateway.com to find the verse you are looking for when you know what they say, just not where they are located!

 

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Mercy Heartprints

I rarely blog about work because with HIPAA I do not want to be in violation and potentially lose my job. However I feel this subject will be safe because it really has nothing to do with a specific patient of circumstance.  A little over seventeen years ago my nephew was born and it was apparent he would not survive so the decision was made to take him off of life support and have his parents hold him until he passed. I was there and it was the most difficult thing I had ever been through. Prior to this I had worked in the burn unit and been with my patients when this was done. I thought it was easier because there was no hope, however I discovered that although your head knows it’s the right thing to do, your heart is broken into a million pieces. After this happened my sister-in-law was transferred from the mother/baby floor to the gynecology floor. I had been thinking about leaving the burn unit for a few months and after visiting her there I knew it was time to transfer.

Mercy Heartprints is a program for families who experience the loss of a baby through miscarriage, ectopic, stillbirth or neonatal death. It is run by a wonderful lady who has been in charge for longer than I have worked on Women’s Health. (At some point the name of our floor was changed from Gynecology to Women’s Health but I cannot remember when.) We have an open visitation policy so if the mom wants to see her baby again before she leaves, we do that for her. I remember when I was in my labor and delivery rotation and our instructor called us in to see a twenty week loss. She was touching the baby and I remember thinking that I would NEVER touch a dead baby. See how that word bites me every single time I use it. Sadly, I have touched more than I ever could have imagined. I used the word sad because every baby is a loss for a family.

Most people wonder why and how I can do this and there are two reasons for this. One, if I could go back in time and hold my nephew even though he had passed I would. I do not want any of my patients to ever have that feeling. Two, I know it is the last time they will see their baby until they themselves die and go to Heaven. For those of you who are wondering we do indeed warm, dress, and wrap the babies in blankets. All of this is then given to the parents to keep.

My mom taught me how to crochet when I was really young. I’m thinking maybe eight or so. I even made clothes for my sisters Barbie dolls. I never played with those stupid things. Shocking I know. I always wanted to learn how to do granny squares but no one I knew could make them. I bought a book with the instructions but I might as well have  been reading Chinese. So when I had Emily, an aunt made her a granny square blanket. It was beautiful and I will always treasure it.

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Brian took this photo all on his own when Emily was three days old. You can see the blanket in the picture. Finally about a year ago, I thought I bet there are You Tube videos on how to do granny squares. Sure enough there was and I finally was able to do make them and then the Chinese directions actually made sense. So I started a pinkish one and then the girl who does my hair was having a baby so I made one for her but she was having a boy so I had to switch yarn colors. Then my other friend was pregnant again with number eleven and I was convinced she was having a boy so I made another blue one. However, about a month before she was to deliver I decided to finish the pink one just in case. When she texted me she had a girl I believe my response was “OMG! It’s a good thing I have a back up plan.” I have since made about three more blankets for other friends that are expecting. I ran out of people to make them for so I decided I would make them for the Heartprint patients. Since most of the time those babies are smaller, I only use one skein of yarn for each blanket. Hobby Lobby has a brand of yarn called I Love This Yarn and all of the colors are amazing. I have currently made twenty blankets (I have been asked if I think I am OCD. That answer is you better believe it) and I see no end in sight. I have a lot of solid colors from past projects so I am doing a solid and then a fun multi-colored one. I feel that if just one blanket brings one mom some comfort and peace knowing her baby was recognized then it is worth making a thousand. My husband did ask how much i was charging for them. I said they are gifts to the Heartprint program. He asked me how I am ever  going to get rich. I said giving them away makes me richer than Bill Gates.

 

Mole Moral ~ Often in this world, we never know how one-act of kindness can make a difference to just one person.