Sunday Post 187: The Nurses In Our Lives

Last Saturday I had the honor of speaking at a nurses’ convention. This was a group of folk, mostly women, who spend 40 hours a week on the oncology ward at local hospitals.  I have a special place in my heart for these people.  They are angels right here on earth.

How in the heck do you do that?  Why in the heck would you do that?

These women are our interpreters.  We had one doc who was just too smart for his own good:

“Ms. Tanner, your epidemioctagal levels are elevated and your pennial nervotian might have to be severed into spinial compatulas.”

I’d be taking notes furiously.  When he left the room, I’d ask Lisa, “You got any idea what he said?”

“No.  You?”

“Nah.”

We would then ask our nurse, who was smart, but who could also speak in sentences that English speaking college educated people could understand.

“So he said that her epidemioctagal levels are, ahh, elevated and her pennial nervotian well, he said, it might have to be severed into spinial compatulas.  Is that bad?”

“Oh no.  She’s fine.  I just need to put a band-aid on her toe.”

At the conference, I asked my audience why they did what they did. I shared my admiration.

I told the group, “I couldn’t do what you do.”

One yelled back at me from the audience, “There is NO WAY I could raise three girls on my own!”

“Yea,” I responded, “I’m raising them alone, but I didn’t choose to.  You made a conscientious decision to serve and care for people who are facing the biggest adversity imaginable.”

I’m just too selfish.  I want to do something in life that makes ME happy.  I don’t want to deal with pain and suffering.  I don’t want to face the potential of death day in and day out.

Thank goodness there are some out there who are this selfless.  Those who care more about others than they do themselves.  There are those out there who gain tremendous satisfaction out of serving others, caring for others, making life better for someone in need.

These nurses do this work for people they have never met before.  They take care of us and our kids.  They make us laugh.  They listen to us and believe in us.  And yet, we take them for granted.  We pay them a pittance, and they keep on keeping on.

I don’t suppose at this point in my life I’m going to make a significant career move.  I’m certainly never going to be comfortable sticking someone with a needle or removing a spleen.  But what I can do is spend a little more time being thankful and appreciating those around me who make our lives better.

So thanks to all of you great nurses, oncology and others.  You’re the ones who take our temperatures.  You’re the ones who build relationships with us and who know how hard this is for our families.  You are the ones who treat us like real people, with humor, love and care.

You are angels here on earth.

Purchase Danny’s Book Laughter, Tears and Braids: Amazon or Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh

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17 Comments

  1. Oncology nurses are a whole other level of amazing. To do what they do, every day…I just couldn’t imagine. But, having been on the other side and benefitted from their care and grace and wisdom my family is eternally grateful

    Reply
  2. Absolutely. The hospice nurse we had when my dad was ill as as you said, an angel here on earth. I couldn’t do it either. Thank God for those who can and do.

    Reply
  3. We all have a role, a purpose, gifts that the Lord has given us to bring Him glory. Being a nurse is my tiny part. It is my joy to make the sick feel cared for, loved, seen. Use your gifts to benefit others and to glorify God. You will be blessed and satisfied. 🙂

    Reply
    • Danny Tanner

       /  September 29, 2014

      I am thankful of your gift, and thankful that you’re selfless enough to put it to good use!

      Reply
  4. I remember these nurses as a child when my mom was dying from cancer. I didn’t understand the gravity of what they did at that age. The older I got and the more people I saw on oncology wards, I realized they’ve been sent by Jesus to ease the pain of not only the patient, but those of us watching our loved ones dying too.

    Reply
  5. I loved all the nurses at the oncology center where I received my chemo treatments for breast cancer. I was one who liked to joke and laugh, and they played along so well with me. I actually had fun while I was getting that “curative poison” pumped into me. They were good, kind, strong women who were built to be leaned on…..I thank God for such encouraging people in my life during that difficult time. I found so many of them along the way.

    Reply
  6. Carolanne

     /  September 28, 2014

    Hello my friend. I have been a nurse for the last 25 years. I credit my mother for giving me the necessary push to get me started. It has been and still is something I love to do. I’ve worked in many different departments, ICU, MED-SURG, ER, RADIOLOGY ,Home Care, Assisted living, and Adult Day Centers. It’s all the same, in the end I am happiest when I have helped someone feel better or at least made them smile. In a sense, my patients are like my family, and I care for them as such. I love what I do, and I wouldn’t change a thing.

    Reply
    • Danny Tanner

       /  September 29, 2014

      That does not surprise me in the least. You always took care of those around you!

      Reply
  7. Evie Lichti

     /  September 29, 2014

    You are so rite, my friend. Altho’ I’ve not experienced oncology nurses, I appreciate all of ’em! And, by the way, m’ friend . . . HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

    Reply
  8. Kathy

     /  September 29, 2014

    Amen!

    Reply
  9. Aunt Susan

     /  September 29, 2014

    hey nice post but more importantly HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU.

    Reply
  10. Andee

     /  September 30, 2014

    You are serving by sharing your story! And I think it is so cool that you spoke at a nurse conference.

    Reply

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