{Happy Martin Luther King Day!}

Monday, January 21, 2019

Our 10th annual MLK lunch reminded us the importance of acknowledging the beauty of color.
To say we don’t “see color” is to say we don’t see the person. 
I see you black, white, and brown friends.
You are beautiful, you are whole, you are family.

PS - If you haven't seen The Butler, 12 Years As A Slave, or Selma we highly recommend them!
{Past MLK dinners: 2010 // 2011 // 2012 // 2013 // 2014 // 2015 // 2016 // 2017 // 2018}

{True Stories of Becoming A Nurse} Book Review

Saturday, January 05, 2019

This book drenched my cheeks in tears and made my belly sore from laughter.
A must read for every nursing or medical professional!
I wrote down my takeaways from each chapter below ...
Hoping they challenge and encourage you!

1.  Hitting the Bone: A nurses first injection is a rite of passage.
2. The Haunting: Not all injuries are visible.
3. Becoming A Nurse: Your patient's family members are also your patients.
4. Next of Kin: In nursing crossing professional boundaries is inevitable.
5. Healing Wang Jie's Bottom: The hospitalization of a child is one of the most stressful events a family can encounter.
6. Zeitgeber: Hospital walls are covered in tears and often tell a story that is unseen.
7. A Long Night's Journey Into Day: It is not impossible to experience a friendly intimacy with death.
8. Don't Ever Forget Me: Let everyone die with dignity. 
9. Heart Lessons: In time, joy always follows grief.
10. Docking in Togo: Self-pity always lives at the edge of uncomfortable situations.
11. I See You: Where there is no peace there is no health.
12. Listening: The simple act of listening is a lifesaving measure-- delight in your patients' stories.
13. Careening Toward Reunion: Every nurse use psych skills no matter their specialty.
14. Nurse Nora at Nineteen: Give patients the opportunity to say what they need even if you can't fix it.
15. Four Sticks: After each shift list one thing that happened to make you a better nurse.
16. Messiah, Not Otherwise Specified: Delusions are often shaped by one's culture.
17. All Alone and Afraid: Learn to immerse yourself in the parts of your patient that go beyond their bodies.
18. Individually Identifiable: Nurses hold the first funeral for every infant who dies.
19. Approaching Death: Move with the kind of calmness that infuses hope into impossible situations.
20: The Nurses Whispered: Hospice nurses are the dying's last true confidant.
21: Becoming: Sometimes nurses juggle swords. Other times torches.

{What a Year!}

Sunday, December 16, 2018

This year I took nine classes and quit nursing school at least once a day in my mind. Never before had I done something so challenging and beautiful in my life! Everyday I made mistakes. I failed two exams, tried to plug in a Dinamap into an oxygen outlet on a patient’s wall ... I even hit Tim’s Jeep at 2am while trying to park after studying for finals (insert humble pie here). That said, I also got to do things that made me feel alive. I flushed my first IV, removed an epidural catheter from a postpartum mama, and got to sit with a patient who had just been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. I learned a lot from my classmates and professors, but mostly from my patients. They were gracious, hilarious, and reminded me often not to take my health, education, or family for granted. Each day after clinical I’d write down a lesson they had taught me ... They reminded me to make sure the diaphragm of my stethoscope was open before declaring a patient had a bowel obstruction. They showed me the absence of caring family members can be more painful than packing an unstageable pressure ulcer. They taught me not to take it personally when a patient calls you a $2 whore and to instead tell them you don’t do favors for less than twenty. They taught me I can learn more about a person by spending time with them in their room than I can from studying their file in Epic— that sitting with them for 10 minutes will feel more like 45. They taught me that one of the best things you can do for a patient who gets diagnosed with cancer is to offer them a ride to their chemo appointments. They taught me that sometimes you get to wake up new baby daddies on the couch only to discover they’ve been sleeping on half a sandwich and a handful of mayonnaise packets. I could go on but I’ll sum up the past 12 months by saying true growth happens when we do the things we’re terrified of failing at. Oh ... and remember the sweet 96 yr old named Shirley who emailed me back in August and was part of the reason why I decided to stay in nursing school? Well, my first patient was also 96. Bet you can’t guess what her name was.

Here’s to another semester of growth.

{Today's Letters}

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Dear Timothy James, since cutting down our Christmas tree we’ve A) almost watched it fall onto Stovezilla twice B) discussed lassoing it to our ceiling with kite string C) looked for Aunt Bethany’s cat hidden within its branches or D) all of the above. Dear Bravey Train, yesterday you asked if the sun goes into the ground when it sets and lights up people in cemeteries like a flashlight. Three points for channeling my inner Christopher Columbus for our discussion, two points for always making my day with your questions. Dear Dr. Pruitt, watching you receive your daisy award was sweeter than winning the Jelly of the Month club. So encouraged and challenged by the way you love, care for, and serve your patients in L&D! Dear Mr. Loerke, there are many things I love about the holiday season, you turning on our leg lamp each night is one of them. Ps- there might be a bowling ball under the tree this year with your name on it. Just sayin.
Happy Tuesday, y’all!

{Gobble Gobble!}

Friday, November 23, 2018

We spent the day stuffing our bellies with extra sweet potato casserole and elk roast.
My favorite memory (besides taking a mid-day nap on the couch) was playing
backyard soccer with Squanto and William Bradford. 
These three have been such a gift in my life!
Rowan's birth gave me the courage I needed to become a mom.
Bravey's birth showed me I could do (really) hard things.
And Maggie's birth inspired me to go to nursing school at 38 and become a midwife.
 Love your little people well today and tell them often what world changers they are.
Gobble, gobble! 

{Gratitude Lately}

Monday, November 05, 2018

Lately I've been thankful for warm afternoons and front yard chickens.

For slow mornings reading by Stovezilla.

For backyard pumpkins ready for picking.

For a new season of change.

And for chances to play hard after working hard.
Here's to gratitude and how it turns everything into enough.
Happy Monday, y'all.
What have you been thankful for lately?

{Worth It}

Saturday, October 27, 2018

{The City Museum} St. Louis

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Watching Tim's relationship with Brave grow has been as magical as experiencing her birth.
Feeling nothing but gratitude for the little road trip these two took to St. Louis last week.
Tim, you give our little root so many opportunities to grow in courage.
You are impacting her more than you know!
What's something you loved doing with your dad growing up?

{Today's Letters}

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Dear Timothy James, after long days on campus and regularly questioning my sanity about staying in nursing school you often remind me of why I started this journey in the first place. Thank you for helping me pivot back to my heart of caring for the vulnerable. Dear Fall-la-la-la-la, welcome back. You were missed more than thrifted flannels and leaf angels. Dear Resilience, lately you've shown me that I suffer more in my thoughts than I do in reality. Here's to growing in mental toughness and gratitude! Dear Brave, each morning you bang your pancake plate on the counter while trying to put it into the sink, leaving a trail of powdered sugar and syrup behind. Another six months and you'll clear this with ease, but for now it reminds me to embrace your smallness and all things sticky. Dear Mr. Loerke, to the man who loves the month of October as much as I do, please keep crushing cider donuts with me. To the moon!
Happy Tuesday, y'all!

{Stay Curious}

Monday, October 22, 2018

When you've been studying for 8 hours but your people bring you Thai food and cookies to help draw you out of your oxygenation and med admin hole.

Insulin draws served with a side of Sunergos coffee and humble pie.

How Brave and I really feel about diffusion and perfusion.
Keep channeling your anxiety into curiosity, brave ones.
Stay curious about the unknown ...
It will be one of the many things that help get you through nursing school.
Happy Monday.
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