30 hours in two days. PURE bliss. Inside the walls of the hospital, job two of three… Some call it crazy… (insert smile) I call it life. The best part… almost, every moment of it was enjoyed. The stimulation, the team, the comradery, the challenge, the adrenaline and even the hard times are SO incredibly fulfilling. Two thousand nineteen was a year of change. It was a year of hard. Every day since has been a period to rebuild… I think it’s been that way for most of us.
COVID-19 hit just as my world was spiraling out of control. Taking another blow, I needed to remove myself from bedside nursing to focus on teaching and being a mom. When I left, a part of me died. Nursing for some of us, isn’t just what you do…it’s who we are. It is truly our blood.
God is it so good to come back from the dead. Yesterday, was the proof. As I opened the shade in my patients room, you could hear the whooshing…There she was. Green and white, and beautiful, with the sun rising in the background. The DART helicopter was ready for take off, transporting yet another patient. Inside, a team working to save another life. These moments give me heart palpitations.. pun intended. The body is such miraculous thing, so much a gift to understand it.
Choose Your Hard.
Inside the hospital walls, more lives were being touched. My personal favorite…dancing into my patients room, giving her the green light, the tools to win at home. New onset diabetes, with a diagnosis of hyperglycemic, hyperosmolar, non-ketotic syndrome (HHNS), tongue twister for sure, also known as critically high blood sugar levels is a result of having not enough insulin causing severe dehydration. Beyond the diagnosis, there was fear. A patient and family scared and nervous, facing the unknown of what life would look like from here forward.
How does one get here? How does one overcome the hard, to see the good? How is it possible to lean into the lesson? A friend recently reinforced to me, the ownership remains in ourselves. WE CAN DO HARD THINGS. And you know what, my friend was right. We, you, I, am stronger than anything that comes at us. For me, since 2019, I have wanted to break, and honestly have broken, more than I care to acknowledge. I cannot count how many times I have made mistakes, done things I’m not entirely proud of, questioned my purpose, questioned myself and thought fuck, if only I did that better, put in more energy, been more responsible, loved a little harder, kept my mouth shut or said that differently, saved more money, you know what I mean, the list goes on…I’ve cried more tears sitting on my bedroom floor then I ever want to admit to. Yet, I’m the happiest and most content version of myself. How it happen? Small, sometimes very small little steps forwards, and maybe even a few steps back. You know that thing called life? With every ounce of myself, I am consciously choosing to live it.
What happens when we stop showing up for the world and start show up for ourselves… It’s been three weeks, 14 hours, 23 minute and 47 seconds… since I for the 1,478,890 time have gotten back on the take care of myself train. Insert sarcasm. What does that mean? Yet again, I am choosing to take control over my life. It’s the easy, not so easy things. Reinforcing our routine…. a key for me. Planning ahead. Drinking more water — and noticing how the bathroom paint isn’t exactly perfect if you know what I mean… lol. Exercising daily, increased outdoor time, limiting alcohol and maintaining a sleep schedule has been key to my mental health. When I feel better and stronger I’m able to better define my boundaries, and more importantly holding firm to them. The hardest, yet the best of all self care has been removing the daily barrage, of social media, scrolling aimlessly because it’s the path of least resistance that my brain was choosing to take. Each time I try, I move forward. I fall off, and eventually get back on again. What I find is each time I get back on, I find myself in a different place, more content and at peace. Normally, it isn’t until I take the bull by the horns, sort of speak, that I realized how far off the map, I have really gotten… again, aka life…
Sound familiar?! So what’s my point… it’s ok to take everyday for what it is. It’s ok to fail. What happens when we start being who we were meant to be. Leveraging our strengths and truly and honestly accepting our flaws and our weaknesses? What happens when we remember that emotions are healthy, even the hard ones. When we accept our imperfections, while fully understanding that we will never be everyone’s cup of tea… and hell some people freek’n hate tea!! (Laughing) and some people tea is the only thing that brings them a sense of peace and calm (I said tea, not tequila) we learn to sit right where we are. Leaning into the hard and truly being proud of not just our successes but also our failures, has an amazing potential to lead us to the destination we are supposed to be. It also shows us just how strong we really are. What is success if there is never a challenge or failure? Sitting with emotions that we exert so much effort trying to block out, or push away, takes strength and let me tell you, you are far stronger than you ever thought possible.
It’s not always easy to stop and course correct, in fact it is pretty hard and takes energy, determination and a network of support. The gift of your hard work is the reward on your investment. I never knew how good a glass of wine could take until I created boundaries for myself that I didn’t need to indulge in a glass of wine every day after work. A plate of nachos is so much better when I’ve chosen to eat healthy and fit it in in smaller portions and balancing the frequency. Shopping is that much more enjoyable when my body FEELS good and overall, I’m a better mom, partner and friend when I don’t have all the clutter in my mind, keeping me from acknowledging that I am in fact in control of my thoughts, feelings and emotions and how I respond to them.
I have returned to social media 3 times. Once to check kids messenger, once to change my profile picture and once, to absent mindedly scroll my timeline. It was less than fulfilling and I abruptly ended my scroll 2 minutes later when that activity and idea of looking at what was on my feed didn’t suck me in. In three weeks, I have been able to read three books, return to focusing on my own mental health, fitness, health and relationships that truly hold value. I feel more like myself then I have felt in the last three years despite the “hard” that is faced on the daily. I am choosing my hard. The ramifications of our actions are hard, even the well intended, positive, fun and exciting times. If your finding yourself in the hard keep going.
After 30 hours, more than 20,000 steps, little sleep, arguments with the littles, being vulnerable and needing to ask for help, two beautiful souls walked out of the hospital yesterday, health improved asking for a hug of appreciation and gratitude. Shhhh… yes, I still hug my patients. Another patient will get their needed heart surgery in the next couple of days. One will continue to be worked-up to determine why they feel the way they do and another will know that despite their own mistakes, they are not judged and were treated with kindness, grace and respect.
That’s life. Embrace it. The hard, the yuck and the imperfect. I don’t know if I will ever be truly healed and whole from the road I have traveled to get to where I am but I know with 100% certainty I’m exactly where I”m meant to be and that’s what perfect….
If you or anyone you know or love needs additional health support, please don’t hesitate to reach out. As I continue to travel this winding road, I am finding my way back to my calling…nutrition, diet, exercise and mental health. However, today I’m mom and I hear the sound Alexa playing christmas songs with a nine year old crying because she she cannot put up the christmas tree at 0830 on a Sunday morning… Happy sunday… with so much love!
- If you or a loved one is suffering for Diabetes Mellitus (DMI or DMII) resources can be found at: https://diabetes.org/