I Choose Life
I think one of the best parts of being a nurse and working with critically ill patients is that I consistantly have to think about my own mortality and I don't sweat the small stuff as much. It's not like I worry so much about my life that I never leave the house in fear of being killed in a car crash or something worse (that's why I don't work in pediatrics, I would never let my kids leave the house!). Instead I'm humbled every day by my patients ability to cope with such horrific circumstances. I sometimes don't blame my patients for wanting to "check out" with narcotics. Most of them are dealing with so much physical and emotional pain that would knock over a skyscraper!
But, what I find most inspiring is how strong the will to live is. Most of my patients are admited and then often within days readmitted after being in a care facility for only a few days. I had one patient, who I absolutely adored, who had became one of our frequent flyers. She was on dialysis for kidney failure, was bedridden by obesity and severe weakness due to her long standing diabetes, heart failure and severe COPD. He life as she knew it was in the hospital. She quickly became one of my favorites and often when I left my shift she begged for me to bring her home saying "I just want to jump on your bed!" smiling ear to ear, of course mouthing this as she was trached (had a breathing tube in her neck) and was on a ventilator to help her breathe. She had a great sense of humor and so much love she could inflate a whole hot air balloon festival! It brings me to tears to just think about this beautiful woman who wanted nothing more than to use her own voice (she was a BIG talker afterall!).
You can see why I can appreciate life and all of its simplicities. What more do you need in your life then air, food/water, and love? But when I talk about love, I'm not taking about the romantic love you see in films. I'm talking about a spiritual love that runs so deep that no matter what happens in your life, you know you will be okay. This patient of mine taught me so much about this love. She had a very strong faith. She appriciated just being alive.
So, I choose life. Plain and simple. I choose to breathe, to love, to be. Everything else that happens in my life are really great lessons that will only teach me to live and love more. I encourage all of you reading this to choose life for you too. Break it down to what matters most. You'll be surprised with how much happier you will be. And you'll be surprised with how little you need to make you happy. I guarentee it!