Life is Beautiful

Given my recent emotional setback, I thought it appropriate to focus on something beautiful for today’s post. I’m using Mama Kat’s prompt and listing the seven wonders of my life – as a nurse, and patient. Some were joyful, others were filled with tears, but each experience showed the beauty of a life and they have all helped me to remain focused, calm and accepting during difficult times.

1. As a new nurse, still precepting, I witnessed grown children saying goodbye as we cared for their dying mother. She was my first patient to die. I remember her children were there around the clock on rotating shifts, reading to her, reminiscing about their childhood, thanking her for her loving care throughout their lives. We were all present when she passed and I cried with them, realizing that, I had helped them through this difficult time. I gave tenderness and love to their family and was touched to be able to share in their grief.

2. After spending 16 hours helping me labor with Asher, the nurse on shift stayed late to care for me after the birth and help me as my son latched on for the first time. Looking back, with my experience of 12 hour night shifts, I truly appreciate her dedication to patient care at the expense of her own time and energy.

3. I’ve watched parents, sitting vigil at the bedside of their teenage child lingering between life and death from a suicide attempt. Desperately wanting to do something, and hoping that being there just might be enough to bring their baby back to them.

4. I’ve held the Ambu Bag during a lengthy code, before time of death was called, as a tearful wife leaned over to tell her husband “I love our life.”

5. I’ve seen a patient who coded several times in ICU walk into my unit upon discharge and thank me for the care I gave, grateful to be able to spend another day with loved ones.

6. During an awful snow and ice storm, I watched exhausted nurses come on shift, having slept in the hospital, to take report on patients they knew would not be safe without adequate staffing.

7. I’ve performed post mortem care more times than I can count. Tenderly removing lines and cleaning patients so they can be ready to be taken to the funeral home. Some find this macabre, but for me, it’s a continuation of nursing care, not only for the patient, but for the family. A way to show respect for someone’s life as well as those that love them.

I realize that this list may seem like a downer for some, but that’s not the intent. I’ve learned from my career that there is beauty in even the most upsetting parts of our lives. Sometimes it’s shown to us by others, sometimes we are blessed to offer it to someone else.

Written in response to a prompt from Mama Kat’s.
#1. List your life’s Seven Wonders. 
Describe the most amazing 7 things you’ve seen with your own two eyes.
    Mama’s Losin’ It
    30 Responses to Life is Beautiful
    1. Kathy Y
      November 17, 2011 | 1:58 pm

      You have me in tears. Thank you for all that you do everyday. 

    2. Kathy Y
      November 17, 2011 | 1:58 pm

      You have me in tears. Thank you for all that you do everyday. 

    3. Kathy Y
      November 17, 2011 | 2:09 pm

      You had me in tears. Thanks for all you do. It is really beautiful.

    4. Kathy Y
      November 17, 2011 | 2:09 pm

      You had me in tears. Thanks for all you do. It is really beautiful.

    5. Galit Breen
      November 17, 2011 | 11:24 pm

      Oh my heart, you are wise and soulful and all that is good. 

      This is perfectly done. Truly.

    6. Galit Breen
      November 17, 2011 | 11:24 pm

      Oh my heart, you are wise and soulful and all that is good. 

      This is perfectly done. Truly.

    7. Lisa
      November 18, 2011 | 10:46 am

      Although you made me cry, this is a beautiful list.  I am grateful there are people like you out there, doing what you do.

    8. Lisa
      November 18, 2011 | 10:46 am

      Although you made me cry, this is a beautiful list.  I am grateful there are people like you out there, doing what you do.

    9. Mamamash
      November 18, 2011 | 11:00 am

      My sister is a nurse, and the more I watch her and the more I read of experiences like this, I am convinced that you are all angels. 

    10. Mamamash
      November 18, 2011 | 11:00 am

      My sister is a nurse, and the more I watch her and the more I read of experiences like this, I am convinced that you are all angels. 

    11. Miss Marina Star
      November 18, 2011 | 11:53 am

      Sometimes we can do angelic things, but we are also very human. It's a constant battle to put the needs of others above my own. Thank you for stopping by…it's always nice to see your smiling face!

    12. Miss Marina Star
      November 18, 2011 | 11:53 am

      Sometimes we can do angelic things, but we are also very human. It's a constant battle to put the needs of others above my own. Thank you for stopping by…it's always nice to see your smiling face!

    13. Miss Marina Star
      November 18, 2011 | 11:54 am

      Thank you. I'm glad you were touched by my list.

    14. Miss Marina Star
      November 18, 2011 | 11:54 am

      Thank you. I'm glad you were touched by my list.

    15. Miss Marina Star
      November 18, 2011 | 11:55 am

      This comment, coming from a wordsmith such as yourself, is an honor.

      Thank you so much, Galit.

    16. Miss Marina Star
      November 18, 2011 | 11:55 am

      This comment, coming from a wordsmith such as yourself, is an honor.

      Thank you so much, Galit.

    17. Miss Marina Star
      November 18, 2011 | 11:56 am

      Thank you. I'm glad you were able to see the beauty in some of the sadness. That's how I see many of these experiences.

    18. Miss Marina Star
      November 18, 2011 | 11:56 am

      Thank you. I'm glad you were able to see the beauty in some of the sadness. That's how I see many of these experiences.

    19. My Inner Chick
      November 18, 2011 | 4:20 pm

      –Absolutley beautiful post.  You must be an “Angel”  as an RN. 

      How blessed the hospital is to have you.

      My Inner Chick
      http://myinnerchick.com

    20. My Inner Chick
      November 18, 2011 | 4:20 pm

      –Absolutley beautiful post.  You must be an “Angel”  as an RN. 

      How blessed the hospital is to have you.

      My Inner Chick
      http://myinnerchick.com

    21. Leigh Ann
      November 18, 2011 | 8:26 pm

      Aw, this is a lovely list. I adore nurses. They took such great care of me when I was admitted with preeclampsia and went into labor at 30 weeks, then was on bedrest for a week, then after the twins were born, and again with Zoe. And the NICU nurses? Amazing. I developed a whole new respect. 

    22. Leigh Ann
      November 18, 2011 | 8:26 pm

      Aw, this is a lovely list. I adore nurses. They took such great care of me when I was admitted with preeclampsia and went into labor at 30 weeks, then was on bedrest for a week, then after the twins were born, and again with Zoe. And the NICU nurses? Amazing. I developed a whole new respect. 

    23. Grumpy Grateful Mom
      November 19, 2011 | 3:32 pm

      I thought your list was heartfelt and beautiful.   My neighbor's 2-year-old daughter just had surgery to remove a brain tumor yesterday.  I always pray there will be nurses and doctors there like you, who truly care. 

    24. Grumpy Grateful Mom
      November 19, 2011 | 3:32 pm

      I thought your list was heartfelt and beautiful.   My neighbor's 2-year-old daughter just had surgery to remove a brain tumor yesterday.  I always pray there will be nurses and doctors there like you, who truly care. 

    25. Jami
      November 20, 2011 | 4:39 pm

      Marina, that was beautiful. I often think that people get caught up in the mess of life and death and maybe forget the ones helping them along that journey. You put it so beautifully. I have had nurses that I have loved and been so grateful for their sacrifice on my part. Keep up the good work. People may not always be able to tell you how much you have helped them out, but know that there are those quiet ones who will always remember you and what you did for them.

    26. Jami
      November 20, 2011 | 4:39 pm

      Marina, that was beautiful. I often think that people get caught up in the mess of life and death and maybe forget the ones helping them along that journey. You put it so beautifully. I have had nurses that I have loved and been so grateful for their sacrifice on my part. Keep up the good work. People may not always be able to tell you how much you have helped them out, but know that there are those quiet ones who will always remember you and what you did for them.

    27. Jamie
      November 20, 2011 | 8:12 pm

      I have tremendous respect for you and your profession.  Tremendous.

    28. Jamie
      November 20, 2011 | 8:12 pm

      I have tremendous respect for you and your profession.  Tremendous.

    29. Mama and the City
      December 7, 2011 | 11:46 am

      I have a friend that is a nurse and I swear I don't know how you guys keep it together. I would have been in tremendous amount of therapy.

    30. Mama and the City
      December 7, 2011 | 11:46 am

      I have a friend that is a nurse and I swear I don't know how you guys keep it together. I would have been in tremendous amount of therapy.