A Shout Out To Nurses
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A Shout Out To Nurses

For all the caring work you do.

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A Shout Out To Nurses

On April 13 of this year, I went through a major traumatic event. I fell off a fourth-floor balcony at my friend's apartment and broke my spine. I am lucky to be alive, let alone to not be paralyzed.

I don't remember the fall, I don't remember being transported to the hospital or giving the police or paramedics my mom's contact info, but I do remember waking up, disoriented, in pain, with a brace around my neck, IVs in my arm, and my mom by my side.

I remember being confused about what happened, but I also remember not panicking in the slightest because of the soothing tones that my mom (who has been a nurse's assistant for well over a decade) and my nurse spoke with.

I woke up in Mercy hospital here in Springfield, MO the morning after my fall, and ended up having to have reconstructive surgery on my spine that following morning and while it was probably the most terrifying thing I've ever gone through as an adult, I still wasn't scared because of--admittedly at least partially the cocktail of pain meds in my system but also--the presences of the nurses taking care of me.

After surgery, I really saw where the line between nurses and doctors/techs is truly drawn because I was treated with such care, gentleness, and kindness by my nurses at all hours of the day and night.

The radiology technicians who did my x-rays after put me through so much stress and pain in such a short period, that I immediately fell asleep when I finally returned to my hospital bed.

I went through waves of massive pain, through nights of feverish half-sleep, through waves of nausea, through days of being unable to eat real food because of pain and constipation and meds, through some of my most embarrassing and painful moments ever.

Every single one of these things was handled with nothing but love and patience by my nursing staff, especially the overnight ones who took a special effort to try to get to know me and to make conversation to keep me feeling more like a person and less like just a patient.

I recovered very quickly, going from being unable to lift my head up enough to swallow water to being able to stand and even slowly walk within just about 3 or 4 days.

Because of the near-constant visits from friends, med-fueled hazes, and dozings-off, it felt even shorter than that, but it was a surprise to everyone in charge of my care that it was happening so quickly.

I have to attribute it all to the gentle care of my nurses, who were there at my every call no matter how frequent or minuscule, always with a smile and a few kinds and gentle words.

I was soon transferred back to the hospital in my hometown, Via Christi in Pittsburg, KS, for inpatient rehabilitation, to get me the rest of the way on my feet and able to do basic tasks, where I stayed for another five days or so. I met a new team of nurses, these ones older and more seasoned and unaccustomed to having such young patients, and yet they and my physical therapists were also just as kind.

In both hospitals, my encounters with the doctors were brief and rushed and just check-ups, whereas my encounters with the nurses were so much more hands-on.

I am now home and while I'm still recovering, I feel like I have been blessed with a huge headstart on this process thanks to the wonderful nursing staffs I was taken care of by.

So here's to all the nurses out there, for all the deeply caring and healing work you do, for your selflessness, your kindness, your everlasting compassion even in the worst of circumstances. I don't know where I would be without you. Thank you for all you do.

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