Saturday, February 18, 2012


If someone had asked me 6 years ago (Oh my gosh- has it been that long since I started nursing school?!) what kind of nurse I wanted to be, it would not have been home health.  Ick- what if you get assigned to a crazy cat lady? I probably would have told them Cardiac ICU... or something intense.  However, I learned quickly that I do NOT enjoy holding a dying life in my hands..thanks for NOT hiring me into ICU straight out of school, Nacogdoches Medical Center. You let me get hired at Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital, where I made many great friends and  felt like a part of a community, even though I was living away from home and had only a handful of acquaintances

Ryan and I lived in Center, TX for a little over a year beginning just before our wedding. I moved there in my old 200K+ miles Grand Cherokee the same day I finished my final RN exam. I worked in OB/Pedi in Nacogdoches and absolutely loved it. I mainly had postpartum moms, which was a blast considering I did not have children or plan to have them for quite some time.  Occasionally we would get some excitement and have a geri / psych on the pediatric end... never a dull moment, let me tell you. I had an absolute blast with the wound VACs, NG tubes, and fecal impactions. I was able to sit with a mom who held her premature infant as it fell asleep for the first and last time in her arms, witness the beauty (and pain) of childbirth, and I even learned a little Espanol.

Then, Ryan got transferred back home. I had to find a job, and that proved to be difficult. I ended up accepting a position with At Home Healthcare, as a case manager. I thought I was going to be working for the pediatric side, then I showed up to my first patient's home to find out he was 92 years old. Awesome. He had 3 Westies, so we made fast friends. I also had no idea that people could get home care aides, who come in to bathe and straighten up the immediate living space. Our census was so small that we didn't have an aide for my area... so I got to bathe that same little man twice a week. Like I said, we were pretty much forced to be friends. I can't count the number of "little old friends" I have made since that first day on the job.

 There has been a lot of change in my little area of home health, with the addition of several new employees and now I'm managing the Texarkana branch. The last few weeks, however, I have been able to fill in and see a lot of people. I've missed them. I can't explain how humbling it is to go into someone's home when they are at what could be their all time low.... to look into their fridge and see that all they have to eat is what Meals on Wheels has brought that day... because since their spouse died they can't prepare their own meal. It's humbling to see that some people live in motels, because no one has taken the time to help them find a place to live or assistance to pay for it. While some people may turn up their nose at and scoot past the house that is infested with bugs, I've been blessed to realize that the person living there is blind and not able to even see the bugs to know they're there. I have some of the greatest cheerleaders in my little old lady friends- they constantly give me the very best advice on anything from gardening, to cooking, to raising my sweet "Ellie" (as most of them call EK). I get to send out cards for every holiday imaginable, not to show off my family and keep up with the Jones', but to send joy to people who never get a visit other than from their nurse.

It is so rewarding to help those in need, and I can not imagine who I would be without my daily reminders of how lucky I am. I am so thankful for the opportunity to have a "job" that I love which hopefully helps others. It's so funny how the things we want least can end up the things that impact us the most.


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