I noticed last week it was Nurses Week. I wanted to write something special and made a mental note that if I did, I would try to do it in a way that was giving justice to those who, in my humble opinion are the back bone of many medical establishments.
After a quick search, I noted that Nurses Week commenced on May 12th – Miss Florence Nightingale’s birthday.
Florence as many know, was a trail blazer. A Feminine Icon. The O.G. of Nursing. Born during a time (to a wealthy family) where it was expected that she marry and look pretty. But Florence didn’t do that. Florence helped to establish modern nursing with emphasis placed on sanitation, statistics and compassion.
Florence was also an advocate for social reform and I do recall learning about Florence along with Jane Addams and Mary Richmond, who were instrumental to the profession of Social Work.
I have so much admiration and appreciation for Florence and her bravery.
I also reflect on my own experiences with nurses:
I went into early labour at 34 weeks with Reese and had to have an emergency c-section. Being wheeled into the operating room (while crying) a magical nurse leaned over me and looked me in the face. “Look at me. You’re going to be okay”.
Afterwards, another magical nurse removed my diaper (you know, those post-pregnancy under ware) and proceeded to clean up everything that was going on” down below” because I could hardly move. The nurse was graceful and gentle and the act of being taken care of in such an intimate way was something that I won’t forget.
There was also a nurse that told me to ease up on the morphine drip. I ignored you.
And the nurses that took care of my first baby, Reese in the N.I.C.U. The way they handled her little body with such care and stroked her face; they way they showed Emil and I how to bathe her trembling little body.
And the nurse that told me her life story and how her baby was adopted and her mom had a bad fall at Zellers and that she loved babies. (P.S. I seen you playing solitaire on your weekend shifts) I won’t forget you either.
I wrote about my experience having a miscarriage in a previous blog post. There was a beautiful nurse who walked behind me cleaning up a trail of blood afterwards and yet another nurse who helped me go to the washroom and gosh, I did not envy her for cleaning up the mess I left at the toilet.
I also think about two wonderful nurses at the S.O.F.T. clinic (no longer existing) in London. Taking blood from me weekly, sometimes daily and were literally the first point of contact every time I had to walk through those doors. They encouraged me to keep going, keep trying and listened to me when I cried about having yet another miscarriage.
Nurses, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything that you do. For the ways that you deal with shit and piss and blood and have people cleaned and taken care of in the manner that you would care for your own child or loved one.
I am a week late in saluting you but know that I honour your work and I am forever appreciative.