Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Recently I have been tormented with the age old question"what do I want to DO with my life" and as I imagine what I can possibly become this story inspired me... so I thought I would share it.

Many patients have touched my heart during my 35 years as a nurse (25 as a women's health nurse practitioner). Sometimes we forget how our presence and nursing care has influenced our patients and their families. But I recently was reminded how influential our actions can be.

During my clinical at the county health department's prenatal clinic, I assessed a woman whose fetus was diagnosed with gastroschisis, a congenital fissure that remains open in the wall of the abdomen. The baby would need surgery immediately after birth, but the county clinic had no money with which to help this family. I called a physician I knew from a nearby children's hospital, and the physician agreed to perform the surgery.

Arrangements were made, and on the day of delivery, the father accompanied his new son to the larger hospital while the mother recuperated at our local facility.

Years passed. I left the area to work at another women's clinic and eventually took a position teaching in a college's associate degree nursing program. One day I noticed a young nursing student who wasn't from the area; he told me he was staying with his grandmother so he could attend the nursing program. This young gentleman-I'll call him Joe-worked diligently to pass his courses and I could see that he gave his patients knowledgeable and compassionate care.

As we were completing the last clinical, Joe said to me, "You don't remember me, but you were there when I was delivered. My parents told me about the nurse who sent me with my father to the children's hospital for surgery. Now I will be graduating as a nurse."

During graduation, Joe's father came to me and said, "Because of your help, my son is now graduating as a nurse. I will always remember you for how you helped my son."

During our nursing careers, we encounter many situations and may often wonder what happens to patients after they leave our care. Little did I expect to see one of my former patients, whom I'd last seen as an infant, come back as my student. Joe has since completed his BSN and came to see me during graduation. We do make a difference-one patient at a time.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Maine vs Utah

So for all those of you who have been wondering is Maine really colder than Utah? Up until about The middle of January, I would have said absolutely not... and as for the snow, same story, we had a few bad storms, but nothing jaw dropping, again, up until the middle of January. Seems that is when old man winter really woke up. Pounded us with 16 inches...overnight, one night and then kept right on snowing all weekend. The Biathlon folks could not have been happier, till the temperatures dropped below zero.... way below, and this is Fahrenheit people not Celsius (so when it is zero degrees C is is still 32 degrees F). Needless to say, the games went on in -20F and I am sick as a dog, for the second time this year! If my memory serves me well, the last time I got so sick it knocked me off my feet was the winter after Myles and I first got married, so like winter of 2005! I saw on Facebook the other day one of my good friends posted the frost on her window, thought it was cute, so here are a few of our windows... :) I have to say it is so beautiful though!
I took that one of the cars after it dumped 16 inches on us overnight, I just happened to be at work... I barely made it out of the parking lot. That is my car's hood at the bottom of the photo, hard to see cause it's white, kinda blends in. That other car is parked across from me. Good snow removal, or NOT.