One of the hardest things about nursing school has not been the course work or the hours (though I know I have only just begun), but rather the reversal of my role as a wife and mother. I still am those things, but the execution of those responsibilities has definitely changed. For example:
Aaron had a back injury that he was nursing along until Saturday when he went for a walk. Ben joined him but rode on his bike. He accidentally ran full force into Aaron's right leg going about 5 mph. It knocked Aaron to the ground and the intermittent back pain and leg tingling became constant and excruciating. We went to the ER and they gave Aaron some happy pills and sent him on his way.
The pain was supposed to gradually get better, but instead it got worse, the bottom of Aaron's feet became numb and tingly and he lost all reflexes in his Achilles tendon. Try walking and climbing stairs when your spinal cord is not communicating with your muscles. Aaron shuffles around like a old man crossed with someone with mild cerebral palsy.
This morning I got up to go to clinical and Aaron was yet again worse. Old Lauren would have left aside the thing at hand for the most needful thing. The new Lauren can only miss a certain number of clinical hours or she will be kicked out of the nursing program, so even though every fiber of my being (cheesy, I know) was screaming, telling me to stay and help, I steeled my shoulders, kissed Aaron goodbye and left for class.
I can't help feeling like I abandoned someone I love in their time of need. I have had ample opportunities to practice a principle my professors have drilled into us over the past three weeks; separate your home and work life. When something bad happens at home you don't let it spill over onto your patients and colleagues. When the sadness of working with sick people overwhelms you, you can't let it spill over to your family.
So I smiled and laughed as I pretended to be an 89 year old patient with advanced rheumatoid arthritis being spoon fed, and my mouth swabbed. I nodded at the right moments when we discussed the nursing process. I chatted with classmates about what kind of nurse we want to be, but the whole time my mind and heart were back in Craftsbury. Worried about Aaron, worried about Sophie who stayed home from school to help Aaron in my place, worried about Noah who missed preschool because it was one piece of the puzzle that I couldn't fix in the time allotted. Worried about Ben and Jacob who I had to rush through their morning routine so that I wouldn't be too horribly late for class. Worried that I wasn't in the right place, but knowing all at the same time that there "is a time and a season" and for whatever reason the Lord said now is the time.
oh, p.s. I know I am still the same person, with the same goals and desires, I have just added another facet to my gem of a life!