God amazes me literally everyday.
While helping mom untangle drains, her trach tube, reposition, and watching her nurses care for her, I had a rather comforting realization today.
After seven years, I am still in my element.
Today I realized that God knew what he was doing when he put me in the medical field for seven years. And while medicine (at least in the practical sense) wasn’t my future, it indeed, served a purpose. I remember thinking about all the time, money, and training I had wasted on a career path that wasn’t my dream. I was so frustrated at myself for not going back to school sooner so I could retire from working 12 hour, graveyard shifts. I was burnt out and emotionally drained from watching patients I cared for code and be brought back only for their families to have to make the impossible decision to take them off life support. And once they died, again, I took out all their drains, IVs, etc. and took them to the morgue. Because that was part of my job. I can’t count the number of times I left work and cried in my car. That is the life of a heath care worker. Especially one working in the MICU.
While mom’s journey has been very difficult for me, it has been comforting to walk into to mom’s room and know what the machines say and what to look for. It’s a blessing to be able to understand what the doctors and nurses are saying/doing, and why. Thankfully, I have experience with ventilators and trachs and surgical drains and none of this was surprising or shocking to me. When mom is coughing and can’t catch her breath I immediately think to suction her mouth and make sure she is getting oxygen through her trach. When her sats dropped to 76 and held there yesterday, I was able to catch it before her nurse (who was extremely busy), and when her ABP alarmed and she mildly panicked, I just reminded her to reposition her arm. Because this is what I have been trained to do.
The alarms and flashing lights that can seem so scary, aren’t for me. I know what to look for and how to react- and I’m so thankful. Today it seems clear to me that all of those mornings spent with mascara running down my face were worth it. Those mornings mattered and I know this experience would be so much scarier if I didn’t have the background I do.
My point is, that while some of my experiences were anything but pretty, God put them on my path for a reason. Because of those years serving in Geriatrics, the MICU, Urgent Care, Interal Medicine, and otherwise, I am better able to care for my mom during one of the biggest battles of her life. I’m able to be a source of support for her in more ways than holding her hand at her bedside- and don’t get me wrong, that’s immensely important too. However, today I am incredibly thankful for all the years God spent molding me into a caregiver and preparing me for this week.
God is ALWAYS good- and every path he puts you on has a purpose, even if you don’t understand it yet. Stay the course.
Stay HIS course.