Spring 2016. BIG news, the beginning of a new season of our lives…
A few quotes from my patients over the course of the last several months…
patient #1: “Whoa. You’re finally gaining some weight. You look good, stay this way!”
patient #2: “Aiyah.. Your face got fat!”
patient #3: “Look at you.. now did you swallow a watermelon or what?” Continue reading
Remembering & Looking Forward. (Hong Kong, 2013)
After hearing some news today, I felt like flinging my gloves in the trash.
Not in an angry manner, but in a different way…
~ ~ ~
August 4, 2005
“I can’t find a pulse…” he said, with urgency in his voice. The nurse was scrambling around the bedside trying to get the patient to respond.
“YOU NEED TO START CPR, it doesn’t matter Continue reading
September 12, 2012
“Once you decide on your occupation…you must immerse yourself in your work.
You have to fall in love with your work. Never complain about your job.
You must dedicate your life to mastering your skill.
That’s the secret of success… and is the key to being regarded honorably.”
– Jiro Ono
The greatest sushi chef in the world, Jiro, in Jiro Dreams of Sushi, works relentlessly to master his skill. Everyday, for the past 70 years, he has committed to making sushi that tastes better than the sushi he made the day before.
How much of my own life have I dedicated to mastering my skill?
For 12 years, I played piano. Continue reading
Bern, Switzerland ~ May 2015
“Is it going to hurt?” she asked.
“Mmm… it is a needle,” I answered. I like to keep things real, especially when it comes to pain. “But you can think of others things.”
“Like Hawaii,” her little sister pitched, as she watched me near her big sister on the exam table.
“Ahh.. yesss.. like Hawaii,” I affirmed. Funny how she’d suggest that, while we were in the dead of winter. I lifted her sleeve to get ready to give the vaccine.
“You’ve been to Hawaii,” she chipped in.
I gasped. Continue reading
It’s supposed to snow tomorrow, but oh, how I have autumn written on my heart! Christmas just passed, and autumn has come and long gone, yet I never had a chance to write about it.
This year was the first time I realized that autumn has its own soundtrack. During my lunch breaks, I circled around the park, listening to the seasons change. When the wind blew, I imagined a conductor lifting his arms, inhaling with a large gesture, and signaling the orchestra to play. There was a dissonance, as the wind carried certain branches in one direction, and other branches in an opposing direction- they were flutes, clarinets, oboes, playing different notes on a minor chord. Then when the conductor cued all the leaves, collectively, to play at the same time, the rustling was like the string section of an orchestra. The violins played a somber melody. (Apparently I’m not the only one who thinks autumn sounds like violins, so did this famous French poet!) When the wind rushed quickly past my ears, I heard ringing like the hollow sounds of a vibraphone. Continue reading
In honor of Veteran’s Day, reposting an old blog post that includes a vignette of one of my patients.
For all those who have served our country.. a sincerest thank you.
~ ~ ~
April 9, 2010
He glanced out the window, then looked at me. “I’m 92. I’ve been through a lot.”
He began to story tell. “It was winter time, and I was stationed in Europe during World War II. At night, we wore all of our gear and slept in the trenches. They were these deep, buried holes in the Earth. I thought it was going to be cold, but that first night, it was rather warm. Then in the morning, I emerged from my trench, and Continue reading
My sister sent my friends and I a video on facebook recently, and she said, “Look, it’s my sister!”
Of course I’m not Miss Colorado, but her voice, her monologue… that could have been me. She’s a nurse, in a pony tail and sneakers (my signature look 24/7) and she shared about one defining moment in her career that reminded her of why she became a nurse.
Watching this video made me beam with pride and joy. Because sometimes, when I come home after getting yelled at by patients, when my feet hurt from hard hospital floors all day, when my scrubs, shoes, glasses, face are soiled with all kinds of body fluids, when my heart is heavy because I did everything I could but my patient is still dying or their family is dying, when my mind is burdened by a diagnosis I just can’t figure out, when I’m at a loss for words about how to cope with all the heavy cases I embraced today and how do I bounce back and face the challenges again tomorrow…then to watch one of my fellow nurse colleagues on stage, in front of America, deliver a speech like that- it reminds me…
yes, this, indeed, is why I’m a nurse. (If I didn’t love my job, I wouldn’t have dedicated a whole blog to it…)
To my dismay, I later read online about how “The View,” an ABC talk show, mocked Miss Colorado and by doing so, mocked all nurses (and other allied health professionals) by saying “why is she wearing a doctor’s stethoscope?” and “after she read her monologue…I mean.. that’s not talent.”
My jaw dropped. I was appalled. Continue reading