One of my patients once told me to, "get married already and start a family." He was a gentleman dying of cancer and was one of those people who was very unhappy and pissed off at everything. After spending a little time talking to this gentleman, I realized he was just upset about lack of time. He explained to me he has had a great life and had great kids. His wife died, his children were in different states and he was alone. He was dying and he was alone. When people are lonely all they really want is to talk to someone and for that person to actually HEAR them. The reason they get angry and bitter is because they realize no one is willing to talk and no one really cares. So I decided to talk. All it took was a few questions and he was totally opening up to me and all his walls came down. It was a great thing. He asked me how old I was and after telling him he told me, "to start a family soon...when you're 71 and dying you are going to wish you had started sooner and had a few more years with your family." He explained those early years with his wife and his kids growing up were the happiest times in his life, and he wished the same happiness for me.
As I've made perfectly clear through previous blogs, marriage is a little scary. How am I supposed to hurry up and start a family already if I don't quite believe in marriage yet? Ugh...how frustrating right?! I posted something similar to this on facebook after he had said this to me, and someone responded with, "nah...traveling is way better." Traveling is amazing. I love traveling. But my response to him was something along the lines of, "I'm sure my Great Wall of China souvenir will offer me great support when i'm on my death bed." If all I do is travel for the rest of my life and don't settle down, what will I have in the end? Just a shelf full of souvenirs and some great memories with people who aren't there. I'm sure in my travels I would meet great people, but those people would be dispersed all through out the world and where would they be if I really needed someone? Everyone in my life seems to think its one or the other. Travel or get married. Why can't you just find someone to travel with? Not just to be my husband, but my travel buddy. What a perfect combination. Marriage does not equal death. Find someone who loves doing the things you do (or at least is open to doing them with you) and someone who will inspire you to branch out and try new things as well. Then "get married and start a family already." I don't want to be sitting there later in life thinking I wish I didn't wait until 35 to settle down and start a family. I guess you just have to make sure its right, do what makes you happy, and hope for the best.
To some of the nurses reading this (this doesn't pertain to every nurse obviously...just a few and maybe just a reminder for others)...
I realize nursing may have been your backup plan or a means to gain some stability in your life, but understand you are taking care of PEOPLE. I LOVE what I do and because I love it I pay attention. I pay attention to all of those nurses who complain about their patients being "annoying" or "needy" or whatever. They are patients. They are freaking out. Thats why we have a job...to make them more comfortable. If you have a difficult patient, take some time with them. Its amazing what taking 10 extra minutes with someone upon the initial assessment will do for the rest of your day/night. I had a patient the other day who was constantly on her call light, anxious as anything, and annoying the crap out of the day nurse. I recognized it was just anxiety, went into her room, spent a little extra time with her, EXPLAINED everything to her (which the day nurse had failed to do, even after hanging a new IV medication), and she calmed right down. Her whole demeanor changed, just as my patient mentioned above. She stopped hyperventilating, her blurred vision went away, and her "neediness" level went down to a 1/10. Her hospital stay went from an awful one, to one that was a little more tolerable. Her level of commitment to her healing process went from virtually nothing and feeling like she couldn't do anything, to feeling so much better about herself and getting motivated to get out of there.
Sorry about my little rant...but its just something i've noticed that has been a source of frustration for me and i wanted to share.
Thanks for joining me in my journey to figure this part of life out.
Good luck in love.