It's the Happy Nurse (the Happy Rehab Doc’s husband) here with a little post.
I'm Canadian yet I've lived and worked in the U.S. since the mid 1990's. My parents are retired and like so many Canadian seniors they head to warmer locations for the winter. We had the good fortune of having them here with us over Christmas this year, as they stopped in on the drive south. Unfortunately my father had some chest pain on Christmas day and spent a few days in the hospital having labs and other tests performed.
I spend my working life taking care of patients immediately after open heart surgery. I'm a critical care nurse and enjoy the challenge of open heart, trauma and ER. In short I'm a bit of an adrenaline junkie. I like having to make quick choices and having to be really good at my job. Yet I still know that however many numbers I'm looking at, however many labs I'm reviewing, however many xrays I look at, it's always some one's mother, father, son or daughter. I think that the real strength of my job is being able to blend the technology with the person. Medicine is both art and science. When we bring the two together we are much more successful than either alone.
This time it was my father lying on the hospital bed waiting to find out if he was going to be ok. All the knowledge I have doesn't change the heart ache of seeing him and my mother scared. It's debilitating. I find myself having a very difficult time being objective. I try to remember this sensation, the fear, the helplessness, when I care for patients. If I do then maybe I can ease the pain of another family.
My father is a wonderful man. I have learned so much from him about how to live, give and love. It hurts to see him and my mother worrying about what will happen. I wish so much I could take that pain and worry away. My father also eats poorly. He smokes and doesn't exercise very much. I do my best to help him make better decisions but they are his to make.
I'll always love him no matter what he chooses. I know that others out there struggle with loved ones who make poor choices, I see it at work every day. I know your pain and I share your prayers. Thank goodness everything worked out and he was discharged to continue the trip.
I can't control or force him to change. I can try to lead by example. I can make sure he sees how much happier and healthier I am when I choose to eat vegan. When I choose to get on the rower rather than the sofa. When I celebrate life by living it to its fullest. I have my own health challenges. I have years of poor choices including what and how I ate to overcome. Today I choose to try to be an example to myself and my family.