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Looking back it's feels only weeks ago when I sat in the nursing lounge clutching my phone. My eyes filled with tears as I fought to keep them from spilling over. My entire body shivered with unexplained chills and my chest and belly filled with utter dread. My breath refused to let go. In an instant, I was completely overwhelmed with fear and ineptness. The day before, my life was pretty normal. It was 2010 and I was happy to be a nurse working on my dream unit; Neurology. I gladly took care of individuals after their back surgery, stroke, aneurism clipping, or tumor debulking. This particular shift was no different, until the point when I received a call at four in the morning that would redefine my normal. On the other end of the phone, my Grandma was in an Emergency Room three hours north with my Grandpa. Her voice quivered as she tried to explain what had happened through her fear of what might happen to my Grandpa. They had been there for two hours and she wanted me to speak with the doctors because she didn't understand my Grandpa's diagnosis. It soon became clear that my Grandpa was having a stroke. As I spoke to the doctor, he asked if my Grandpa was taking the medication his doctor had prescribed for cholesterol and to thin his blood. Among his questions were medical history, social history, family history; he finally asked "Don't you visit them pretty often"? The worst part about it all, being three hours away I felt powerless. And as I looked out the window at the first blizzard of the season, I knew that I wasn't going to be getting to my Grandpa's side any time soon. For the remainder of my shift, I cared for the patients under my care as though they were my Grandpa or my Grandma and I vowed to do so for the remainder of my nursing career. On the day that the roads were clear enough, I made the drive up to my Grandparents and asked to move in with them as their “roommate”, to which they agreed. Thankfully, after a few months my Grandpa was back on his old routine as well. I’ve always been proud to be a nurse, and now I can say I’m a proud caregiver.

By NurseLeah on October 30, 2013 - 01:40 AM

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