May 6 12 marks National Nurses’ Week every year.With that special tribute comes to mind a lot of nurses who’ve crossed my path nurses during quick, routine doctor appointments; nurses over the phone for information, to schedule an appointment, to answer a question or refill a prescription, or to help explain what I should do for a sick child; and nurses who assisted during difficult medical procedures, the birth of my children, or following surgery.Often nameless to me or taking care of needs I might not have even known I had, they were there for me and helped me move on with my life in both small and big ways.
One nurse who instantly springs forward in my mind is the nurse who cared for me every day during 2 months of radiation treatments way back in the summer of 1975. Although that was 38 years ago, I don’t think I’ll ever forget her name Judy.She had copper-colored hair, freckles across her nose, and red fingernail polish.She greeted me and my mom as we made our daily 120-mile roundtrip trek to the radiation treatment room deep in the recesses of the hospital, to the place that would offer me remission.
Judy was more than my nurse.Her bright smile, energy, and sweet words of encouragement made me feel special. Maybe I was to her she probably wasn’t caring for many other teenagers.Even though I couldn’t spend the day at the pool with friends, I always looked forward to seeing Judy.My world had changed and Judy was an important character in this strange, new world of mine.Even though I had lost weight and hair, she told me I looked pretty and talked to me about cute clothes, girlfriends, and boyfriends.She masterfully made me feel that all was perfectly normal, that I was normal, and that this was just a summer side trip just what a teenage girl needs to hear.
At the end of what felt like an endless summer for me, I was headed back to the fall of my real world in a new year of high school, friends, an approaching Homecoming. I was healing. Just as surely as I know there were many reasons that I healed beyond the medical care the resilience of youth, the bountiful fresh food my mom made for me every day, the endless and deep naps I took, and the laughs courtesy of my dedicated friends who were determined to keep me laughing I am also certain that Judy’s sunny, reassuring care each and every day was part of my recovery.The side trip was over, and I was indeed back on the main roads. Thank you, Judy.
|Blog Author: Katherine Ray|