Saturday, May 7, 2016

An Unsung Hero

An Unsung Hero

I'm baaaaaaaaack. It's time for my annual blog post. As always, the speed of life these days resembles that of a Japanese bullet train. And it seems like the older I get, the faster it flies by!

There is something about springtime that always causes me to step off the train and look around for a while, though. This year, and this week, I have been thinking about one of my heroes. I want to share her with you.

She's a nurse. She has worked the night shift all of her career, and 99% of her years have been spent in the NICU of one hospital, where she has become a fixture. Over the years she has observed the ebb and flow of life through her unique point of view, providing love, comfort, encouragement, care and hope, to the tiniest of the tiny premature babies in her unit, and their families. 

Over the years of our friendship she has shared joyful triumphs and unimaginable tragedies from her day-to-day work. What a tremendous heart this woman has! When she has a little patient who is struggling and beginning to fail, she becomes a ferocious defender and steps in with her weapons of stimulants, CPR and heaven knows what else, to, as she likes to say it, 'snatch them back from the jaws of death!'. Just like that, it's an everyday thing in her life, saving these little lives. It blows my mind to wonder how many children survived because of the strength and training and loving care this woman gives. She couldn't be more humble, it's all part of a days' work to her. I try to see myself coming home from work one day and telling my husband 'oh, I saved a life today, just snatched it right out of the jaws!'  Really, can you imagine?! She is like Wonder Woman to me, truly a super hero for those in her care!

She always has her little favorite patients and stories to tell, and we pray for them together. I remember one little tiny boy that she was smitten with, he had been born at 26 weeks and was a real fighter. She took me in to visit one night while he was there, and I was completely awed. There in the clear plastic box, under the warming light, was this tiny little human wearing a 'diaper' that was actually a 2x2 gauze pad. His little body was the size and shape of a squirrel's, you could have held him in one hand easily with room left over. He had tiny little tubes and monitors and a tiny little white hat to keep his little head warm. His bed was wrapped in clear plastic wrap to hold warmth around him, He was absolutely precious. I kept track of him through her for several weeks as he had some ups and downs, and ultimately was able to go home in the loving arms of his mother. Another success for my friend, the hero!

Most recently she has the task of helping to turn an awful tragedy around. A woman delivered her first children, a set of preemie twins, boy and girl. And then this healthy young mom developed a complication that took her life two days later; just like that. It is just so devastating to think about.  Nobody thinks of that when they are dreaming about having a little sweet Gerber baby of their very own. But here is my friend with the huge heart, giving those little ones and their dad extra love and extra care, while the young dad and the family are in shock, dealing with a funeral, wondering why it had to happen. I have heard about how well the babies are doing, getting good baths and lots of lotion and loving care from all of the staff whose hearts are aching for this whole family. My friend says as the days go by, the family is rallying around the dad and the babies, and the babies are responding. These little sweethearts are pulling the whole family together, and they are going to grow strong and be well, and fine. Little doses of love and care, delivered regularly day after day by my friend the hero and others like her, are working a true life miracle. It's amazing. 

You can be a hero too, you know. If you have a minute, it would be great if you could say a little prayer or think good thoughts, and send healing energy to this little family, and the hero nurses  who are so dedicated to them. 

We can all be heroes for a time, if we step off that bullet train and pay attention to what is really important in life. I like that idea! Thanks for checking in - take care of you and yours.

~ Carol in Tennessee

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