Medical Mentors

Certain people at certain times make impacts on our way of thinking, what we pursue as a career, how we approach a problem and how we resolve through our mistakes.

My nursing career mentors are Mom, Jan, Kris, Etta, Pam, and Mandy… if you ever see my blog and this entry, please know your input and labors in my life have not gone unnoticed.


Cliff Jumping

Tonight I feel like I have jumped over (or at least threw my hat over) a cliff!  I have made a huge decision that will affect my dreams in life.  This has been my choice and I see it as a leap of faith.

Throughout my work days I see hospice client’s being thrown over the cliff by their diseases and not by their choice.  They are in that free fall because of something outside of their choice (usually).

How we handle the tension and or excitement of that free fall takes a lot of trust and emotional processing.  Fear or excitement seem to trigger similar feelings of stress.

Either way, we will see the future outcome soon enough…



Extreme Kindness

Today I was on the phone with a woman who “adopted” my chocolate lab 11 years ago.  She was telling me that Jade, the lab, was very sick.  She wanted to invite me out to see her.  While we were talking, Jade actually died.

The extreme  kindness I write about was from God Himself.  I mean really…11 years ago these folks took Jade into their family.  For a couple of years I have waited for a call reporting she had died.  Yet…today, right in the window of time when I could take a call, I was on the phone learning of her condition change and got to experience the exact moment of her death.  I was so touched, felt connected and experiencing her moment.

This is what other families get to join in during hospice care.  Being there, in the moment, with the one that is loved and aware of their moving out of this life to the other side.

God is very gracious in his kindness to me today.


How Will I Cope?

Each and every day I watch and listen to how people are coping with their news of having a terminal diagnosis.  I wonder about the question, “How will I cope?”

There have been lessons learned, choices made and questions asked which influence my thoughts.  Yet I still wonder what my response will be when it is my turn to face my death.

I hope I have just even half of the grace, guts, energy and humility I see in our clients!  I mean really, these folks are waiting for their death!  That is a HUGE weight to carry.

Know I am pulling for your peace of mind!


New Adventures

There are a million opportunities in life for new adventures.  Yet, when one comes along that is motivational, encouraging and productive for all, you just can’t pass it up!

I have an opportunity!  So naturally I can expect excitement, creativity, fatigue, resistance and growth…CHANGE!

What if this opportunity is THE chance to provide a way for a long-term goal?

As a client used to say to me as I would ready myself to leave her presence…”may the wind be at your back.”  I look forward to my new adventure…


Being Aware

Being aware of end of life situations and care giving needs, is a unique position in life.  I will always be learning the how tos;  how to help, how to honor, how to confront, how to nurture…how to comfort.

Being aware of these issues brings a unique point of view.  Hospice work is directly in the core of suffering, life decisions, grief, death, devastation and yet even supernatural interventions.

I hope my experiences not only let me be aware, but to do so with ever-increasing wisdom and ability to pass along what people have shown me about life.


A Nurse’s Hunch

Between a nurses lower ribs, right smack in the middle of their gut is this feeling we call a “hunch.”  All nurses know that hunch, right?!  There may not be clear medical insight, just an abstract feeling of what is going on for a person’s health condition.

That hunch, that gut feeling can be the catalyst for family to get to their loved one’s side at crucial times!  Perhaps it is the prompting, a God-given insight, to help you become ready and or be aware of a rapid change coming their way.

I’m not saying, “trust your nurses perspective no matter what!”  What I am saying is, there are unique insights your nurses will share with you.  My hope is that you’re able to slow down, hear what they are saying and consider very strongly what their concern is at that time.

When this happens, we know we can’t prove anything, but we know we need to say our hunch out loud.  Verbally saying our hunch can be a lonely insight, not many will see it the way the nurse does.  We want to be wrong, especially if the hunch has a devastating outcome!  But what if it is right?

My hope is that as nurses communicate those hunches we do so in compassionate, personalized and sincere ways with words that go to the heart of the matter.


First Meetings

I have been thinking about the first time I walk into the presence of a potential client and we have that initial eye contact.  What’s it like for them?  What are their first impressions?  Do they want to run?

That first meeting feels like a pace setter.  I figure (and maybe I am wrong) some of these folks are thinking, “this is who is going to help me die.”  Can you imagine that thought?  Getting a glimpse of a person who will walk with you through death must be very deep!

I am sure my full schedule or self-centeredness has hindered their trust or offended them in some degree.  So, I thank God for those first meetings and the grace people share with me.  May I remember I am in an honoring position of being a guest in their life.




New Year

What do you think is the best thing that has happened to you over this past year?

Health?  Relationships?  Opportunities?

I just keep thinking the one thing I want to see flourish for me this year is actually seizing opportunities.  Not just having a chance or seeing them in my life…but seizing them!

Even if it is just one major successful moving through an opportunity.  Totally letting it change my life for the positive.  NO REGRETS, EH???


Giving Time

One valuable product we all can give to any one is the gift of our time. By sitting, listening and interacting in a conversation much can be accomplished.

I think trust and willingness to partner in end of life care is one of the largest hurdles for our clients and families to come over.  The gift of time can sure be valuable in building that bond.

Sure hope I do this more than once in a while!

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