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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thank You, Nurses!

Many of you working single moms and dads are nurses. I admire you. I truly do.

When my kids were babies, I had no problem changing poopy diapers, but I had a nearly impossible time cleaning up vomit or blood – I still can't handle vomit and I panic when I see red (blood).

I had such a hard time cleaning vomit, as a matter of fact, that I just didn't do it. I taught my kids very early how to respond to a sick tummy. At the first sign of a gag reflex, I brought out the bucket and wrapped it around my babies' heads. By the time they were two years old they were comfortable grabbing the bucket and wrapping their heads inside it.

But if by some freak of nature one of them vomited anywhere other than in the bucket, I had their father clean it up. Fortunately I was married at the time.

And when it comes to taking care of wounds, I'm the last person on Earth capable of handling trauma. My oldest daughter, for instance, got her foot stuck in the spokes of her bicycle when she was a little girl (she's in her 40s now). Dangling flesh hung around her mangled ankles. As you might expect, I rushed to her side, donned my custom scrubs, grabbed my bandages and antiseptics, and went about carefully cleaning her wounds.

I lied. That was a fantasy. I couldn't even look at the wound, let alone clean it. I gave that job to both of her grandmas. Now I have grandchildren of my own who rely upon me to care for them. And I'm more than happy to do that as long as they don't vomit or bleed.

Lucky for you (and for them), I chose another profession. Can you imagine walking into a hospital with me as your nurse? Me either, because I was never nurse material.

So to all of you who bandage and clean wounds, who clean up vomit, and who work longer hours than most people work, I thank you.

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