Monday, March 30, 2015

Life is like a parade...guest blog post from Dr. Rachel Silva NP

What a privilege it is to share this guest blog post from Dr. Rachel Silva, NP!

Life is like a parade

I've often wondered about nurses who left full-time work due to a disability. Working as a hospital nurse, I've questioned how supportive colleagues would be of another co-worker with a disability that impaired their speed on a busy hospital floor. As with any profession, I think it's important to differentiate between our profession and our purpose in life. Our profession, or particular place of employment, may change. But, our purpose in life is the constant force in pursuing our passions.

Life is like a parade. Unless it's a huge float in the Macy's Day Parade on TV, we have no idea what's coming around the corner. Around the corner could be an achievement or celebration, or a trial of some sort. One of the things about overcoming trials or tribulations in life, is the light you give others encountering similar circumstances. I believe most of the time we can be unaware of the casual influence we can have on others, including a disability.

Many years ago I had a patient that became disabled and was hospitalized due to her injuries. Naturally, the grief and acceptance of her disability was overwhelming. However, the deeper pain for her was questioning how she would be able to support her family financially. Her physician's nurse called the unit to say she would be coming by to check on the patient, and called to inquire what room number the patient was in. I had spoken to her many times on the phone. She was always joyful and truly enjoyed her job as a RN in the office. I looked forward to meeting her for the first time.

Shortly thereafter, a lady in an electronic wheelchair appeared at the nursing station desk. She politely gave her name to the receptionist and stated she was there to visit a patient. I stood there paralyzed as she wheeled down to the patient's room, realizing the lady in the wheelchair was the joyful nurse I had always spoken to over the phone from the physician's office. Later that evening, the patient's sense of purpose and passion in life seemed to appear from nowhere. As she spoke, she shared how much it meant to her that the (disabled) nurse from the office came to visit her and gave her hope. Hope for her future, and hope for her family.

The nurse/lady in the wheelchair not only touched the patient's heart, but my heart, as well. This was nearly 15 years ago. I still remember the physician smiling and telling me "yeah, she had a really hard time when she realized she would never be able to walk again. But, fortunately, that didn't stop her from enjoying life. And, she loves sharing her life with others."
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