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Thursday, November 24, 2011

There will be stormy days ahead...

All your life, you stand around with your friends and you practice, and anticipate your role.
You do your best to lay out the next moment, and the next hour, and the next performance.
You practice the tune and are ready to play your part, at the right moment.

Sometimes, at the time when you need to come in, you choke up, you stop breathing, you get a cough, you freeze. Your friends cover for you, and you're safe for now. But you know, deep down, that this can happen again. You know this and you are ashamed and mortified at what happened, and how you couldn't play when your time came up.

You suffered a crisis of confidence. A crisis of identity too. You thought you had done your best to prepare yourself for this moment. And yet...

If your friends and teachers and parents didn't support you and encouraged you through these crises, you would never play an instrument, give a speech, try out for a part, and face challenges that frighten you. No matter your age, you will find that new challenges will be creeping in from all sides, asking you to keep re-tooling, change your manners, learn new ways.

You can't quit every time something feels uncomfortable.

I just faced a new challenge just this week. My husband had minor surgery and before  being sent home the nurse wanted to show me how to apply a wet-to-dry bandaging.  I tend to pass out when needles or blood is involved, and told her so. She insisted it was easy to do. Just as she revealed the open wound (yes, an open wound, hence the wet-to-dry instructions) I broke down.

I can't be afraid of a wound that needs bandaging. There will be more of these ahead as we both grow weaker and sicker. Though we know that Hubby needs to face housework and cooking without me, and I need to face handling technical matters and nursing matters without flinching, there is a whole lot of complications and health issues that we may not anticipate at all.

This new stage of our lives is all about facing our darkest fears. Our parents didn't live this long.  Now that the health industry has so many new procedures to prolong life and good living, we have new challenges to anticipate too, challenges that might frighten us, break us down if we are not prepared.

As for me, I'm taking a nursing course next semester, needles or not.














48 comments:

An English Shepherd said...

I am sure you will pass lifes latest test with flying colours :-)

Brian Miller said...

i think that it is great that you approach this time proactively and not wait for it to get here...that is certainly a part of facing our fears...hope that hubby heals well...

Brian Miller said...

and happy thanksgiving rosaria

Diane Cayton-Hakey said...

Good for you! A nursing course sounds like the best thing you could do right now. Never know how soon you could need that kind of knowledge in the years ahead. Seeing someone's incision makes me a bit squeamish too.

Rubye Jack said...

We need to keep ourselves educated not only so we can care for our loved ones, but also because of all the options that are available to us. Doctors don't usually have the time and besides a lot of what we face needs for us to meditate and know what exactly it is that we really want. For me, this means a lot of self-examination.

It is so great that you are taking this class Rosaria!

Joani said...

Happy Thanksgiving Rosaria. I've been thinking about you. Nursing class sounds great. I don't like vomit & that sort of stuff....I'd be there right beside them doing the same....hence, no children. Needles I don't like but I can brave through it if need be. Yup....a new venture is ahead for those of us who are aging. Hugs.

Roberta said...

It is funny that you posted this today. I went to a doctors appointment with my mom this week and when the doctor called me in to help her bandage her legs, I too nearly passed out when I saw them. I do need to get stronger too.

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

I can so understand, Rosaria. I'm also not that brave about open wounds and needles and bodily fluids -- and, you're right, we all have to brace ourselves and do what we need to do at this stage of life. A nursing course sounds perfect! Good for you! My thoughts have been very much with you this holiday and I wish you and yours the very best.

Melissa Ann Goodwin said...

Rosaria,
These kinds of transitions are hard, and you are brave to share your thoughts and feelings. So what if the bandaging scares you? What you are dealing with is bigger than changing bandages, you are bravely facing changing life. It is the common human experience, and we need voices like yours speaking about it, because it reminds us that we are not alone. Nor are you...

Linda Myers said...

Good idea to learn new things, including wound care.

Eva Gallant said...

I hope if the time comes, I'll have your courage.

oceangirl said...

Facing the future with an idea of what roles to play is better than not knowing. Happy thanksgiving Rosaria.

Cinner said...

Happy Thanksgiving Rosaria, a nursing course sounds like the best thing. As for facing your fears you will be strong and somehow do it. I think when one of a pair gets ill it is amazing at what we can do. sending well wishes and a big hug your way.

Jinksy said...

All power to your elbow, m'dear, for opting to face your fears! Good luck with the nursing course. ♥

Grandmother said...

I chose psychiatric nursing as my specialty at least in part because I wasn't all that keen on the open wound "stuff" either. The courses made me feel competent, though, and it's a great idea to take one yourself as the caregiver. We're with you for these changes.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Rosaria .. I hope your hubby heals as quickly as possible for you .. but you're facing the challenges with a positive face .. good luck with the nursing course - does sound a good thing to do.

With thoughts for the year ahead and I hope you can have a peaceful Thanksgiving weekend .. Hilary

Helen said...

A nursing course ~ I'm proud of you! I was with my mother for Mohs Surgery on her nose ... a wound the size of a dime and fairly deep, when she stumbled over a wheel chair and needed 21 internal stitches and many external stitches in her (so thin) lower leg ... I thought I couldn't get through it, but I did and Mother never knew how hard it was. I know that removing wet to dry bandages can be painful for the patient ... just take it slow and easy. Wishing both nurse and patient well!

decomondo said...

My best wishes to both of you, Rosaria.
I hope you will soon overcome this delicate moment.

the walking man said...

12 years ago they told me I needed to start injecting insulin because I had become insulin resistant. They showed me all the right ways to do it. Ha ha ha ha I remember being on stage one Halloween and asked the audience if they wanted to see my costume. Of course there was a loud yes, I sent ten needles sailing into my stomach and said "I'm a pin cushion"

Yes there were many who had that reaction you describe but then the point is you can do what you have to do as soon as you know there is no one else to do it.

Now hell I don't even lift my shirt, just go right through the cloth or change the lancet very often that is used to draw blood.

Why? It's faster my way, than all that alcohol swab crap and pinching the skin and slowly pushing the needle in. In short I doubt when I get to an age where there are more health related issues than those I have already been through I will really care and just go with it and maybe have some fun at the same time.

I know I am only staring 60 in the face but to hell with it, longer and longer life with less and less quality means little. The only thing I am curious about is if I will be able to avoid the knife an 18th time.

You got more bravery to you Rosaria than you know. Just do what needs be done, personally I think changing my kids diapers would be worse than changing a wet bandage.

The Broad said...

I do commend you for your bravery. I would like to think that I would do what I have to in such circumstances -- but I fear the worst about myself. I am sure you will pass any nursing course with flying colors -- and I'm sure you will be able to cope very well taking care of your husband in the meantime.

potsoc said...

Good luck to your husband and I'm sure you will triumph over your fears.

Hilary said...

Oh good for you. That's certainly a practical approach. I wish your husband speedy healing.

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Good luck to you both, I am sure you will overcome all that is put in front of you. Take care Diane

Maggie May said...

Well done. That is a wonderful decision.
I found I could relate to this post very well.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

rosaria said...

Thanks, everyone!
I shall report on my progress in this area. If any of you have nursing degrees, don't hesitate to give me advise on how to start, what course to sign up for, etc. Did any nurse ever had to condition herself/himself to accept needles and blood and...? How did you do it?

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

You WILL do it, Rosaria. Taking that course is an excellent decision. Well done.

becky said...

Fears...we live and die by them, it seems. But now you...so impressed that you're facing this present problem (hope hubby heals well) and a nursing course sounds like a BRILLIANT idea!

Sightings said...

As they say, aging is not for sissies. But it sounds like you're taking the bull by the horns, so good for you! Suggestion: Start watching Doc Martin on TV, abt. the English surgeon who's afraid of blood. Might make you feel better about it all.

yaya said...

Even though I work in surgery, I still find it hard to take care of those I love...so I commend you for your bravery and determination to be there for your family in all areas. I know your hubby is probably very thankful for all you do.

Cloudia said...

good meditation on life's challenges!




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karen said...

Good for you! I am just as squeamish, and the thought of a nursing course makes me very scared.. I think it is admirable, and a brilliant idea, though! Hope your husband is doing well!

That gentleman's lady said...

Hugs.

There will be stormy days, but there will also be good days. Many many many good days :)

Anda nursing course sounds like a great idea

Eddie Bluelights said...

Sometimes things in life are daunting but if taken one small step at a time we usually manage to overcome tasks which are outside our comfort zone.
I think you are very brave attending your nursing course - it may help enormously to overcome your fear of needles etc. Hope your husband recovers well and quickly.

Pseudo said...

You are a role model for me ; -)

ain't for city gals said...

It was truly amazing what I learned while taking care of my dad until his passing with cancer...with love it makes it all much easier!...you can and will do a great job!

Diana said...

Oh Rosaria, wow! A nursing course, way to go! I love that you're meeting this head on. I'm so so dealing with blood...not so good when it involves someone I love...I might need to do the same thing.

rosaria said...

Update:
I investigated nursing classes and they are all held out of town, carry steep tuition and fees, as well as enrollment limits. I don't think I'll get in at my age!
My next step?
I will recruit people to offer community-based information classes that go beyond CPR. Maybe the Fire Dep. or the local clinic will open up their doors and train us!

Any other options I should investigate?
Thank you all, so very much for your supportive comments.

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

In case you missed me calling by recently it is because we have been busy with our olive harvest, but I think you already know that. Oh dear like you this is a scenario i dread, every day I give thanks for our continued good health. Take Care and thanks for your support with my two new blogging projects.:)

A Cuban In London said...

It so happens that this wee I had to attend a refresher's course on first aid. At some point the facilitator said: "Don't worry about doing the 'right thing' at the 'right time'. When it's a next-of-kin involved, adrenaline will help us find a way out."

You're brave. And Happy Thanksgiving! (belatedly)

Greetings from London.

ds said...

Good for you for trying, Rosaria. Hope your hubby is doing much better by now, and that you had a fine Thanksgiving.
As for places/people to teach you what you want to know, have you considered your local Y? They sometimes offer first-aid certifications and the like; they might have (or know of someone who offers) a class. Good luck!

Ruth said...

Wow. I'm impressed by your will and determination. After witnessing my mother-in-law in the hospital yesterday, and the many difficult procedures, I don't think I could take a nursing class. But of course some of it is necessary! When we need to, we do what we never thought possible.

Best wishes to your husband.

Terra said...

I empathize with your reaction to tending wounds, and applaud your idea to enroll in a nursing class. Way to go, girl!

NitWit1 said...

My husband I both have face daunting decisions the past two years.

As you rightly said as we age the decisions and task grow harder and darker.

We did things we had avoided, like write wills. I have written my funeral and burial desires. He discussed his.

I admire your stick-to-it-attitude and know you will pass with flying colors.

Pat transplanted to MN said...

Yes, Rosaria, once again you have nailed what we encounter in life. I have learned to overcome the sight of blood, never thought I would but we do. I am not up to a course in nursing, but have learned to do what I must and you will too. Healing to husband and strength for you. It seems we never can stop learning, some things take time though.

CiCi said...

You say "You can't quit every time something feels uncomfortable." That is actually very profound and should be on every mirror and prominently displayed in each home.

NitWit1 said...

WOW you are brave. I faint at the site of every body's blood, and have been known to faint when the phlebotomist draws mine. The latter has not happened in a number of years as I simply choose to look at anything but what is being done to me.

I know we will hear some interesting blogs on your nursing course. But you can do it.

My father who took care of Mother when she had was still home with brain cancer, told me in a reflective mood once: :I've hand to do things I never dreamed I would have to do during her illness."

deb colarossi said...

You are so inspiring. There is such a mix of both tender elegant grace and grounded strength in all that you share.

I harboured deep fears about 'dealing' with the elderly and their unique needs and have pretty much seen and heard and dealt with most of them now through having my mother in care . It's both humbling and empowering.

shopgirl said...

Rosaria, I love your honesty. You are so right! And good for you for deciding to take control of your fear and enrolling in a course to help you overcome it. I hope your husband is okay.

xo R