When I was 19 years old I decided I wanted to be a nurse. I had these big dreams and visions of “helping people”!
I have to say this pandemic has had me questioning everything! The way nurses have been treated during this crisis has been shocking to say the least.
So many things made me pick up my jaw off the floor this year- I already addressed my major concerns in this blog post Here
But then right at those lowest points when I feel the most jaded is when I am reminded of all of the moments. All of the experiences I have had over the years that have made me into the nurse and person I am today.
Like the time during my first year working as an RN. I was working nights on a cardiac medical-surgical unit and it was a crazy busy night. Time stood still when the patients heart monitor started beeping in room 14. You see she was a 40 year old cancer patient that had been with us awhile and seemed stable for the most part- that is until that night. Her heart rate started dropping suddenly. But you have to understand she was a DNR- meaning we were not going to try to resuscitate her. It all happened so fast- we knew her family was not going to make it in time. An LPN and myself went into her room to be with her. She was conscious the entire time. She was scared and as she was taking her last breaths we rubbed her back and told her to not be afraid. She was my first patient death! That MOMENT has stayed with me my entire career.
Like the time during my first year working in Labor and Delivery. I was assigned to my first fetal demise (a baby we knew was going to be stillborn). You see I didn’t know if I could do it- I just didn’t know. You have to understand-I lost my own 2 month old daughter 5 years prior to that moment and I just didn’t know if I could be in THAT moment. I did assist in the delivery of that beautiful baby girl. I cried. The physician cried. The mother wept.
Like the time many years later when I was called to the ER. At this point in my career I was an advocate and educator for our families in labor and delivery who were losing their babies- What I was scared of earlier in my career ended being my gift for many years. The ER called me in labor and delivery because they had a 40 year old man that had come in and suddenly died of a heart attack. His 8 year old daughter was with his wife in the ER and they wanted me to help them make memories with her- We made handprints of her daddy’s hand and her fingers. To this day I still have the photo of the mold we made.
What people don’t realize is every patient we care for has a story- and we get to be a part of every one of them. The joy, the nervousness, the fear, and yes even in the heartbreak. We, nurses are there for every moment. So when I feel jaded by current circumstances- I look back to these moments and many others and remember my WHY.
2020 The Year of the Nurse?
I saw a meme the other day that said “When I heard 2020 was going to be The Year of the Nurse this is not what I expected.” At first I laughed and said “ain’t that the truth”.
This year has been shocking on so many levels. But then as I thought about that statement further my thoughts and the way I looked at that statement changed a bit.
No- this year is not at all what I expected-AT ALL!
I did not expect a worldwide pandemic.
I did not expect a shortage of life saving “personal protective equipment” (PPE) which includes masks, gowns, gloves, faceshields.
I did not expect that nurses would not be allowed to wear there own PPE, and get this- be written up or sent home if they refused to take their own mask off leaving them at risk to get sick- like what in the world. That was SHOCKING.
I did not expect having to re-use n95 masks that could be contaminated with particles of the virus. In school we were always taught to discard and use a new mask. All of a sudden policies changed to make it okay all of a sudden to disregard everything we’ve learned.
I did not expect that the actual CDC would change guidelines in the beginning of the pandemic stating things like masks are not required and there is no evidence to show that this virus is airborne. These policies were changed to protect hospitals and healthcare facilities-not the nurses and healthcare professionals. That was shocking. As we know recently the CDC once again changed their view on the possibility that the virus is airborne.
I did not expect my fellow nurses to be expected to work when they had a positive result if they were not severely sick.
I did not expected this pandemic to become political in nature- causing some to debate simple things like wearing a mask to protect themselves and others and even denying it all together.
I never expected for nurses (one of the most trusted professions) to get spit on or yelled at out in public.
These are just some of the unexpected realizations that 2020 has brought to the forefront of my mind.
There is some light at the end of the tunnel-
My fellow nurses have realized their own gifts and powers.
They have stood up for themselves and not accepted being treated that way- many unfortunately have had to leave the bedside to prove this.
My fellow nurses, including myself, have begun to think outside of the box and offer their gifts to the world in the forms of their own businesses- they are not just confined to the walls of a hospital with administration that simply does not care.
Many have dug deep to truly see their profession as a ministry. We as nurses, have comforted, supported, prayed with, held hands with those affected by this virus and the chaos it has caused.
No-2020 was not the year I expected as a nurse-but one thing is for sure-I will not forget how we as nurses were treated during this time.
Essential oils are the liquids extracted from plants. Think of them as plant concentrates. Essential oils help the plant stay healthy, and they can do the same for us. Use them for aromatherapy, home cleaning, personal care, and support for every system of your body. The thing is though… not all oils are created equal. How do you know which one to choose?
Well, for me, it all came down to something called Seed to Seal and Young Living is the ONLY company that provides this. Seed to Seal is a quality commitment unlike anything else; they have control of the ENTIRE process, from the seed to the sealed bottle. You can rest assured that you’re getting a quality product made with the highest quality essentials oils and other naturally-derived ingredients.
Check out some of the strict guidelines they abide by to fulfill their promise in sending only the best products to your home.
- plant material that is grown on corporately-owned farms or carefully vetted partner farms (that you CAN visit!)
- sustainable farming and sourcing practices, providing the purest oil
- great care taken to preserve and protect natural resources
- hand-weeded fields and ZERO use of pesticides
- oils that retain all their natural constituents and therapeutic properties
- use of food-grade distillers with state-of-the-art design and distillation methods
- low pressure and low temperature distillation, without the use of solvents or synthetic chemicals
- rigorous testing on each batch by internal labs and third-party facilities
- oils that are carefully reviewed through every step of production in order to meet or exceed industry safety and purity standards (beyond organic!)
And the best part… if the oils do not meet these high standards they are rejected and will not be bottled as a Young Living product. Check out more info on their Seed to Seal promise at www.seedtoseal.com.
Before we dive into the most popular oils I want to explain how to use them. Well, it’s rather simple! Just pick a way and go for it! Anyone can use essential oils - no aromatherapy training needed.
You can apply them to your wrists, neck, back, feet, etc. Just keep them out of your ears and eyes, directly. If you get oil in your eyes, don’t rinse it with water. Instead, apply a fatty carrier oil around the area.
Another thing to keep in mind is that some oils are gentle enough to put directly on your skin without diluting. If you notice it getting hot or making your skin a little red, just throw some carrier oil on (coconut oil, grapeseed oil, sweet almond oil, etc.). For kids and elderly people, dilute it more heavily. Don’t overcomplicate it; keep it simple!
Another way to use them is aromatically. Crack open a bottle, and breathe it in. It can be that simple! Add your oils to a diffuser and enjoy the therapeutic benefits from diffusing. Put a drop in your palm, rub your hands together, and cup your hands over your nose. Breathe deeply and enjoy! No matter how you do it you still reap the benefits.
Add a drop (or more) of a Vitality oil into an empty vegetable capsule, a cup of tea, or a glass of water. You can even cook and bake with them! Try some Lemon Vitality in your yogurt or a toothpick tip of Oregano Vitality in your next batch of spaghetti sauce… so delicious! One of my favorite things to do is add 4 drops of Peppermint Vitality to a box mix of brownies - talk about yummy! One thing to note: citrus oils can break down the petrochemicals in plastic so it’s safer to use stainless steel, glass, or ceramic when adding oils to your dishes and drinks.
Now, before we go any further… I want to make sure you know the difference between a Vitality oil (white label) and the “regular” oils (solid color label). The Vitality oils are labeled for internal/dietary use so they can be ingested. The solid color bottles are labeled for aromatic/topical use. However, they are the SAME oil. The ONLY difference is the color of the label. It just makes it easier for us to know which oils can be safely ingested. The Essential Oils Premium Starter Kit comes with 5 Vitality oils - Peppermint Vitality, Lemon Vitality, Thieves Vitality, Citrus Fresh Vitality, and DiGize Vitality. But guess what? Those oils also come in solid color bottles, which means they can be used aromatically and topically! Does that make sense?
It is all so interesting right? Now if you have read this far I am guessing you are truly interested in making a change for you and/or your entire family. Instead of writing anymore I will do one better. I have a great FREE 20 minute audio class that goes into depths of all the oils that come in the Premium Starter Kit, which happens to be 12 of the most commonly used oils in the world. If this is something interests you- "YES I WANT THE FREE AUDIO"
When I got married years ago we stated the words “through sickness and in health” to one another. I think when you say those words or think about those words you are not envisioning chronic illness. I know for me I thought about things like Cancer or recovery from a major accident- You know those sudden changes in health that can lead to a devastating diagnosis. I never, myself considered what would happen if one of us were diagnosed with a condition that would affect our lives together-forever.
I was diagnosed with my first autoimmune disease when our youngest child was still an infant. I started experiencing severe symptoms during my last two pregnancies but thought what I was going through was just normal preggo stuff. So when the doctor told me I had Rheumatoid arthritis- my first thought was “ Isn’t that an old person’s disease” I couldn’t believe it. That day in that office changed my life forever.
I have since been diagnosed with additional conditions and experienced side effects from medications to treat those conditions. Its been a rollercoaster of a journey for sure but the one thought that lingers sometimes is would my husband still say yes- if he had known we would be dealing with all of this.
Now don’t get me wrong- my husband is the most supportive person out there. He is loving and understanding-but even I know this has been a lot. My diagnosis has affected every aspect of our marriage. I am often tired, or dealing with a migraine, or something- something is always coming up despite my best efforts some days. Because of his position he is often my sounding board. When I am frustrated or angry or tired , I often vent to him about it.
Does this sound familiar to any of you?????
I want to share some things that we have done to survive this crazy life!!!
Communication-this may sound cliche and basic but I promise you it has been the most important thing for us during this journey!
When I am not feeling well I let him know-
When I am feeling great I let him know (he usually can tell before I tell him)
When I am frustrated I let him know
When I am feeling hopeful I let him know
Then point is- it is really easy to isolate when you are going through this journey. I try to be as open and honest as possible.
He does the same-or if he is not coming to me outright-I try to make sure and check in with him often about how he is feeling. How his day went at work, what frustrations he is dealing with.
It is also easy to be so focused on what we are feeling that we don’t do these important check ins with our loved one. I know- its hard when its a constant battle to feel good.
Date Nights- I think it is even more important for us to have date nights that typically married couples. It is hard enough sometimes being married and dealing with the normal stressors that come along but when chronic illness is involved I think its imperative. Now date night doesn’t have to be an all out event.
It can be having a special dinner delivered, or a ride in the car, or a movie-Just having that alone time is the important part.
Hobby- Having a mutual hobby can be fun and a good distraction. We have a few in our home. We are big fans of natural living and making things so between the two- we stay busy.
I would love to hear what is working for you and your spouse or partner?
If you are interested more in Natural Living- I have a great little class on how to use essential oils for self care-lots of tips and tricks are included Yes! Send me the Info
Many people know that today, September 27th, is the anniversary of my firstborn daughter’s death.
What many people don’t know is-it is not her death itself that haunts me-
We knew from the moment we found out about her fatal congenital heart defect when I was five months pregnant that the chances of a happily ever after were slim to none. We chose life at the time anyways- whatever that was going to look like for however long it was going to be.
So when we chose an experimental surgery to try when she was born we were given some unexpected hope. It was this hope we were not prepared for-
We went from grieving to hoping she was going to make it- and she actually did for two whole months- we were gifted 60 additional days with her- but when left us- it was sudden and I wasn’t there with her. That is what haunts me.
You see the day she died played out like a scene from a sad sad lifetime movie-
We had finally believed she would be okay- I was preparing to return to work so my husband and I decided to go out for a date. The first one in ages. We left Azaria with a babysitter. We were only planning to be gone long enough to see a movie-
Before the movie I excitedly ran into a shop and bought her birth announcements- I tucked them happily away in my purse and we went to the theater.
The movie was just about over when a worker came in and announced he was looking for me- he said there was an emergency. I looked at my husband and just knew.
The ER doctor’s words haunt me. “She’s gone” I remember thinking “but I have the announcements”.
When I was pregnant I thought about her dying and how I would hold her until her last breath-
That day has been a day hard to think about over the years- the deep hurt is one I am not sure will ever fully heal but I have found two essential oils to be very healing. There is a whole science as to why essential oils would help- I have another post on my blog that goes into more depth.
There was a study out of New York University that proved the amygdala gland ( the gland in the limbic system of the brain that stores and releases trauma in the body) does not respond to sound or sight or touch, but ONLY releases emotional trauma through the sense of smell."
I am so thankful for these two therapeutic oils of choice and use them weekly at minimum. If you are interested in more information please reach out.