This week is national nurses week. Let’s be honest, that should be every week, but this is the week that we got to say thank you and how grateful we are and a million other things that will never be enough to express our sincere appreciation for what nurses have done for our little man in the last 7 months. But, hey – we’ll try.
You see, it was a nurse who stayed with me in the delivery room when everyone else cleared out to follow Jackson to the NICU.
It was a nurse who explained the wires and tubes he had attached to him when I saw him for the first time and was overwhelmed by the sight.
It was a nurse who calmed us down after the doctors rattled off a laundry list of problems our little man was facing and told us we were looking at months before getting him home, and then showed me where I could find tape to put up his ‘The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday’ sticker on his bed because, right then, that’s all that was important.
It was a nurse who updated us through his first surgery and greeted us at his bedside when we could, finally after what seemed like days, see him again. And it was the same nurse who told us to get some sleep, that she had an eye on our baby that night and everything would be fine.
When Jackson was extubated and couldn’t breathe well on his own, it was a nurse who picked him up and held him until he calmed down, bringing his heartrate down and his breathing under control. And it was a nurse who saw the concern in my eyes when the doctors discussed options – intubation or sedation or pushing him a little more – and urged for them to listen to me because I was his mom and I knew him best.
It was a nurse who saw something not right on that November morning and sprung into action, getting the right people bedside to rush Jackson in for emergency surgery.
It was a nurse who listened to me cry out of frustration as our care stalled, stuck in a place of ‘wait and see’. And it was the same nurse who spoke up and asked what the plan was to a group of doctors, sharing my frustration and my desire to move our little one forward.
It was a nurse who smiled when I told her about the trach, giggling over how adorable ‘trach babies’ are and telling me how much this was going to change our lives in a good way.
And it was a nurse who waved goodbye as we finally walked out the doors, wishing us luck and telling us how much she hoped to never see us again inside those four walls.
Hospitals are filled with doctors, its true. And they are doing wonderful things that are saving lives every day. But, more often than not, it was a nurse who explained procedures and answered questions and held my hand and hugged me. It was a nurse who called in on his day off – Christmas Day – to check in on us after surgery and a nurse who checked on us through every unit and failed attempt to get discharged until we finally went home. It was nurses that I spent hours talking to, becoming friends with, and trusting to care for our son as I said goodbye everyday.
‘Thank you’ doesn’t begin to scratch the surface of what I want to say to the men and women who loved and cared for our little boy but any other words seem to fall short.
So, this week and always, thank you.