It hit me during the first week of Peds Nursing that this class may not be all that I imagined. I mean, I have been working my butt off to fulfill my dream of becoming a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. I’ve been viewing this class as my dream course, my benchmark. I imagined myself finally getting an A in this course, because it is what I want to do for the rest of my life so naturally I’d be good at it, right?
Turns out the rose-colored glasses don’t stay on for very long. I’m finally beginning to understand myself better…
The units we covered this week dealt with care for the hospitalized child, a touch on cancer (to be continued next week), and then death, dying, and the terminally ill child. When we were talking about how to care for the different age groups of hospitalized kids, I found myself comparing what I heard to what I saw with William’s visits. Ms. Wilkinson was going on about separation anxiety in kids and parents (I’ve seen that a bit with my mom) and how kids can do all these things in the hospital, like play the Wii. William didn’t get a Nintendo until one of the girls at VCU’s School of Nursing stopped by and convinced someone to bring it over! We talk about primary nursing (where a nurse gets the same patient every time she comes on), and I think about how nice that would be for Mom and William. That way, Mom doesn’t have to explain their story every time.
So, I manage to get through Tuesday’s lecture with minimal difficulties. I am starting to realize I’ve been repressing a lot of things in the past few years. And then, we start on Death, Dying, and the Terminally Ill Child… I think I made it 10 minutes into that lecture before I couldn’t take any more. I barely make it out of the classroom before I burst into tears. For the remaining 20 minutes of that lecture, I stayed in the hallway, trying to gather my thoughts amidst more sobs and tears. Thank goodness for voice recorders!
I repress things. When something sad or scary happens, I shut down. 95% of the time, I can relate the details of things, such as William’s surgery, with little or no emotion. Sometimes it just hits me, causing me to meltdown for the other 5%. As I’m going through this class, it’s hitting me how much I’ve pushed aside. The problem is, I don’t know where to begin! Somehow, I’m going to have to deal and cope with these, and probably other emotions for the next 7 weeks. What does that mean for me and my nursing career? Have I misinterpreted my calling?
Oh Lord, please guide and protect my heart during this class, that I might better honor and glorify You! Please grant me extra strength and grace to make it through this emotionally difficult time.