At some point in high school I decided to become a nurse. I had wanted to be a vet but I watch our vet do something to a dog's anal glands and I was out! No thanks! It's quite ironic considering some of the not so charming aspects of nursing. I went to college, worked for a year in adult critical care and then became a travel nurse. For those who don't know, this is truly the best gig in town. Travel nurses go to a different city of their choosing for thirteen weeks and her/his company puts them up in a furnished apartment. If they like it they might stay longer, if not they move on, no commitment. I was in my early 20's and had lived in Ohio my whole life and it was one of the best things I've ever done!
Eventually I met Brad, we settled in Virginia and I needed a change of scenery from the adult patient population. I took my first job in pediatrics before we got married and I absolutely loved it! It was a whole new world of nursing that invigorated me. Honestly, though, I think part of what made it work was that I didn't have kids yet. Once I had Sierra things definitely changed. After being back at work for a couple of months we had a 2-year-old boy who had fallen out of a second story window and suffered a severe head injury. I went home that night and cried to Brad that I couldn't do it anymore. It was just too hard. I saw Sierra's face, literally, saw her face, on every single patient. It didn't matter if they were a baby or a teenager. The SIDS babies, the tragic car accidents, the newly diagnosed cancer patients... it felt too close to home. That could be my child, the one who holds my heart, lying in that bed. I could imagine their parent's pain in a way that had not been tangible before I had my own child. It was a whole new perspective that I had a very hard time dealing with. Sweet Brad talked me off my ledge. I'm so glad that he did. I have since left the PICU for a couple of years simply to have more control over my work-life balance, but when I returned to the PICU I absolutely felt like I had come home.
And that little boy who affected me so much that I almost left pediatrics... check him out here!