When the Nurse Becomes the Patient!

What a surprise I got a few months ago.  Got pain in my leg, fell, ended up on steroids, and a walker then found out I had a hip problem.  While hip surgery is not fun, what is   even more of a challenge is finding out you have a hip infection.  What a great time I had on IV antibiotics for six weeks, sitting in a nursing home.  Boredom I think is about as bad as having a high stress job!

Five Ways I Coped with an unexpected Illness:

1.  I had to admit I was only human and even a nurse therapist/coach can get “sick”.

2.  I found ways to keep busy, including doing word find puzzles and catching up on my positive thinking reading.

3.  I began to respect my medical nurse colleagues’ expertise more than ever, and really appreciated the little things, like a very nice C.N.A. helping me take a shower every day.  Boy, you don’t realize how important it is to have a relaxing shower, until you can’t take one on your own!

4.  I spent more time meditating and visualizing my temporary hip being strong, and getting prepared for my “real” hip replacement, which is still pending.

5.  I reached out to friends and family by phone, letting them know what happened.  They were really good about calling me regularly and they reminded me how much I was loved.  My pastor even visited almost daily. 

It was not easy switching roles from nurse therapist (and professional coach) to being a patient.  I almost overdid it my first week back with half a hip in, but my surgeon was very clear: “try to work full-time instead of half days and you will end up with another spacer hip and six more weeks on IV antibiotics!”  Needless to say I am heeding his recommendation!.

Remember, nurses are also humans and worthy of both being helped when needed as well as doing our own good self-care!

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