Friday, May 6, 2011

the power of gratitude.....

Apparently it's "nurse appreciation week." My cousin's wife & good friend of mine, Cassie, reminded me of such an important week through facebook. Her status read:

Being a NURSE means you carry immense responsibility & very little authority. You step into peoples lives & make a difference. Some bless you, others curse you. You see people at their worst & at their best. You see life begin & end & everything in between. You see people's capacity for love, courage, & endurance. IT'S NURSE APPRECIATION WEEK. REPOST IF YOU ARE A NURSE, LOVE A NURSE AND/OR APPRECIATE A NURSE 

Now I'm not a fan of reposting things in my status but this time I did. I reposted the exact same thing. A day later, I'm thinking it's just not enough for me. 

I come from a long line of nurses. My grandmother, my Aunts, my sister, my sister in law, a few cousins, friends, and well, you get the idea. I am one of those fortunate people that whenever I was hurt, there was always a nurse within 20 feet to take immediate action.  I've heard stories from every one of them...still hear stories to this day. Some sad, some happy. The stories I don't understand are the idiots that treat nurses like crap. If you're in the hospital or if you have to go to the ER, why on EARTH would you be rude to the nurse taking care of you or your family member? You do know he or she has the power to expedite your case to the doctor? You do know he or she can accidentally "miss" taking blood & have to re-stick you, right? Or the families that yell at the nurses for no reason? Or the families that hang around the nurses station the entire time they're visiting their family member in the hospital.

I can only imagine how tough it must be to be a nurse in today's day & age. The knowledge they have to have, the constant training, to be quick on your feet, to be able to manage multiple patients at a time, and to be good at it too. I'm sure there is a fair share of nurses out in the world who are not good at what they do, but in my experience I haven't come across one yet (knock on wood).

So here I am blogging about nurses. Not just any nurses but the ones that took care of me and Kev during what was the worst time of our lives. I hope that through words  I'm able to express my gratitude for all the nurses at Cedars Sinai that I'm speaking about. You know who you are.... critical care tower 6th floor CSICU & CICU as well as the 6th floor North tower. And to the three nurses who continue to take care of us on a daily basis, yes folks I'm referring to those SUPER VAD ladies. You all rock.

The nurses I speak of were beyond amazing. My husband not only had the BEST care but so did I. They took care of me in the process. They took care of our families. They cared. They went above & beyond the call of being a nurse. Every night I left the hospital I hated it. Walking out of his room killed my spirit, broke my heart, but I was uplifted as I passed the nurses station. All of their smiling faces reminding me to "get some sleep tonight" or "call if you want to check on him" or "we'll take care of him Tracy." It was so comforting knowing they were there. Knowing I could call to get a status report. Even to this day when we have to go back to the hospital for various reasons...walking the halls seems as if we're "home" because of all the smiling familiar faces. The ones that hug us and ask about the boys....ask how Kev is doing...ask how I'm doing. It's something I never expected but am so ridiculously happy that they're all on OUR side.

And those SUPER VAD ladies.... I can never say enough. Constantly in touch with them, whether it's via email, phone, or using face time on the iphone. During every surgery Kev has ever had...I was comforted knowing they were in the OR with him. These SUPER VAD ladies have been there during the best and worst moments of our LVAD journey....These three ladies make shit happen. They don't take no for an answer. They always find a way, a solution to our problem be it small or big. I can honestly say that once Kevin gets a new heart, the only thing we'll miss about the LVAD are the SUPER VAD ladies. They are THAT wonderful.

I hope the CEO of Cedars Sinai knows how lucky they are to have all of the above mentioned nurses. I hope the doctors know how lucky they are to have them on their side. They all deserve a raise but since I  don't have the power to give them a raise, I can give them a standing ovation. For sure.

To anyone reading this.... if you know a nurse, cross paths with a nurse, see a nurse, have to go to the ER or doctor's office, or have a loved one in the hospital....say THANK YOU. Say THANK YOU to them because they ARE the heart & soul of your recovery.

Now for me, I must've told all the nurses at Cedars Sinai thank you at least a million times but I just gotta tell 'em again.........

From the bottom of my beating heart, thank you.  


  1. I remember laying on the table waiting to be put under for my defib surgery. All the docs were there ready to go, but I couldn't see Charito, I didn't hear her. I freaked out, raised my head a yelled "wait, wait...where's Charito!?!? An LVAD nurse needs to be in here, where is she?" Right before I nearly ripped my arms from the velcro restraints she came walking in sayin with her calming voice and a giggle "I'm right here dont worry." With that I was calmed in an instant. They really do provide something that isn't tangible and I am very grateful for that. The LVAD nurses are my safety net, making the bumps on this journey not so bumpy.

  2. I too would like to thank the nurses I met the few days I was there. Their reassurance that Kevin would wake up made my leaving a tad easier.
    Thank you!

  3. Pat and I are very grateful for all the nurses who took care of Kevin during his stays at Cedars. As Tracy said, not only did they take care of him, but with all they had to do in monitoring his condition they still managed to be conscious of the feelings of family and friends. Their smiles, humor, compassion and reassurance made what was a fearful time for us more bearable. That they took the extra time with us to explain things was greatly appreciated.

    And a thank you to those SUPER VAD ladies for making Tracy and Kevin's life less fearful, knowing that reassurance is only a phone call or email away. We did witness their professionalism as well as their compassion on our visits and want to express our sincere thanks.

    Nurses are truly special people.

  4. Hey lovie - I didn't know that it was nurse's week - bad me - we've been so busy trying to find a place to live here - and taking care of the normal (well our normal) things that we have to. I will say that the last time I was home I was determined to pick up a bag of the most awesomest oatmeal in the world - and I got an extra one for our MCS nurse. So I guess I did it right without even knowing - We love all the nurses here too - they are a special breed - but I haven't had a bad experience in all my years on this earth - Hearts and Hugs

  5. YES! The nurses at Cedars are incredible. I know they provided a sense of calm and really helped relieve the pain. I remember a few of them.. and they were like your bestest friends... seemed like you'd known each other for years... They listened to you.. gave it to you straight.. and held onto you when you got shaken. It's that extra they provide that makes things a little more manageable.