About 2 years ago, I decided to get laser hair removal. I bought it as a birthday gift to myself. I always get myself a birthday gift. I was so excited. I decided to get it done to my arms and legs. A week after my birthday, I went in for my first treatment. They said it would hurt and it did. It felt like a rubber band was being snapped across my skin. To get through it, I started to concentrate on my breathing and started singing to myself in my head. I couldn’t even finish the treatment. It hurt so much. I finished my arms and did half of my legs. My skin was red but I expected that. The nurse told me the redness would go away. For 2 days, my skin was red. I put aloe vera on my arms and legs. The redness went away. For 2 more days, my skin was fine. I went to sleep on the fourth night and woke up with dark brown spots on my arms and legs. I was in shock. I looked like a leopard. I called the hair removal place and made an appointment to get seen. They couldn’t tell me why it happened. They said that they had never seen anything like this happen. They told me to go to a dermatologist. I was so nervous because I had an outdoor concert with my best friends coming up. I made an appointment with a dermatologist. She told me that the spots were caused my sun exposure. She told me to start wearing sunscreen and to minimize my sun exposure. I told her about my outdoor concert coming up. She advised me not to go because the spots could become permanent. She gave me a cream to use. I really wanted to go to the concert but I decided not to go. One of my friends was mad that I had decided not to go. To be honest, I don’t know if she was mad or disappointed that I wasn’t going. I didn’t talk to her about it. I was more mad at myself for getting laser hair removal. That experience taught me that your looks are temporary. Literally overnight, your looks could be changed. I’ve had patients who have gotten into an accident and their lives have been changed forever. That experience also taught me that you have to do what is best for you. If I had of gone to that concert, I would not have been comfortable. The dermatologist said to wear pants and a long sleeve shirt. The concert was in the middle of summer and outdoors. I would have been really hot. She also told me to put on sunscreen every 2 hours while I was outside. I would have been worried about my skin. Sometimes you have to say no to protect yourself. I really did want to share that experience with my best friends. Thankfully the spots have gone away but the lessons have not. If I had of known that the spots would go away, maybe I would have gone to the concert but I didn’t know. I know parts of my future but not all of them. I’m still getting laser hair removal and the spots haven’t come back.
As a nurse, I hate when my patients ask me what is normal. I can tell you what healthcare says is normal. I recently had a patient ask me how often should a person have a bowel movement. I told the patient it depends on what is the normal for that person. Some people go every day, some go after every meal, some people go every other day, and some people go every 3 days. You have to get to know what is normal for your body. The patient admitted that they had never really paid attention to how often they go to the bathroom. It is so important to know what is your normal. That way you can know what is abnormal for you. I love it when patients say I know my body and I know that this isn’t my normal. My “normal” may be some else’s abnormal. For example, when I got the flu. It started off like a common cold. I was getting congested and then I started to have body aches. Almost every joint in my body was sore. I knew immediately that this wasn’t a common cold and I needed to get to my doctor. I ended up being diagnosed with the flu even though I had gotten the flu shot that year. I can explain to the patient the “normal” course of a disease. If the patient has other chronic diseases then that can affect the outcome of that particular disease. A diabetic patient may take a little longer to heal from a bad cut on the knee or a fracture. A newly diagnosed diabetic patient has to get used to their new “normal”. I recently looked on the internet for the height and weight chart. Almost every website had different information about what was the “normal” weight. Some of the ranges for a person that is 5′ 4″ were 130-150 pounds, 111-146 pounds, or 120-145 pounds. I also know that if my patient is a bodybuilder they are going to be considered obese by the height and weight charts. I tell my patients they have to get to know their bodies and what is “normal” for them. Now that I’m listening to my body, I can easily tell what my body needs. When my veins start to pop out, I know that I need to drink more water because I’m getting dehydrated. Usually when some of my patients are dehydrated it is hard for me to find their veins when I’m looking to put an IV in.
For most of my life, I’ve heard from men that I suffer from the no ass at all disease. I cured myself of it when I gained weight and caught it again when I lost weight. I used to let that get to me. At one point in my life I wanted to get breast implants and get a bigger booty. Thankfully at that point in my life, I couldn’t afford it. Now I don’t let other people’s opinion of me get to me. I now know that a woman’s worth isn’t her butt. A woman’s worth isn’t her breasts. A woman’s worth isn’t her hair. A woman’s worth isn’t her clothes. A woman’s worth isn’t the car that she drives. A woman is so much more than her outer beauty. I recently had someone call me a loose woman. I didn’t feel the need to correct her. I know the truth about myself. I have been celibate for 7 years now. I don’t need to defend myself all the time when other people choose to throw shade my way. As long as God and I know the truth, other people’s opinion of me doesn’t matter to me anymore. My opinion of myself means more to me than other people’s opinion. Even if I was a loose woman that would still not diminish my worth. I get to choose who I sleep with. As the saying goes, “Never argue with a fool, they will always beat you with experience.” Some people say that since I’m a nurse, then I must be a good waitress. I know that I do so much more than get my patients some water and food. I comfort the dying, I’m a therapist for the patient and their family members, and I teach my patients. A person is so much more than what you see with your eyes. How about looking at the person’s soul strength? I love to hear stories of people going through hard times and not letting it change them into bitter or sour people. I love to hear about people being cheated on and that person still holding onto hope that not all people are cheaters. I have cheated on a boyfriend, but I didn’t like the way it made me feel about myself. So I decided to not cheat anymore. My name has been dragged through the mud, but I am still love myself. I once had a patient who got into a car accident and the patient lost both legs and hands. The patient was so grateful to be alive. The patient’s soul strength amazed me. I loved to take care of that patient because you could feel the love and the support from that patient’s family and friends when I would go into the room. It motivated me. If this patient could go through a horrible tragedy and still smile and be a happy person then I could be grateful for what I had and be happy. At that point in my life, I was focused on what I didn’t have and comparing myself to other people. I’m just now truly finding my soul strength. I’m a work in progress and still grateful for everything that I have and everything that I have been through.
For the past 2 weeks, something my ex best friend has been bothering me. She told me that it wasn’t her job to teach me how to be a good friend. I appreciate the lesson that this statement has taught me.
But I respectfully disagree, it is our job to teach our friends how to treat us.
As I am growing and learning, I’ve found that what once worked for me doesn’t work for me anymore. I don’t care anymore about celebrity gossip like I used to. I like to talk about my dreams, past lives, and what I’m learning. I’ve gotten back into reading books, which I used to do before nursing school happened. I’ve always been a quiet person but now I’m sharing my experiences and lessons that I’ve learned. Now I speak up when someone does me wrong and I don’t stay silent like I used to do.
But let me be clear, it is not your job to babysit people. There is a big difference between telling someone how you like to be treated, and constantly having to remind them to be nice to you.
After you tell the person how you like to be treated, it is now up to that person to decide what to do with that information. You may lose some people because of it but that is ok. Maybe they will change and they can remain in your life and be supportive. I have never liked it when people have pointed out my flaws but I do recognize that it is a necessary part of life. It helps me to grow. I also recognize that some of my “flaws” are a part of who I am. Some people have said that I’m too nice and they have told me it is a flaw. I don’t see that as a flaw, I see it as an awesome part of myself. For example, when I go to work I may have to give a patient an enema. I don’t like giving an enema but I also recognize that it is a part of my job. My first enema didn’t go so well, poop was flying everywhere.
So I say yes you are your friend’s teacher, but more so, you are your own advocate!
It is your life and you have the power to choose who will stay in your life and who won’t. As a nurse, I have to be my patient’s advocate. I have to speak up for them. Sometimes that means that I have to go against what the patient wants for their own good. I’m not giving a patient Dilaudid and Morphine at the same time. I’m not trying to have my patient see Jesus. In life you have to be your own advocate and sometimes that will mean that you need to let go of some people in your life. Not because they are bad people but because they no longer serve a positive role in your life. Sometimes people may let you go and that’s ok too. I appreciate everyone who is in my life right now. They love me through the good and the bad.