Butterfly Sparks Designs

Monday, April 26, 2010

Taking A Glimpse at the Portrait of a Life

"I never knew a man could fall so far
'til I landed here....

Come to me, Hannah,
Hannah, won't you come home to me
And I'll lay down this bottle of wine,
If you'll just be kind to me....

I'd walk one mile on this broken glass
to fall down at your feet..."

--lyrics from the song,"Hannah," by Ray LaMontagne--

Last night at work, I took care of a patient named Mr. Lewis.*

Mr. Lewis has been a heavy alcohol user for most of his life. He came to us after being in an motor vehicle accident. Upon initial hospitalization, doctors and nurses treated his withdrawals from the alcohol, which, he informed me, "was like going through hell." Now he's sober, with some broken vertebrae, and coping with real life.

His wife came by our hospital to serve him divorce papers yesterday. By the time I came on shift, nobody was home behind the beautiful blue eyes that covered his face. He was absent, lost somewhere in regret and shock.

He told me about the divorce papers, after I let him know I'd be his nurse for the evening and spent a few minutes talking with him. He looked everywhere but into my eyes, as he talked about those papers and how he'd been married to his wife for over twenty years.

I asked him if he needed anything on my way out his room, and he said, "Unless you can buy me back my life, I guess not."

Time is a thief. It doesn't give back what it takes. The years roll by and they take our lives right along with them.

You can sell your soul to the devil, but he takes what you give him and doesn't look back.


Ms. Rivers* was my other patient last night in room 308B. She is 90 years old and has several tubes and lines attached to her presently, as she sits in a hospital room in her wheelchair.

"I wish they'd take this tube outta me," she said. "It's ridiculous. I'm 90. I thought I'd die here last week, and I just want to enjoy what I've got left."

She smiled at me and then took me by the hand and told me to enjoy my youthful beauty and soak up life for all it is worth.

"It goes by too fast," she said. "Slow at the same time, but at the end of all things, you realize, it went by entirely too fast---and you only get one shot. Make it count," she said, as she looked into my eyes and smiled.

That smile told me a million stories about the life Ms. Rivers has lived. It didn't house regret- it housed fullness, like she had a secret of something sly and wonderful hidden behind her wrinkled, cherry red lips; her smile resembled something like a wink of the eye.

I often say being a nurse is like walking into wisdom's classroom each night I go to work.

Last night was no different :)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Discover That Ye May Burst! :)

I've been a bit of a slacker around these parts of late :)

What can I say- life is busy these days- as Bethany Dillon wrote in one of her songs, "I'm a dealer in my time."

Wanted to leave you with a Word for the weekend:

"Dear friends, listen well to my words; tune your ears to my voice.  Keep my message in plain view at all times.  Concentrate!  Learn it by heart!  Those who discover these words live, really live; body and soul, they're bursting with health." 
Proverbs 4:20, The Message

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Strawberry Salad

This Strawberry Salad sounds delightful :)

It's light and sweet- always a winning combination.

I saw it on Bethany Dillon's blog, so simply click HERE to enjoy a healthy, light, warm weather meal.

Hope you enjoy!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Ms. O'Malley

Ms. O'Malley* was my patient last night in room 303.

Ms. O'Malley is a very frail, pint-sized little lady.  She is so small, we have to use a pediatric blood pressure cuff to fit her little arms.  Disease and illness have shrunk her body to it's bear frame.  Her face seems hard, as her cheekbones protrude through.  But there was something about Ms. O'Malley that drew me into her presence as a nurse.  I found myself wanting to linger a little longer at her bedside.  She was spunky, polite, and resolute about her hip pain, not demanding or needy.  She always met me with a smile and a humble "thank you" each time I was in her room. 

I went by her room every hour or so to check on her and found her watching "Turner Movie Classics" on television.  Last night was the kind of night at work that entailed never sitting down- until after I'd given report to the nurse coming on after me.  My patients were a busy group, constantly needing pain meds, help to the bathroom, another blanket, etc. 

So whenever I'd head into Ms. O'Malley's room to check on her and she was fine, I took the opportunity to sit in the chair beside her bed for a few minutes to rest my legs and visit with her. 

At one point she was watching a bio on Henry Fonda, so I sat down and watched images of Mr. Fonda flash by on the screen.  We watched Henry dance with his leading ladies, and Ms. O'Malley spoke of how handsome he was and what a classy guy she always thought he was.

Later in the evening, she was watching snippets from "On Golden Pond." 

"Have you seen this movie?"  she asked me.

"I haven't," I responded.

She looked at me long and hard, shook her head then, and made me promise I'd go out and rent it this weekend.

It's on my "to do" list :)

Ms. O'Malley was a breath of fresh air to my evening last night.  The last time I went to check on her, as I rose out of my chair at her bedside and told her good night, she said, "Thank you for taking care of me tonight in such a loving way.  I enjoyed you and hope you have a safe drive home."

Truth is, I simply sat beside Ms. O'Malley and "chewed the fat" with her, as they say here in Texas :)  I enjoyed her immensely, and she provided welcome relief to me that night in the midst of all the busyness and running around.

Ms. O'Malley reminded me of something last night in my work as a nurse: she reminded me of the importance of presence.

The precious gift of simply being present with one another in this busy world, is a very valuable thing :)

(*name has been changed to protect confidentiality)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Smoothie Recipes

Here are a few of my favorite Smoothie recipes, involving the use of protein powder.  I try to have one protein drink a day, as I am a big believer in it's energy, strength, and immunity-building benefits.  I use Spirotein protein powder, but there are many other kinds.  I like Spirotein because they make so many different flavors.

I call this one, the "Chunky Monkey" smoothie:

-1/4 glass full of ice
-1/2 glass full of milk
-a few scoops of peanut butter
-a scoop of chocolate protein powder
-a banana sliced up

Blend all ingredients together and Enjoy!

This one is my "Granola Goodness" one:

-1/4 glass of frozen strawberries
-a banana sliced up
-a few scoops of peanut butter
-1/2 glass full of milk
(sometimes I'll throw in a little strawberry yogurt, too)

Blend all ingredients and top with granola (this can be any kind- I use my granola cereal alot).

**If you want to be super-healthy, use organic peanut butter and soy/almond milk.  I have to confess I'm a regular milk-drinking gal, so I actually haven't tried soy milk in these to see how that would taste.  I simply don't like the taste of soy milk and can't bring myself to drink it.  These recipes are using skim milk.

My secret smoothie-making weapon is one very important item:

The Magic Bullet.

Some of you may have seen these on television.  I did, too, and was skeptical.  Then one of my roommates owned one, I tried it, and have decided it's the best thing since sliced bread.  I make protein shakes, smoothies, and even chop veggies in it from time to time.  Bed, Bath, and Beyond carries them, and I only mention that store because they put coupons in your mail so often, you can get one for 20% off if you have one of their coupons.  I'm a huge fan of the Bullet and would recommend it if you are a regular smoothie/protein shake drinker.

The reason I love it is because you put all your ingredients in the Magic Bullet cup, blend it with the cup, screw the top off, and go.  You only have one small part to wash after the blending, which makes preparation and clean-up a whiz.  I am on-the-go often, so if I'm going to be making smoothies, I need them to be easy to make.  And the Magic Bullet makes it oh-so-easy.

Enjoy the beautiful spring day, everyone!