by Shelly Lopez Gray, R. N.
There are lots of nurses in my family, including my mother, who has been a nursery nurse for almost 40 years. So I know a thing or two about being raised by a nurse...
1. You have to be bleeding to death or unconscious to go to the emergency room. When my dad started complaining of chest pain in the middle of the night and said he wanted to go to the ER, my mom warned him that it better not be his gallbladder. Halfway to the ER, she made him go back home so she could get her scrubs... you know, 'cause she worked the next day :/ Needless to say, it was not his gallbladder. You guessed it, he was having a heart attack. I'm so glad he's still around to not let her live that one down... Oh, and she didn't notify any of her kids until the next morning, because "he didn't die," so she didn't want to wake us up. I found out from a coworker who called me and said she was praying for our family :/
2. Dinner conversations are graphic. Think your day was bad?!? Asking a nurse about their day prompts a story that is borderline perverse and grotesque. Hands down, their.day.was.worse. Trust me. And anyone who has ever eaten with a nurse knows that eventually the weirdest, grossest, craziest and best parts of their day will be retold.
3. You have a healthy fear of coming within a 15-foot radius of them when they get home from work. You stay away until they strip down and bathe in 103 degree water. It's weird how they rarely get sick or worry about catching whatever their patient is trying to dish out, but they are very concerned about passing anything to you.
4. They have almost any medication you could ever need in their medicine cabinet (or purse). You know, just in case there's an apocalypse, or a sudden national shortage of Amoxicillin. It may be three years old, but hey, they have it if you need it 🙂 Have a headache? We got you covered. Upset stomach? Here you go. Nauseated? Here's just what you need...
5. They work weird days of the week, and their schedules are made three months in advance. And if your parent is a nurse, asking them to try to switch with someone at work is like asking them to go to the dentist, for a root canal, for fun. They make it to 50% of soccer games, dance recitals and school holiday parties. You know, because most nurses work every other weekend!
6. They have a lot of "bring-a-dish" parties. Of course, someone has to sign up for drinks and paper plates 🙂 But nurses love food! They could go into a carb-coma at any of these parties, it's like a feast of every type of carb...
7. Medical terminology is their terminology. My daughter doesn't say she has "bad poops." She will come to me and say she has diarrhea. Then she'll tell me what color it is, and what she ate before getting her upset stomach. And she's 9. Her brother has a penis, babies come out of vaginas and when she's nauseated she tells me she's going to vomit. She must have heard it from a nurse...
8. Someone at their work is probably collecting money for someone -- or something. Every week, nurses are scrounging around for money for a wedding or a funeral, or needing a gift for someone who is going to have a baby (or a grandbaby). It's just what they do.
9. Their kids, friends, neighbors and strangers ask them for all sorts of medical advice. Growing up, I was never afraid to ask my nurse mom absolutely anything. From girlie problems to sex questions to bathroom issues, nothing was off limits. In fact... have a question? Just ask a nurse!
10. They can handle any kind of crazy their kids could ever think about dishing out. Because however crazy their kids may act, they've seen that kind of crazy and MUCH worse from a past patient. If you were raised by a nurse, they can handle your kind of crazy. Nurses know how to de-escalate all kinds of situations 🙂
Until my next delivery ♥
Posted 12 May 2015 at the blog, Adventures of a Labor and Delivery Nurse